Dealing with overqualified candidates is tricky. Recruiters often think that overqualified applicants can be a threat to the business as their presence may affect the overall employee morale. However, overqualified candidates can also be your greatest asset. They are often professionals who can offer exceptional skills to your team, thus helping improve the company’s bottom line.
Candidates that are seen as “overqualified” have a more lengthy and comprehensive resume than the recruiter initially expected, such as they have a higher degree of education or they are applying for a job whose hierarchical position is actually below their previous job. The COVID-19 pandemic has also contributed largely to the rise of overqualified candidates applying for jobs that are less demanding compared to the skills they have.
Now, the question remains: will you give the overqualified candidate the chance or you are still struggling with your dilemma? If you are still having the dilemma of whether to hire or dismiss an overqualified candidate, let us give you further insight.
Cons of Hiring Overqualified Candidates
Overqualified candidates are frequently screened out by HR for a variety of reasons, despite their skill or ability to do the job. The most common reason to avoid recruiting them is that they are too expensive to hire. HR is also concerned that these candidates will leave as soon as a better position becomes available, such as one that pays more, is more suited to their skill set, or has greater opportunities for advancement. A rapid turnover indicates that the costs and time involved with onboarding are wasted, and the hiring process must be repeated all over again.
Pros of Hiring Overqualified Candidates
Overqualified candidates are often quick, skilled learners with advanced skill sets who can support your company and improve its overall performance. This is extremely useful if your company has to quickly fill and achieve goals right away. Kerstin Alfes suggested that a good partnership can happen if you place overqualified individuals within teams where other employees are also high performers. When you already have high performers in your company, there is a good chance that you will create a better team by hiring overqualified individuals.
How to Hire Overqualified Candidates
Good managers hire the best employees they can find. They are not frightened of employees who are older, better, or more experienced. If you strongly consider hiring overqualified candidates, here are some tips:
Indeed, some experienced candidates may ask for a higher salary because they are aware of how much more they can offer. This only makes sense if an employer does not disclose their salary range at the job posting, but if the salary range is already mentioned, candidates are surely aware of it before applying, even the overqualified ones.
If it is because of the recession or a bad economy, there is a high possibility that he will move on once he gets a better opportunity. But if he applies for the job because he wants to achieve a better work-life balance, he will appreciate it if you accept him into your company.
Ask them if they are flexible with the company culture such as having to report to a younger and less experienced boss. Find out their expectations and what they want for the job. Then, ask yourself whether you or your company has the ability to fulfill it. Consider the future advancement and growth that meet both your demands and their demands.
For example, the overqualified candidate is very good at technology and you are currently in need of a tech trainer. If the candidate willingly offers his expertise to teach other candidates, then hiring them could be a good move. Lastly, have plans and be careful as well as be clear with your plans for the new employees.
Weighing on the pros and cons, on top of other factors that may relate to your decision-making, there is no one true answer on whether to hire overqualified candidates or pass them over. It all depends on what your company needs for the position you are recruiting for. If you need to focus on growing fast, consider hiring the best candidate from your talent pool, even if he or she seems overqualified. On the other hand, if your company aims for personal development, consider the ones who at least meet the general qualifications first, since they are easier to train them into what you need them to be.
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