Don’t Fear “Overqualified” Talent


He’s intelligent. He nailed your toughest interview questions. His skills, experience and personality are a great fit for both the position and your culture. And he really wants the job.

The only downside? He’s substantially overqualified.

Many employers avoid hiring overqualified candidates for seemingly obvious reasons. They fear that these employees:

  • will be bored, disengaged and unmotivated to perform;

  • will eventually become bitter or disgruntled about doing work that’s “beneath them”; and

  • will ultimately quit as soon as a “better” opportunity comes around.

The problem is research shows that these fears are unfounded. In fact, a study by Erdogan and Bauer at Portland State University concludes that, when hired, overqualified talent actually gets higher performance appraisal ratings and performs better than average hires.

So instead of automatically rejecting a talented candidate simply because he’s “too qualified,” consider all your organization stands to gain. Here are just a few of the reasons you should hire overqualified professionals:

They’re easier to train and manage. Because they already possess the required skills, experienced professionals are ready to hit the ground running and begin contributing immediately. They typically require less training and hand-holding than most new hires.

They bring a wealth of expertise. Leverage that experience and keep them challenged! Put highly qualified professionals on your most important projects and ask them to mentor junior employees.

They have tremendous growth potential. If your organization is expanding, you can seamlessly promote overqualified candidates into higher-level positions that are difficult to fill. In the meantime, challenge them to spot new opportunities for your business or propose additional ways they could add value.

They provide high ROI, even if they don’t stay forever. Overqualified professionals are highly productive and offer an abundance of insight and experience. So make the most of your hiring investment. While they’re with you, take advantage of their skills. Incorporate their best practices and learn everything you can from them.

Seeking highly qualified professional talent?

Corps Team can improve your sourcing, simplify screening and shorten your search.  Contact your local Corps Team office to learn more about our staffing and placement services for mid- to senior-level professionals.



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