Elder man answering the questions on job interview

Elder man answering the questions on job interview

We have previously discussed how hiring underqualified candidates can be a blessing in disguise for any organization.  In this article we will explore how over qualified candidates are often overlooked when it comes to hiring, or that it is bad practice to hire individuals who possess more experience and education than the particular position requires.

These over qualified candidates may have just been laid off, or returning to work after having taken time off to raise a family.  Whatever the case, there is a possibility that these individuals may be older, but also very well educated, and in rare cases these candidates may simply be looking for a change of scenery, or to shake things up in their lives by making a change.  There are both positives and negatives to consider prior to hiring these candidates, and we will start by reviewing some potentially negative factors:

  • Less Challenging:  Overqualified candidates obviously have seen and done more than new less qualified candidates, and as a result may find themselves becoming bored very rapidly.
  • Harder to Train:  Overqualified candidates are as easy to train as any other new hire in terms of proprietary company software systems and the internal company basics, but they may have also acquired certain ways of working or bad habits with their previous organizations that are hard to break.
  • Intimidation factor:  Because these individuals are overqualified, they may be intimidating to their supervisor’s or other management within your organization.

At this point any hiring manager may be asking “With all of these negative aspects, why would I even consider hiring an overqualified candidate?”  The answer is that there are some very valid and positive points to hiring these candidates.

  • They are in it for the long haul:  Because these individuals do bring a greater deal of experience to the table, chances are that they know that they do, and they may accept this position for which they are overqualified with the intention of taking the time to move up within the organization, and have complete confidence in their ability to do so.
  • They are eager to showcase their talents:  Whether it is simply refreshing for these overqualified candidates to be working again, or it is because they want to show what they can do with the hopes of advancing rapidly, these candidates tend to have the confidence to work more independently and effectively.
  • They bring years of wisdom to the team – With all that experience, they can share best practices from previous positions that may benefit their new team.  They can also become great mentors to their colleagues.

As with any candidate, a key to finding out whether or not they are the ideal candidate for which you seek can be determined during the interview process.  Utilizing good behavioral based questions, as well as other best interviewing practices will help you determine if the right individual for the position for which you are hiring is sitting right in front of you.

Michael Klein is a premier writer and speaker on all aspects of human capital.  As VP Operations for KDS Staffing, Inc., he has achieved industry-leading success. Michael was awarded, The New York State Small Business Growth Award; presented by Governor George Pataki.  Additionally, Michael has successfully grown and sold multiple firms. If you or your organization would like to discuss hiring needs, contact Michael at 646-350-3015 or michael@kdsstaffing.com.