Whenever you post a new job, you probably receive dozens of resumes from a wide variety of candidates. One may stand out; his or her experience, education/credentials, title, and skills placing her high above the rest of the pack.

They may look like the perfect candidate for the job, but you hesitate because they appear too good to be true.

You feel that she is “overqualified” for the job, so you do not seriously consider her for the position. This missed opportunity is not an uncommon one.

Recruiters and hiring managers have traditionally failed to place overqualified candidates in the applicant pool because of several presumed risks – many of which are not true.  These include that the person has to be:

  • bored
  • unmotivated
  • looking for a stop-gap job until something better comes along

However, this seems not to be the general case.  In a recent study conducted at Portland State University, it was found that people rarely switch jobs because they feel that they are too “good” or talented for the job.  They move on because of the work conditions.

More times than not, there are sizable benefits to hiring an overqualified person…benefits that become crystal-clear when you begin to think about the future and not just your immediate need.  Some of these benefits overqualified candidates bring to the table include:

  •  Capability to “hit the ground running”.  Most likely they have had the same responsibilities in a prior role, so they can begin working and quickly add value. Their learning curve is short, and they can leverage their vast history and experience to do the job efficiently and effectively.
  • Add value beyond the role. They tend to approach the job differently. They can think beyond the role and see other issues and possibilities, because they have seen similar (if not the same) situation(s) in different environments, etc. The breadth they bring enables them to provide a broader perspective of the role; one that they are eager to implement.
  • Provide built-in bench strength to the organization.  Since the overqualified employee has had a larger role, they can expand their responsibilities. This could mean anything from expanding the role to include more or being able to step into a new senior position if and when the opportunity arises.
  • Afford Mentoring Capabilities.  An overqualified employee could not only mentor “junior” employees, which is a proven method for helping new hires integrate more effectively with the company.  This will assist you with your entire onboarding program.  In addition, providing a qualified mentor could challenge more seasoned employees to achieve higher levels of performance.
  • Provide higher productivity and growth opportunities that are not being currently planned.  Overqualified employees can help you develop and grow opportunities that have not been addressed before.  They may bring an extensive contact list that could be leveraged or simply a new way of looking at the business landscape that could lead to new and more profitable opportunities.

There are no absolutes in the process of sourcing and placing talent.  Candidates and work environments are vastly different.  Both parties need to enter into the situation with a different set of expectations – companies need to provide the employee opportunities to leverage their “surplus skills” and the employee needs to manage the job at hand.

This is where Snelling comes in. We work with clients is many different industries and sectors, across the country.  As a new client of ours, we will come to you and learn your business, including your plans for expansion and growth.

We will then leverage our expertise to build the best solution geared specifically for your needs.  Whether you need a short-term staffing solution or the best talent available for a long-term project, Snelling is here to help.  Visit our office locator page to locate your local Snelling office today.