Should You be Hiring an Over-Qualified Candidate?

Hiring an overqualified candidate seems like an easy decision. You get more experience and more skills for less money. However, don’t forget to consider the potential downside too.

The Pros

Over-qualified candidates …

  • Have all the skills needed to successfully do the job (plus a few more);
  • Bring experience and expertise to the table;
  • Can offer fresh ideas and new perspectives to help your company grow;
  • Are usually self-sufficient;
  • Often require less training and supervision;
  • Already exhibit leadership qualities;
  • May be willing to work for less than their market value. 

The Cons

Over-qualified candidates …

  • Sometimes find the work boring and end up dissatisfied;
  • May go on autopilot and underperform;
  • Often continue to job hunt and leave as soon as something better comes along;
  • Sometimes lack commitment and spread their negative attitude throughout the organization;
  • Might pass work off to others because they consider the job beneath them;
  • Could cause discontent if other employees see them as a shoo-in for the next promotion;
  • May demand more money or benefits either during or after the hiring process.

So, What Should You Do?

The correct answer depends. Sometimes, an over-qualified applicant is looking for a better work-life balance and/or a new challenge. In these cases, hiring them could be a win/win. Other times, a candidate simply is looking to earn a paycheck until they find the job they really want. This could leave you dealing with a difficult employee who runs off the minute they receive another offer.

Smart Interview Questions to Ask Over-Qualified Candidates

The trick is to figure out what type of applicant you have on your hands. Specifically, what is their motivation? Asking a few probing questions should allow you to gain additional insight.

Why are you applying for this position?
Look for candidates who appear to be genuinely interested in your company. Did they take the time to do their research? Can they explain their reasons for wanting to work here? Someone who either loves your brand or is looking for a change could be a good fit.  

Do you have any questions about the job description?
Make sure the candidate understands exactly what the job involves. Do they recognize they are overqualified? And, if so, are they willing to tackle the role as is? Keep in mind, even if they only remain short term, over-qualified candidates can bring enormous value to an organization. 

What are your salary expectations?
Ultimately, you want to know if you can afford this person. Would they be willing to accept a lower salary in exchange for a better lifestyle and/or more competitive benefits? Or, are they going to be immediately frustrated with a smaller paycheck and reduced opportunities for advancement? You don’t want to bring in an employee who’s unhappy from the start.   

Are You Looking to Add Top Talent to Your Manufacturing Organization?

The professional recruiters at Connectology can help you find the right candidates the first time. We partner with top companies in the Twin Cities region to create perfect matches for long-term success. Learn more about our recruiting solutions today!