Reasons an Employer might consider an “Over-qualified” candidate

At Key Corporate Services, it’s our business to match the right candidate to the right job.Generally speaking, an employer wouldn’t want to hire overqualified candidates; they may not be motivated to work in a “step-down” job, they may be bored quickly, they may be looking at this position as a temporary job, etc.

But, the reality is, there’s time when hiring an overqualified candidate can be a good move for a company.  Taking a second look at a candidate who might be too good for your job might make sense in the following situations:

How long do you need them?

In some cases, hiring someone with a lot of experience can benefit your company even if they don’t stay very long. Consider positions where there is a high staff turnover rate, such as sales-based organizations.  Or, other professional positions like IT or highly specific careers, hiring someone with a lot of experience can allow you to leverage an overqualified candidate while they’re working for you, leaving your company in a better position even if they eventually move on.

Is the candidate passionate about your company?

At Key Corporate Services, we’ve seen it before.  A candidate, seemingly overqualified, is hired by a company and ends up being a fantastic employee exceeding expectations.  Why?  It’s because the employer recognized the real value of “the right attitude” in the candidate. A candidate who shows passion about the challenges offered by the position can trump concerns about being overqualified.

Would you hire the candidate without their experience?

What this really boils down to is determining, apart from the experience level, the culture fit of the candidate.   Ask yourself, what kind of person do you want on your team? Does this candidate hold similar values to the company?  Are they going to be a team player who will get along well with your current staff? It can work out well to hire an overqualified candidate who’s a good cultural fit.

What are the candidate’s goals?

Whatever version of the standard “where do you see yourself in five years” interview question you use, pay attention to the overqualified candidate’s response. Spend some time discussing their future goals, and think about whether your company can offer a solid path that will help them achieve those goals.

There are many reasons an overqualified candidate might not work out, but excluding the possibility of hiring someone who’s more than qualified could rob your company of a valuable opportunity.

If your company is looking to develop a long-term strategic partnership with a leading executive search firm, give us a call.

At Key Corporate Services, our specialists tailor the executive search and recruitment process to the specific needs of our clients.

From The Key Corporate Services Blog Team