Hiring Overqualified Candidates: Debunking Misconceptions

The workforce isn’t just the lifeblood of a business; it’s also the beating heart of every country’s economy. Without a burgeoning workforce, it’s going to be a challenge to keep a profitable business in its feet. Although there might be individuals who do come and go, a hiring department will always be looking for replacements for positions.

With events that have transpired in the last few months, most businesses will need more candidates than ever. For the most part, the working class will always be looking for job opportunities. As such, there is still a pool of job seekers who will do anything to look for work.

It’s not just essential businesses that are being hit by a global crisis. Companies with a highly-talented and professional workforce will still need to lay off workers to buy more time to recover until the current state of the economy will go back to normal.

Who are the Overqualified Candidates?

While there are going to be candidates that are entirely new to your industry and need training and assistance, there are also jaded veterans and professionals who have worked in the industry for decades. High-skilled workers that are at the end of the spectrum will often bargain for a higher salary since they are overqualified for a particular position.

Simply put, overqualified candidates are fit for the available position. Still, since they have a higher level of skill and experience, there is a high chance that they will ask for a higher salary. Most of the time, companies will not hire overqualified workers since they will either look for a better-paying position, demand higher compensation, or will adjust the amount of effort that they put out depending on their payroll. Eventually, they will leave the company if their demands are not met.

Being a leader means that you’ll need to discern your candidate’s abilities and skills in a blink of an eye. If you’re in doubt about who you should be hiring, there are transformation companies that offer state-of-the-art hiring systems and services, such as Miick. These companies can help expedite the hiring process while looking for the right candidates, overqualified or not.

Should You Hire these Candidates?

Traditionally, most recruitment specialists would say that it’s a bad idea to hire overqualified candidates for a variety of different reasons. Some of these reasons include:

  1. Asking for better compensation
  2. Asking to be in a higher position
  3. Will eventually leave if terms are not met

But contrary to what the unspoken rules of business management would tell us, this doesn’t necessarily mean that we shouldn’t hire these overqualified applicants. Most experts say that overqualified employees will still stay with a company, as long as they are correctly compensated and engaged.

A research report has found that the assumption of most overqualified candidates leaving a company is not necessarily attributed to being bored or unmotivated, but is caused by poor working conditions.

Do’s and Don’t’s


Naturally, when we’re working at an office, it’s easy for us to go on auto-pilot when interacting with applicants and candidates. Most of the time, we filter out any unnecessary information that the candidate says and focus on critical information.

In reality, it’s essential to think outside the box when doing the hiring process. So what are the do’s and don’t’s when handling overqualified candidates?

  • Do think of what your organization needs right now. Are the skills of the candidate beneficial to what is needed now and on future occasions?
  • Do think of different ways of utilizing the skills of the candidate on your conglomerate. Will the candidate be able to contribute to the team.
  • Be straightforward and outline with the candidate any plans that you do have.

What shouldn’t you do?

  • Don’t let your candidate think that they are merely filling a position in the company. That will put off a lot of candidates, knowing that they are defined as mere resources.
  • Don’t associate education with experience in a specific industry. There is a stark contrast between work history and educational history.
  • Don’t negotiate a lower salary for an overqualified candidate. Paying them less than what they are expecting will also affect efficiency and productivity.

It’s crucial to note that interactions with the applicant shouldn’t be treated as merely another hiring process. Instead, show the candidate that both you and the company are well-meaning and willing to work for brighter horizons.

The bottom line? Overqualified employees don’t leave their company because they’re bored or the workload isn’t a challenge for their skills, they leave because of the current working conditions. As such, it’s only rational that employers inspire their workforce with appropriate engagement and interaction.

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