Overqualified Candidates – Are They a Good Fit?

People often think that because they spent years in college or worked for a long time in a particular industry, they should be qualified for any job they apply for. This may be the case for quality candidates looking for their specific education or training, but this doesn’t mean a candidate with a college degree can merely walk in and get any job.

Generally, entry level positions are right for entry level employees. However, if you’re currently hiring for a lower level position and get higher level candidates, how do you know if they are a good fit? There are actually a few reasons why you shouldn’t hire overqualified candidates for entry level assignments, but sometimes it can be a good option in the right circumstances.

The Problem with Overqualified Candidates

On the surface, it may seem like a great idea to hire employees who have more qualifications than what you’re looking for. More work experience shows they have had substantial training that will help them do their job well.

The problem is that with being overqualified for an entry level job is that candidates may require comes higher salary. They may also find themselves getting bored or disgruntled with their position more easily. They may ever be more willing to change jobs as soon as they find another position more suited to their education or qualifications. With this in mind, you can better prepare for hiring employees who are considered overqualified.

Salary Conflicts

The first issue with overqualified candidates is the fact that they often demand higher starting salaries. Many of the salary rates for professionals in the U.S. are based on education and experience. Even if someone is applying for an entry level job, they generally expect higher starting pay than someone who has half their education, as they should. But as an employer, it is your job to determine if this is worth it or not. Yes, you are getting someone with loads of experience, who has a shorter learning curve and doesn’t need as much supervision. But you should also expect to pay them more for hiring them.

Willing to Stick it Out

Next, the overqualified individual might not be willing to stick it out at your company. If you are wanting to hire someone for a position who has many more qualifications and training than you were looking for, there is a higher risk of them leaving you shortly. Retaining employees is essential as it reduces time and money spent hiring and training new employees, time and time again. Ask the job candidate how long they are wanting to work for you. Be sure they’re willing to give you an extended period of time for their employment.

Targeting the Right Candidates

To prevent too many overqualified candidates from applying, be as specific and detailed as possible in your job description. Be detailed not just in what the job and its duties are, but what education and experience you’re looking for. If you are adamant in hiring entry level employees, mention you only want entry level candidates. This not only prevents overqualified individuals from applying, but gives someone with less experience the opportunity to work for your company and get adequate experience.

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