At first blush, an overqualified candidate may seem like a dream come true. This candidate doesn’t just have “it”…she has everything. You need a bachelor’s degree; she has a masters plus a professional certification. You need three years of experience; she has ten. You need great customer service skills; she’s the three-time winner of her company’s annual customer service award. You need two specific skill sets that are each individually hard to find…she has both. Plus more.

But as you rush to scoop this candidate up while thanking your lucky stars, think twice. Keep these questions and considerations in mind before you make your offer.

Can you pay her what she needs and deserves?

Nothing comes for free in this life, and this is especially true of talented human capital. The highest salary you can afford may or may not be enough to keep this candidate on board over the long run. And if a simple google search shows that your offer falls below the industry average, we can save you some time and trouble: it isn’t high enough. Even if she accepts this weak offer, she probably won’t stay long. Eventually another company will compete with you (and win).

Why does she want this job?

Ask your candidate why she finds this job appealing and listen closely to the answer. If she’s like many overqualified applicants, she may be simply looking for a placeholder position—something she can use to pay the bills while she continues to search for a better opportunity. There’s also a strong possibility that she doesn’t recognize the mismatch between this job and her skill sets. Be clear about this and make sure she knows what she’s stepping into.

Will she really be happy here?

Ambitious candidates are usually happier when they’re facing regular challenges and learning and growing constantly while on the job. Can you provide your candidate with this kind of opportunity for fulfillment? If so, make this clear. But if not, give this relationship the same respect you would give to any other. Be honest about what you have to offer and the possibility that this may not be enough.

Will the candidate adapt to the status quo?

Overqualified candidates are often asked to take orders and direction from those with experience and knowledge that fall below their own. Can your candidate do this cheerfully? Or will she resent this arrangement and push for unwelcome systemic change? It’s a simple question with no wrong answers, but the relationship will be more successful if her attitude and expectations align with yours.

For more on how to assess your overqualified candidates and measure their readiness for a specific job, reach out to the staffing team at Expert Staffing.

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