Is Being Overqualified Bad? (and) How Should Employers Handle Overqualified Candidates?

I recently read a great article which wonderfully reflects the state of today’s job search.  There are a lot more overqualified candidates than underqualified ones.  Yes of course, there are those looking for work right out of college but more often than not, those folks are looking for lower end positions.  However, for those who have worked for many years and find themselves on the unemployment line have a harder time swallowing the idea of being overqualified and underpaid.

So is it bad to be overqualified for a job?  Not necessarily.  You might walk into a job that reflects some of the tasks you used to do and perhaps, if the folks interviewing you are open to it, you can actually expand the functions of that job position.  It really is a win win for both parties.  You get to do what you’re good at and actually stretch your skill set and the employer gets more than they hoped for.  However, in order for this to really be a win win you have to be compensated accordingly.  A lot of times employers hope to get a big bang for their buck and these are the situations in which the new hire will more than likely leave the minute something bigger and better is offered to him or her.

So how should employers handle these type of situations?  They shouldn’t avoid overqualified candidates.  Instead they should look at what the candidate can offer the company and how much more they can get from this one new person.  Perhaps new ventures can be explored that were never even considered.  But once again, the key is to pay accordingly.  If you want to save money, then go with the underqualified or just “good enough” candidate.  However, if you have a bigger plan for the current position and have a bit of wiggle room in terms of salary then go for the guy or gal who might be just above the “good enough” bar and give them a chance.  Chances are, even though they are being paid fairly, you’ll still get more bang for your buck.

What did you do today?

P.S. Read the article that gave me inspiration for this blog post: Should You Hire an Overqualified Candidate?

3 thoughts on “Is Being Overqualified Bad? (and) How Should Employers Handle Overqualified Candidates?

  1. Pingback: Is Being Overqualified Bad? (and) How Should Employers Handle … | Adult Society

  2. I’ve interviewed people who were overqualified for positions. I agree that it can be made into a win-win situation if you can expand the job description. Unfortunately, I’ve run into red tape trying to get additional funding for a position that pays in a lower range. It’s often hard to convince management that the person won’t bolt when the job they’re really looking for comes along.
    Lew Sauder, Author, Consulting 101: 101 Tips For Success in Consulting (

    • Hi Lew,
      That’s the unfortunate part, that you have convince upper mgt. about this situation. I completely understand the worry but a lot of times as long as the work atmosphere, work itself and the people a new hire works with are favorable they will stick around. Just some perspective from someone who has been on the other end of the rejection 🙂

      Thanks for all of your comments, Lew!

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