Top Post #11: Is Being Overqualified Bad? (and) How Should Employers Handle Overqualified Candidates?

This is a topic that I am confident still comes up for anyone looking for a job.  Am I overqualified?  And if so, so what?  Do I think this job will make me happy?  Yes.  But will my managers be happy with me being overqualified?  How will I overcome this?  Well, go on and read hot topic #11 and let me know what you think and please share your personal experiences.

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?


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