8 Factors To Consider Before Hiring An Overqualified Candidate

In the current economic climate, it has become a norm for overqualified candidates to apply for a position that is below their current skill set. According to Khazanah Research Institute’s latest survey found that up to 95% of today’s Malaysian young graduates are overqualified for their current jobs and 50% in low-skilled non-manual professions.

Overqualification has been known to be associated with high risk of turnover and poor job satisfaction thus recruiters and hiring managers tend to filter out such candidates in the early phase. While hiring overqualified candidates does have their own merits such as being easy to train and they can bring a new set of skills to the workplace.


What constitutes an overqualified candidate?

When a candidate is described as overqualified, they possess skills and education beyond what is required for the role that they wish to enrol. While a person’s qualification for a role may require a bachelor’s degree, you could be receiving applicants with a master’s degree. You could even request candidates with prior work experience from that role and receive applications from jobseekers arm with over a decade experience. Candidates with higher education or experience do not make them overqualified. What matters most is that whether that education or experience can be applied for the role.


Benefits of hiring an overqualified candidate

It can be beneficial to hire an overqualified candidate that you may not immediately consider. It can be good for the morale of the department, as a far more knowledgeable or experienced employee will be able to pick up the work pace quicker. Moreover, it will help to relieve the rest of the department from covering too many responsibilities. This would be helpful towards departments that are understaffed.

It helps the department to function at its best by employing people with skills and experiences that other employees do not possess. If an overqualified candidate desires for the role, there is a chance that person may have a long-term plan. For example, if that jobseeker possesses experience in e-commerce, that person may wish to explore a different sector in search of a more meaningful role. If you are still facing a dilemma about whether to hire an overqualified candidate, here are 8 factors to consider before hiring such an applicant.


1.Maturity deriving from experience

Hiring a mature person whose goals and motivation are to contribute for betterment in their current capacity, your organisation can benefit so much more than any ordinary employee can provide.


2. Your approach to talent management

Most recruiters and hiring managers think that overqualified candidates exist when they encounter a person with good experience and credentials than the company wants. As long your firm maintains a strong talent management pipeline, hiring overqualified candidates can be a great asset. The catch is to determine if the candidate desires the job because they are desperate for one or is it contribute in new ways.


3. Candidate’s compatibility with the company culture

Most employers think that overqualified refers “too expensive to hire.”That said, salary is not always the main driving force to get hired. A cultural fit can be a selling point to attract interested parties and that includes overqualified candidates.


4. Candidate’s long-term career goals

You need to consider a candidate’s long-term goals and if they are matched for the company. For instance, an applicant wants to get back into the job market after a long break. So is this position a destination or another stepping stone and will it fit with your company’s goals? If it is a destination, will the individual work to the needs of the role?


5.Risk of losing your current employees

The prospect of hiring an overqualified employee can be exciting. You may think that it brings in more talent for lower salary cost. What you should consider is the downstream impact of the hiring. Will you be creating more inequities in that position or across the office? Employees may think this hire as depreciating their job opportunities for advancement forcing them to search for better job opportunities.


6.Effective onboarding

Hiring a candidate that is perceived to be overqualified does bring along with advantages and few risks. The selection process must be detailed to reduce unnecessary turnover. Be clear with all the detail of the job prospects. Ensure the recruiter or hiring manager has the skill and experience to manage overqualified candidates prior to hiring.


7. Risk of underperforming

Even an overqualified employee can become complacent, uninterested and approach the job with lower commitment. You will need to adopt new approaches to engage with them through mentoring, introducing new work process or other incentives that could encourage them.


8. Long-term learning development

There are overqualified applicants that crave for growth and continued learning. Providing avenues for employees to learn and develop further can be a lucrative proposition for candidates in the long term.


Ng You Jing  Content Marketer at Jobstore Reach me at youjing@jobstore.com

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