Recruiters are engaging in an important debate on how to best handle overqualified candidates. An overqualified candidate has their share of challenges when entering into the job market with skills that are above and beyond the job requirements. The recovery has hiring managers and recruiters alike wondering how to handle the overqualified candidate.

What Experts are Saying

Recruiters are hesitant to work with overqualified candidates because they fear it would be hard to keep these employees engaged and motivated, which would contribute to attrition when other opportunities become available. Individuals viewed as too talented may not stay long term because the working conditions aren’t conducive to their professional growth.

Check out what Harvard Business Reviewhas to say to consider when scrutinizing the overqualified or over-experienced candidate.

Overqualified or Over-Experienced?

Recruiters must avoid being too quick to categorize an applicant as overqualified just from scanning the resume. A person who may meet or exceed certain skill or educational requirements doesn’t necessarily make one overqualified. A person who has a wealth of experience working in prior positions isn’t necessary overqualified for an opening. Getting to know the client via an online interview may be the best way to make a determination.

Thinking Long-Term

A person may be too qualified for an existing role but could be able to grow into different areas. One could take the approach to recruiting for an opening that the candidate could be ideal for any number of positions within the company in the long run.

Being Careful During Onboarding and Hiring

There should be a plan in place to bring aboard the slightly overqualified candidate. The plan should consider how the employee would move throughout the organization, advancing into different roles. The moves can be lateral or include a promotion, but a strategy is necessary.

Pay what they are worth

Although it is tempting to hire talent cheaply, it is not recommended to hire an overqualified candidate for less than they are worth. The candidate could be courted by other prospective employers more likely to compensate them more fairly for their skills and expertise. Engage the applicant on their promotion opportunities available to them.

When considering overqualified candidates, think about their potential to grow in other areas within the organization. Consider grooming them for other opportunities and be transparent about the plans for the new hire as they are onboarded. Avoid confusing education and experience with actual skills when looking for a candidate and always compensate new hires fairly. Many employers are pleasantly surprised when they find that the candidate they took a gamble on turned out to be the perfect fit for their organization.

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