Are you considering hiring an overqualified candidate? Based on many years of experience as both an employer and consultant, I usually don’t recommend it.
I admit it’s refreshing to have an overly qualified employment candidate. You can reap irresistible benefits!
Think about it. The candidate brings a reduced learning curve, leadership potential, and added skills and benefits. But if you don’t realistically weigh all of the pros and cons, you could have a short-lived honeymoon.
Overqualified candidates bring with them a host of obvious advantages. However, here are three fundamental considerations that should drive your hiring decision.
1. They Can Be Transient.
We all cut back in hard times, but as soon as times improve, we go right back to our previous level of spending. The candidate may be willing to work for less money, but not for long.
This person is accustomed to a lifestyle based on a certain income level. Therefore, she will continue the job search while you temporarily fill her employment gap. As soon as a job opportunity comes along at or near her previous salary, expect her to take it.
2. Dissatisfaction Can Be High.
The employee now works for someone on the level of those who used to work for her. Soon she will take note of her manager’s performance. And eventually, she will become dissatisfied working for a manager who, in her eyes, does not measure up.
This dissatisfaction may reveal itself openly and become a disruption to morale and overall team performance. When that happens, an “employment adjustment” becomes necessary.
3. They Need a Growth Plan.
All employees should have a plan for career growth. However, a growth plan is critical to retaining overqualified and underpaid talent. Hire the overqualified person only if there is a planned, future need.
Create a document to include performance descriptions, quantifiable evaluation criteria, timelines, and other associated expectations. Most importantly, offer the candidate the assurance of a promotion and pay raise if she delivers on performance expectations.
A clear opportunity for career advancement can help boost retention and job satisfaction.
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