Considering Overqualified Candidates

Considering Overqualified Candidates

Paid employment in the UK has fallen by almost 650,000 employees since March. Naturally, businesses are inundated with CVs. Roles have been brought to the public domain such as receptionist roles receiving over 1,000 applications in a day.

There is a notable increase in overqualified candidates. An overqualified candidate represents someone who has an abundance of experience or their level of education exceeds what is being offered in both salary and company positioning.

Sally Bennett, TeamJobs Executive Manager, acknowledges the overqualified market. Sally says, “It is not uncommon to see senior leaders who have been earning six figures prepared to take a considerable salary decrease. People are transitioning in a way they have never done before.”

The change and opportunity that senior management provide are notable. Sally states, “What is recognised as an overqualified candidate, presents someone who can present new, fresh ideas, even bringing clients with them. As well as leadership capabilities, there is such a strength in creativity and even mentorship.”

So, should you hire an overqualified candidate? It presents two sides to the coin to consider. For instance, an employer may be wary that a role becomes a stop-gap and won’t last for long and an eventual job becomes available that aligns with their career progression.” Sally recognises the potential that is based on acknowledging a fit between employer and candidate. “Let's look at the positives, if there is an open dialogue from the start, someone with years of experience and skills brings in commercial acumen and know-how. In turn, this can mean less supervision and hitting the ground running.”

Sally understands the ultimate opportunity this can provide for the future, “For many employers this does present the possibility for recruiting diverse and talented people who can give tenfold back to a business. There is a huge pool of talent available to businesses.”

As people weather the economic storm, the ability to hire an overqualified candidate but the reticence to commit can feel more assured with a sense of openness. Sally says, ‘If an employer thinks that someone will only stay for the short term, there has to be a conversation for both sides, to be honest with each other.” As Winston Churchill said, ‘The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.’

Never dismiss an overqualified candidate. What we are all living through can perhaps address the balance and help the change for elite and diverse teams.