Hiring overqualified candidates or not?

On the 12th of August, sHR. attended to Management and Strategy Seminar at Koç University. The seminar was about recruiter reactions to overqualified job applicants. In this article, you’ll see what we learned & how the implications of this knowledge to practice would be:

In the literature, overqualified applicants can be described as people who have too much education, too much experience and too many skills in their specified areas. Therefore, the reasons why recruiters avoid overqualified applicants can be the assumptions that they will be bored, be expensive, be old and quit the job quickly. At this point, the first question comes into our minds that “what can we do as an organization or recruiters to ameliorate this effect?” In the first step, we should overcome our biased against overqualified applicants. For instance, we should keep in our minds that each person is unique; we can learn valuable things from each single person; therefore making generalizations about a group of individuals are always wrong. As a result of these nonsense generalizations, we may miss the opportunity to work with “BIG BRAINS” in our organizations. We should avoid rejecting overqualified job applicants by just considering their resumes. Thus, give each individual the opportunity to express himself/herself as a person, to explain about their strengths and weaknesses. Interview is the best way of doing this.

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The other question that may arise is that how to treat and manage overqualified candidates after they are hired. For instance, empowerment can be one of the solutions to the problems about the overqualified applicants; such as lower job satisfaction, lower organizational commitment to the organization and higher turnover. Empowerment enables these individuals to do their jobs magnificently. Furthermore, managers can assign these individuals to the multiple tasks in their organizations due to the idea that they have many skills.

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All in all, for recruiters or organizations it is important that “every job applicant should have an equal opportunity to be accepted. Do not have any prejudice against any group of individuals. Please always give a chance to your candidates to be interviewed. Do not be afraid of overqualified candidates & employees. Instead, just learn how to manage them.”   Good luck! 🙂


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