Hiring Overqualified Staff – Pros and Cons

Hiring Over Qualified Staff

Staff who are supposedly overqualified for the role is a problematic area for hiring managers. Whilst many people would have you believe that overqualified staff may well be unmotivated for the role, in actual fact they could be a great benefit to your company. And when you consider the fact that 47% of recent graduates are currently in non-graduate roles, overqualified staff are growing increasingly common. Here are the pros and cons to the practice.


Wider skill-set: The first and possibly most obvious benefit in hiring overqualified candidates is the skills that they will bring to the role. Although a common problem for graduates entering the job market is their lack of experience, in most cases it isn’t a lack of skills and qualifications. And further up the career ladder, the added experience and expertise that an overqualified staff member brings could prove to be invaluable.

They will feel valued: Interns, for instance, may sometimes see themselves as an extra cog of sorts at certain companies- having to do menial tasks and not really having the opportunity to have an impact on the business. Staff that are overqualified for the position, on the other hand, may feel a larger sense of importance to the company. This, whilst improving productivity, could also improve your company’s chance of retaining the employee in the long-term.

Inspire colleagues: If I joined Real Madrid tomorrow, unlikely but not impossible, chances are that I would naturally have to up my game to try and compete with Ronaldo and co. And it’s a similar situation in business. If a talented colleague joins your workforce then you’re not going to want to be seen as a poor employee at the side of him/her- you would up your game and up your productivity to try and compete.

Potential for promotion: Although candidates may be initially reluctant to accept a role for which they are overqualified, that reluctance could soon be overcome if they’re aware of any opportunities for progression within the firm. By tempting skilled staff with opportunities to be promoted, this could prove to be one of the savviest recruiting strategies out there.


Unmotivated: Even though it may seem a bit obvious, it’s certainly true in many cases that overqualified staff aren’t sufficiently motivated for the role. They might feel that they have too much experience, they may have more skills that aren’t being utilised or the job they’re in might just be a menial one- whatever it is, an unmotivated employee isn’t going to be a huge benefit to your company.

Ready to jump ship: There’s also the preconception that many overqualified candidates will be ready to move on at a moment’s notice if a better job offer comes along. And it’s not healthy to have an employee on your books who spends most of their working day applying for jobs elsewhere.

Salary too low: One major hiccup for overqualified staff is the unrewarding salary that comes with these roles. For those already feeling unmotivated and itching to leave, the salary won’t help things. However, in fairness, they knew what the salary was before they applied- so this can’t be too big a bone of contention.