Should You Consider Hiring a Candidate Who Appears Overqualified?

kentlegal_blogimages_should-you-consider-hiring-a-candidate-who-appears-overqualifiedOn paper, the candidate looks fantastic.  During the interview, the candidate astonishes you with their competence, thoughtfulness and achievements.  This candidate sounds great.  In fact, they sound too great.

Should you hire a candidate who is overqualified for the job you’re offering?  While overqualification can make many hiring managers balk, hiring a candidate who appears to have already outgrown the job can be one of the best decisions you’ll make – in the right circumstances.

Your recruiting partner’s expertise is an invaluable tool to leverage when evaluating talent. They will be able to help you find the best talent for your position – even if at first glance, they appear overqualified. Listen to their guidance and follow these tips to help you determine if an “overqualified” candidate is the right for your organization:

Be honest with them.

Once you’ve established they’re capable of carrying out the job’s day-to-day tasks, it’s time to focus on the reality.  Don’t hesitate to say to a candidate, “It appears you’re overqualified for this job.  Are you prepared to take on these day-to-day tasks?”

Listen to what the candidate has to say.  A candidate who expresses a keen interest in doing the job and a clear set of reasons for taking it on is one who will likely do well on the job.

Explore their personalities.

Ask yourself, “If this candidate didn’t have this impressive list of experience and accomplishments, are they still the kind of person we would want on our team?”

Hiring due to resume alone is a poor choice if the candidate is a bad fit with your team.  A poor cultural or personality “fit” will inevitably result in mediocre results and prompt turnover.  A team member who will fit in well with your existing culture is more likely to stay, thrive and help everyone around them do better work – even if they seem “overqualified.”

Offer a good work/life balance.

The legal field is full of lawyers and legal support professionals who are “overqualified” for the work they currently do – and they love it, because their positions offer reasonable hours and a quality of life outside the office that a more high-paced, high-stress job could not match.  If you offer a good work-life balance, you’ll likely draw in certain “overqualified” professionals who want to be in the position you’re seeking to fill.

At Kent Legal, our recruiters connect our clients with the best legal support talent available in the greater Toronto area.  To learn more, contact our office today.

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