Recruitment of overqualified employees: pros and cons

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Economic context of the country or desire for change, many reasons lead overqualified candidates to apply for jobs which require skills that are below theirs. Despite the disadvantages generally mentionned (high wage to pay for example), real advantages have to be taken into account in this type of recruitment.

picture of an overqualified employee

Overqualification : what is it ?

A candidate is labelled as overqualified when he or she is skilled or educated beyond what is necessary for a job. Having more experience than what is required for a particular job is also a reason why some applicants are considered as overqualified.

The disadvantages of the recruitment of overqualified employees

High wage

One of the objections to this type of recruitment is the fear that the concerned applicants will ask for a high wage. Indeed, cost management is a must for any enterprise. The recruitment of an employee whose wage will be higher than the one that is planned can be an obstacle for recruiters.

Boredom and dissatisfaction at work

Another argument of recruiters who are against this type of recruitment is boredom. In fact, they can think that this type of profiles will not be involved enough in their job, less challenging for them. In the end, this will lead to dissatisfaction at work, increasing departures in the company.

Unsafe competition

The recruitment of employees more qualified than those already working in the enterprise can create a harmful environment for workers. In fact, old employees can think that the new ones can be a threat for them.

The advantages of the recruitment of overqualified employees

This kind of recruitment can have some advantages for enterprises :

Expertise increase

With their skills, it’s really easy for this kind of employees to reach important goals for the enterprise. It is so that, up to mangers, to let them the opportunity to use their abilities and skills to improve the current functionning of their position.

Knowledge sharing

Overqualified employees for a particular job can also have a positive influence on their colleagues. They are, through the sharing of knowledge, able to bring more about the functioning and the progress of the company.


Overqualified employees are more likely to bring innovations to their work. With their past experiences and trainings, they can bring new and innovative ideas that can really impact on the business.

Recruiting overqualified employees should not be an obstacle for recruiters. Involvement and motivation are key factors that must be taken into account in this type of recruitment. Overqualified candidates can, indeed, find a real motivation in applying for jobs that are at first glance beyond their skills: desire for change, personal reasons, etc. Thus, it is important to listen to them in order to identify their real goals.

By: Marina AGBA

Credit Photo: Unsplash

Posté dans Infos RH le .