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Brobston Group Blog

Please Hire that Overqualified Candidate

April 28, 2021
3

So you have an “overqualified” candidate interested in your open role? Congratulations!! What a great opportunity to exceed the value you were seeking to acquire.

But now you have all these questions and concerning thoughts about the candidate. Maybe it would just be easier to look for a more traditional fit: someone who will be excited for more money, growth, and who will have similar experience to the existing team.

But before you decide to pass, I’d like to take a moment to advocate that you give the next overqualified candidate you find an opportunity to convince you it will work – because the benefits of hiring an overqualified candidate can be enormous.

It’s common for employers to make many of the below assumptions

  1. They won’t be happy earning less money
  2. They won’t be happy with a more junior title
  3. They won’t be happy with fewer direct reports, requiring you to be more hands-on and have less support
  4. They won’t assimilate into a more junior team
  5. They won’t be happy reporting to someone who may have less experience than you

 

Since each person is in a different place in their professional life, it’s worth exploring the candidate’s feelings about each point instead of making assumptions. I suggest these goals of that exploration: Does the candidate effectively demonstrate their humility, while explaining what their professional objectives are, and making their case that none of these 5 points is a factor for them?

So you’ve explored these questions and the candidate has convinced you they are not a factor? Why should you hire them? Because they can significantly benefit the company.

  • A candidate that demonstrates humility, competence, confidence, and collaborative abilities is a winner.
  • Their professional maturity will be contagious and will benefit their more junior colleagues.
  • Their hire will likely stimulate professional growth in their supervisor – as they now will learn how to manage a team-member with different strengths.
  • Since they will likely be older than the team average, they will increase diversity in your workplace – a goal of most organizations at this point. Diversity drives creativity and can enable new solutions to old problems.
  • The company will be the beneficiary of their skills and years of experience.
  • They are a bargain!

 

They have all the skills and experience required for the role, expressed a strong interest, and are perfectly happy with the title and compensation. Hire them!

About the contributor
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William Brobston

William Brobston spent 15 years in the luxury retail industry, holding senior leadership roles with European and American luxury apparel & fine jewelry brands before launching Brobston Group in 2017.

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