One side effect of the economy: You’re likely to get more resumes from formerly upper-level employees willing to take a few steps down the ladder because they need work. Should you hire those overqualified candidates because of their valuable skills and experience? Or will they just be dissatisfied and quit?
Many companies are reluctant to hire overqualified applicants because they’re afraid the employees will be difficult or jump ship as soon as they find a job with the pay and prestige they’re used to. But some experts say those employees are often the best hires because they have a boatload of experience and make good candidates for future promotions.
So should you hire one of those candidates?
Of course, those decisions will need to be made on a case-by-case basis. But here are some things to keep in mind:
- Don’t ignore the issue. Many interviewers are afraid to talk about the concern. But asking them what your company would need to do to keep them satisfied will let you know what chance you have of hanging on to those employees.
- Consider people from other industries. Often, the best candidates are the overqualified employees who are switching businesses or making a career change. They’ll be provided with new challenges and will be looking to learn as much as they can about a new area — in contrast to someone moving down within the same field who may carry a “been there, done that” attitude.
- Show the path to advancement. If there’s a good chance overqualified employees will be candidates for promotions, let them know. Explain early on what paths employees in that job generally take. That will help you avoid having employees who feel like they’re stuck in a job they’re too good for — and let them know they won’t need to leave your company to get back to the upper level.