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Should You Hire An Overqualified Candidate?

Shouldn’t having great qualifications and experience make you a top applicant? Is being overqualified the same as being underqualified? Does this face the same issues and career hurdles? Well, more often than not candidates are disregarded if they are classed as being overqualified by the hiring manager. Although this may seem tough and unfair, companies have reservations when considering someone who may have more experience than the manager! We will discuss both sides of the argument and you can decide whether it is a good decision or not.

Yes! Hire someone who is overqualified


Hiring an individual with lots of experience can result in new ideas being brought to the table, due to their expertise gained from previous positions. Which can lead to new opportunities for the company but also provide a different perspective from an experienced individual. An overqualified candidate may already be confident with the tasks that the role consists of. Therefore would need less training and guidance from more senior staff members. Resulting in a time and financial saving.  They may also be more knowledgeable in certain areas which could be beneficial for when the provide their input into the role. Which consequently could result in the candidate working well with other employees within their team. Due to their expertise and their ability to help others.

Ultimately hiring a candidate who is overqualified for the role, is hiring someone with high levels of experience and knowledge for a lower wage. They may also be keen to advance and take on more responsibility in the future and are applying for the role to get their foot in the door.

No! Don’t do it!


The main argument against hiring an overqualified candidate is that companies believe the potential employee will have a lower level of job satisfaction and will be more likely to leave the position. Result in a higher turnover rate and therefore may not in the companies best financial interest. This risk occurs when employers presume a candidate with extensive experience would feel unchallenged by the role they are applying for and would seek more advanced positions.

Hiring managers also disregard the candidate because they believe they will be unable to meet their salary expectations. More experience and qualifications mean more money! Some companies treat overly qualified candidates the same as they would underqualified ones. They disregard both and instead put their efforts into finding the best-fit candidate whose experience and educational background are most suited towards the role. Unfortuanlty for these candidates this occurs because the hiring manager simply does not have enough time or resources to interview all possible candidates.

Our Advice…

Before disregarding a candidate for being overqualified, check whether their experience and past education are relevant to the role. They may be attempting a career change away from their degree and past experience. Which is why they are applying for a more entry level role. Eliminating candidates at the first stage because you fear they will be reluctant to stay, can be viewed as unfair. This decision can only truly be made in an interview when you are able to understand their career goals and motives. However, this just isn’t always possible due to cost and time limitations.


Some candidates are now having to hide past roles or educational success on their CV to receive an interview. Do you think this is right? What are your thoughts on hiring an overqualified candidate? Let us know in the comments below!


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