You’ve probably heard it yourself or from someone else: “you’re overqualified for the job.” For this reason, people who have put time, money, and effort into becoming top professionals in their industries are turned down from jobs. The qualities they believed would help them advance in their fields are the exact ones keeping them from getting the job. But what exactly does it imply
When someone is labeled overqualified, it usually indicates they have a longer and more impressive resume than the recruiting manager anticipated. HR routinely screens out these applicants, regardless of their aptitude or willingness to execute the job for which they applied. Even if the hiring manager sees the resume, some employers are unwilling to hire someone overqualified. In certain circumstances, some reasons are valid; in others, they are not.
One of the most common reasons for not recruiting overqualified personnel is the perception that they are too expensive. While this may be true in some circumstances, it is rarely the case. Even though a more experienced worker may want better compensation since they know how much more they can offer, it’s safe to assume that anyone who applied for the job is willing to work for the going rate. Other managers may argue that overqualified employees are difficult to train and will do things their way. However, if the applicant is never interviewed, the question will go unanswered.
Under-qualified managers are the most significant barrier to employing overqualified personnel. They are frequently promoted above their competence level and attempt to hide. At all costs, they avoid being noticed or making mistakes. This mentality, which is laser-focused on protecting their job, stops them from growing their team members, and they are the ones who most often dismiss people as “overqualified” because they are afraid of them.
Good managers, on the other hand, are eager to add overqualified employees to their teams. They understand that to advance in their careers, someone must be willing to take their place. Having an overqualified employee on their team will almost certainly make them look good and, as a result, provide them with a road to advancement. Even if the overqualified worker only stays on the team for a year or two, their contributions can be valuable, not just in terms of performance but also when mentoring other team members.
In the end, there are no overqualified employees, only underqualified managers. A competent manager will hire the best worker they can afford, even if that person is older, more tenured, and more experienced than them because they are willing to manage those employees’ skills to perform at their highest level. That is what gets managers promoted.
Juan Cerda is a Regional Facilitator for Workforce Solutions in the Houston-Galveston area. He conducts job search skills seminars throughout the 13-counties of the Gulf Coast region. Before joining Workforce Solutions as an Employment Counselor in 2018, he worked as a customer service manager for an international logistics service provider and port operator out of Belgium. He has a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Houston-Downtown.