I was participating in a pretty intense discussion about the "overqualified" candidate on LinkedIn. Many felt that they were passed over and probably would have been the best fit it the recruiter/hiring manager would have given them a chance. Many stated that it's not fair for recruiters/hm's to assume they will get bored, require too much money, leave one another opportunity comes along, etc. 

Some recruiters/hm's provide their reasons for passing over the "overqualified" candidate while others say they actually take the time to speak to the "overqualified." Some stated that when they have a plethora of "just right" candidates, they simply don't have the time or feel the need to screen the "overqualified."

What are your thoughts on this issue?

Tags: Agency Recruiting, Corporate Recruiting, Human Resources, Job Seekers

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If I encounter someone who I would consider an "overqualified" candidate, I would definitely let him/her know about my opinion and explain that the finances of the company do not permit them to be hired.  Or, if it is another issue, like being too senior a manager, etc., I would provide them that information.

IF the candidate wants to take a major pay cut, and have reduced responsibilities, it's still quite possible that there are other reasons why they wouldn't be the right fit.  In such cases, if you have a receptive client, you might still ask them to at least phone interview the candidate... which probably won't make any difference, but it might.

I have had hugely 'overqualified' candidates end up getting hired, but usually it is with a different title and with more responsibilities, salary, stock options, etc.  It is a rarity, but not to be completely dismissed.

Many folks responding in the thread felt it was irresponsible of recruiters/hiring managers to overlook qualified applicants. There issue was not even getting a chance to explain why they may be interested in a job that they are "overqualified" for.

The terms "over qualified" and "under qualified" are entirely subjective.

The problem I tend to observe most is recruiters (or HMs) only willing to consider someone that has already "been there, done that" EXACTLY like the position in question. Any more/less (or different) experience is an automatic deal-breaker and results in one of the above labels being used to eliminate those applicants. 

To my thinking, a candidate who earns $300,000 per year is 'ovequalified' for a job that pays $120,000 per year.  Another aspect is that hiring managers don't want to hire in people who will soon be competing for their job or jobs above them.

 

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