How bad is it to be ‘overqualified’?

Everyone has heard about job candidates being rejected because they were "overqualified." But does this hold up when it comes to executive recruitment? Writing for ERE.net, recruitment professional Dr. John Sullivan argues that there's no such thing as being "overqualified."

If anything, Dr. Sullivan says companies should hire these individuals because they exceed their requirements and ignore the "old wives' tale" that it will hurt performance. Though he warns against being too confident in a candidate's credentials, since they could be exaggerated or have a "short shelf life," hiring someone with a surplus of experience and skills comes with more pros than cons, especially in the current economy.

"It seems silly and inconsistent to me that hiring managers who are continually complaining about the high volume of unqualified candidates are willing to further weaken their candidate pool by rejecting individuals with too many qualifications," Dr. Sullivan writes. "Rejecting someone because they have too much of what you desperately need seems at best illogical."

Companies understandably worry about their long-term plan when it comes to hiring, and if an overqualified candidate won't be satisfied in the offered position for long, passing over them makes sense for both parties.

However, negotiation can ensure that companies don't miss out on a stellar executive. Hiring managers can address concerns during the interview process and work out a plan that fits the needs of the applicant. Their extra experience should be seen as a benefit that will set an example for others within the company rather than a liability. The right person shouldn't be overlooked for superficial reasons.

Executive search consultants focus on finding the candidate who has all of the relevant qualities for your business.

Finding people is easy, but finding the RIGHT people is not. YES Partners helps companies FIND the right people – for all company functions, across many industries and globally.

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