Is it a benefit or a flaw to be overqualified?

Are employers likely to hire overqualified personnel?


  • ImageDo qualified candidates apply for more junior positions?

HR professionals note a general increase of the number of candidates per position. While job seekers try to throw their net wider in order to catch more opportunities, recruitment specialists are convinced that these tactics cause confusion and that they are not beneficial both for the candidates and the companies. Experts conclude that as the job market shrinks, people with experience who are looking for a job are likely to send their documents not only for the positions that best fit their profile but also for more junior positions with much lower entry requirements.

  • Yet, are employers likely to hire people with more knowledge and experience than the required?

The answer, more often than not is no. The reason lies in the motivation. Even though such candidates might have well above the desired qualities for the job HR specialists say: “Job descriptions are written to identify the best candidate for a position and we are likely to give priority to those who best fit the requirements and have just the level we are looking for rather than some level above.”

Most people with high experience and knowledge would not be considered for junior positions as the challenge is just not right. The reason is that such people are likely to look for and expect higher pressure, responsibility and autonomy. Thus, lower positions will end up being boring and demotivating. This in turn might cause problems in the general relationships in the workplace – between workers, processes, organizational arrangements, etc. Highly experienced professionals are likely to expect that their opinions are valued and taken into account regardless of their job title. When they confront these situations, they might be disappointed and frustrated, HRs say, neither of which is a desirable outcome in a working relationship.

Thus, it is only to be expected that companies would not be likely to consider overqualified candidates. Although everyone has an equal opportunity to apply and all the CVs are reviewed, it would all depend on whether or not the expectations and requirements of both candidate and employee would meet.

Some candidates might find such a corporate stand difficult to understand especially at the time of crisis, yet hiring a candidate with knowledge and experience significantly bigger than those required for the job would not be beneficial for the company or the candidate in the longer run. Experience has shown that such employees are likely to see a junior position as a transition phase and leave as soon as they find a better fit, causing the company to lose all the time and effort invested into selecting, hiring and training them.

The Team

¨ is an international financial job site specializing in bringing together top companies, business schools and candidates to one networking platform. More than 1,000 recruiters, banks and financial institutions have advertised their vacancies on our job board. We are keen to provide the best job opportunities and career advice for all the professionals working in banking and financial markets.¨

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