How to Handle Candidates Who Are Overqualified for a Position

While some employers are wary of hiring an overqualified candidate, the risks of hiring someone who has more education or experience than required are more perceived than real, according to "Harvard Business Review." Candidates who are more skilled or experienced than their position requires don't quit because they're bored. Instead, they leave because of working conditions. When handling an overqualified candidate for a position, focus on what the candidate can bring to the company to improve it and help it grow. Then, find ways to accommodate his talents and strengths.

  1. 1.

    Make a list of assets an overqualified candidate can bring to the workplace. For instance, a candidate could benefit the company by mentoring less experienced staff, providing valuable industry contacts and representing and expanding a part of the business that lacks growth. The list can help you decide how the candidate will fit into your organization.

  2. 2.

    Tell the candidate exactly what the job entails and the expectations included. This eliminates the possibility of any misunderstandings on the candidate's end. If you can, accommodate the candidate by altering job descriptions or combining two jobs to allow the position to mesh well with the candidate's experience and qualifications. Alternatively, create special projects to allow the candidate to utilize his skills and experience outside of the position's job duties.

  3. 3.

    Offer the candidate a fair rate of pay for her skills and experience. Even though the candidate may be willing to accept less pay to secure a job, it's not a good long-term strategy to offer an overqualified candidate less than she's worth. If you can't offer a competitive wage for her skills and experience, consider the future possibilities for promotions and increased compensation and share them with her.

  4. 4.

    Insist that the candidate take at least 48 hours to think about your job offer, if applicable. Stress that you are looking to hire someone who will stay with the company, rather than use it as a stepping-stone. This will help you avoid the possibility of hiring someone who is looking for a paycheck while he's waiting for a better opportunity.