French & German Recruitment

As a market leader in the search and selection of bilingual and multilingual professionals, French & German Recruitment is dedicated to helping organisations throughout the UK and Europe with their recruitment needs.

With over 10 years experience in language recruitment and with drive, commitment and expert knowledge, we offer an unparalleled recruitment service.

Your candidate is 'overqualified'? Good!

Posted: 2015-02-18
job interview (image: hiring manager dreams of angling the best man or woman for the job, but every once in a while a recruiter also meets a candidate who is not only experienced enough for a vacancy but is, in fact, 'overqualified', a word that has become fraught with negative connotations in the last couple of decades. 
What this means in plain English is that while this candidate might know the ins and outs of the position he has applied for, he is also assumed to bring with him a fair bit of baggage for a number of reasons. Some believe that he might get bored and quit, while others believe that he might come across as presumptuous or arrogant by others. Such is the prejudice against such candidates that most of them find it extremely tough to find a job despite their many degrees or years of experience as opposed to freshers who may be utterly unqualified but who have it infinitely easier.
Then there is the diametrically opposite school of thought which argues that there is nothing wrong with hiring overqualified candidates and that just because a candidate is applying for a job which doesn't match up to his qualifications doesn't mean that there is a catch.
To clear any confusion, we bring a few recommendations how to select the right highly qualified candidate for the vacancy at hand: 

Concentrate on the important details

If you find a CV of a physicist while looking for a copywriter at an advertising agency, will you throw it straight into the bin? Granted that the fields are radically different, but shake off that nagging feeling that the man or woman is looking for a less high-pressure job and isn't able to cope at his current work place or something judgemental like that. 
Maybe your candidate just wants to spend more time with family, or maybe he or she is a man or woman of many talents and is also an awesome writer. Having a physicist on board will only add diversity to your organisation which is always a great thing! The number of people who have gone on to become successful journalists, authors and editors after years of working in completely unrelated fields is quite large. 
So learn to separate the wheat from the chaff in an application by concentrating on the right things - ¬Ělike maybe a writing sample, the cover letter or the passionate language used in the CV.

Paying more pays off

Another reason as to why overqualified candidates are blacklisted by some employers is because they ought to be paid for the experience that they have under their belt. But rather than paying a big salary, most organisations tend to be restricted by a certain budget for each role. This often leads to hiring someone who may not be as good and whose quality of work might even damage the company's goodwill just because they don't demand a big package. Depending on the sensitivity and responsibilities of the job, this is definitely not the best route to take. Remember, if you want quality, you will have to pay for it - it doesn't come cheap or free. Instead, talk it out with them if you don't have the kind of money that they are looking for, and maybe substitute some part of the salary with perks. Even if you can't afford them now, this will help in not burning the bridges so that if a bigger, better-paying position opens up, you can bring them in.

Their loss, your gain

Since overqualified candidates tend to have a hard time finding a job, you know that they are vulnerable from one look at their CV. Now, you also know that if you give them the right opportunity and don't shy away from giving them big responsibilities, you will see that these dab hands will relish it, perform and be loyal. Such positivity often spreads to the rest of the staff, and is bound to take the overall performance of the team a notch higher in a way no number of expensive team-bonding exercises can. Additionally, the years of experience the applicant has will also be shared with all your current employees without you having to take the trouble of training him or her.