The Danger of Hiring Overqualified Candidates

What would you do in the following situation?

Your bottom line and your sales are suffering when along comes a saviour, someone with an incredible amount of sales experience and an impressive track record.

You can’t afford to pay the person what he or she is really worth but good fortune has smiled upon you. The Great One will join your company for a mere pittance of what he is used to making.

Before you start jumping for joy, find out why. Why would someone take a cut in pay and benefits? If you can’t find an acceptable answer to that question, beware, big time.

While your new, overqualified hire will do a great job in the beginning, he or she will probably get bored and slack off after a while if the job is not demanding enough for his capabilities. Or he may start feeling that he’s underpaid. Then, before you know it he can start to feel hard done by and either becomes a pain in the behind or simply leaves.

When this happens, whatever short-term gain you may have had from hiring an overqualified candidate is more than offset by the long-term pain of lost sales, angry customers, and the cost of having to go through the hiring process all over again.

When should you hire an overqualified candidate? Hire the person when you’re absolutely sure that his or her reasons for joining your company make sense and are valid. Listen to your stomach. It will tell you what to do. It’s called intuition.

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