Underqualified Or Overqualified – Who Gets Hired First?

Finding the perfect candidate to hire can be a challenge.

Oftentimes, candidates are either underqualified or overqualified for a specific job, causing decision makers angst. While there are pros and cons to hiring either candidate, the question remains: Who will get hired first?

Let us examine their benefits and pitfalls.

The Underqualified Candidate
  • May not have all the necessary credentials.
  • Probably has not held the title before.
  • Is more than likely lacking in experience.

It may be easy to jump to conclusions and immediately rule out the underqualified candidate, reasoning he/she will not be able to hit the ground running. But what if this person is a go-getter, a visionary who has not yet had the opportunity to grow? Sometimes, an underqualified candidate can be full of surprises, driven to prove him/herself by bringing in fresh ideas, innovative solutions, and a different approach to frustrating, unsolved problems. A fresh set of eyes, so to speak!

An underqualified candidate has the motivation to prove that you made the right decision by hiring them and may work even harder to deliver their worth. Plus, you will be able to train this candidate to do things your way from the beginning (no bad habits to eliminate).

The Overqualified Candidate
  • Has the knowledge, skills, and abilities to hit the ground running.
  • Will require minimal training.
  • Has a positive impact on your company almost immediately.

It is tempting to jump at the opportunity of hiring a candidate with all the skills you need and more. But, what of the likelihood he/she soon realizes thejob is not challenging enough and needs more? If you do not have a higher position available, he/she may move on, and you will be back to square one, again.It is essential to understand why the overqualified candidate is interested in the job. From there, you will be able to determine his/her motivation and whether the position is considered a transitional option until a better one presents itself.

Photo By Kraken Images

Making the Right Decision

Every job has its place in an organization, so it is crucial to hire the candidate that is the best fit for your immediate needs. But it is also essential to assess the candidate’s personality and whether he/she will be a cultural fit. While a candidate may have all the “hard skills” required, soft skills like communication, problem-solving, time management, work ethic and attitude go a long way. The candidate who aligns with the organization’s values is in it for the long haul. He/she will then be ready and able to fulfil the requirements of the position, get the job, and ultimately succeed!

Overqualified or Underqualified then becomes irrelevant.