Who’s afraid of overqualified talent?

Nolan Gray Staffing

Without warning, they come from the talent pools dragging resumes overburdened with professional experience. Their references land with a thud in your applicant tracking system, setting off warning sirens.

See: overqualified talent.

What’s a recruiter to do? Do you release the secret door in the floor and watch them fall into oblivion or attempt to tame the beast called overqualified talent? With regularity, employers have opted for the former option, seeking overqualified job seekers as a threat to retention and employee satisfaction rather than an asset to their organizations.

Do recruiters need a change in their perspectives?
John Sullivan, author of 10 books related to talent management, explained on TLNT that the myth of the overqualified candidate has been allowed to fester for far too long. Especially in the current recruiting environment where applicant data is central to identifying individuals with the most relevant skills, employers shouldn’t be too quick to discount an applicant because he or she has more to offer than another job seeker.

What’s the source of fear? As Sullivan explained, there’s a perceived notion that candidates who are designated overqualified will quickly become bored in their position and leave the moment the first opportunity arises. A study conducted at Portland State University found that individuals with “excess” talent earn higher performance ratings and carry out their roles better than average job seekers. In fact, there’s very little evidence that these individuals are a detriment to an organization.

What do recruiters stand to lose?
One of the biggest missed opportunities in rejecting candidates because they’re overqualified is access to a larger talent pool. When an organization is seeking out rock stars, they likely have a very specific set of attributes they use to gauge aptitude. What’s preferable: a job seeker with all relevant skills and addition abilities, or someone who meets the bare minimum requirements?

Meanwhile, Entrepreneur explained employers will actually miss out on a cost-savings opportunity. Hiring talent who will take a lower salary but perform at a higher level will pay off when compared to bringing on board a lesser-experienced job seeker who likely needs training to reach the same competence plateau.

Overqualified talent is far from a liability, and employers need to ensure they have the necessary tools to effectively locate and attract those with advanced skills. The best recruiting software will give you the ability to isolate candidates based on their aptitudes and perform an apples-to-apples comparison among different applicants to see who can bring the most to your organization.

Jobscience | Beyond the Applicant Tracking System

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