Each hiring decision you make will impact your company. Ideally, you want to find the right candidate for the job – you want someone with the right skill set, and the right level of experience. But this doesn’t always work out in reality.

It’s common for companies to identify a number of good candidates, but they are overqualified for the position. Some are dead set against hiring overqualified candidates, and others have no issue.

Here we take a look at the risks and rewards of hiring overqualified candidates:

The Risks of Hiring an Overqualified Candidate

overqualified candidate

There are risks associated with hiring overqualified candidates. Some see the role as a temporary solution or have ulterior career motivations. Here are some of the risks of hiring an overqualified candidate:

  • They may only take the job until they find something better
  • They may be solely focused on getting promoted rather than focusing on the current role
  • They may overstep their role, creating potential conflict with managers
  • They become complacent and lack motivation
  • They may expect more frequent and larger raises

Avoid hiring a candidate just because they have experience. Would they be a good candidate if their experience level was different?

The Rewards of Hiring an Overqualified Candidate


Hiring an overqualified candidate can be advantageous for many reasons:

  • They will be easy to train – quicker ramp-up time
  • You won’t need to monitor them as closely – no hand holding
  • They generally have strong leadership skills
  • They could take on a mentorship role for other employees
  • They can bring a lot of new ideas to the table
  • Management can leverage their experience
  • They provide you with more expertise/value in the position
  • They are willing to take on new challenges

Should you hire an overqualified candidate? Maybe. It depends on whether or not you expect to move them up to a more senior role in the future, if they seem like a good fit for your team, and if you can benefit from hiring them. Remember, experience isn’t everything. So, hiring an overqualified candidate over someone with less experience is not always the best decision.

More Hiring Advice

Is your company hiring? Check out these great blog posts by our expert recruiters. They are packed with tips and advice:

3 Important Non-Monetary Costs of Bad Hires

5 Savvy Tips for Recruiting Top Talent as a Start-Up

4 Simple Ways to Improve the Candidate Experience


IQ PARTNERS is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm supporting clients across the country. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have specialist teams of recruiters in Technology (IT), Accounting and Finance, Consumer Goods, eCommerce and Retail, Financial Services and Insurance, Startup, B2B and Industrial, Operations and HR, Professional Services and Legal, Media, Digital and Marketing, Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences, Emerging Technology and Telecom, and  Sales. IQ PARTNERS has its head office in Toronto and operates internationally via Aravati Global Search Network. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.

Ross Campbell Toronto Recruiter

Ross Campbell

Ross Campbell is a Partner and Practice Lead, Financial Services & Insurance with IQ PARTNERS. Celebrating over 10 years of management consulting experience in executive search, recruitment, and training in Canadian financial services and insurance companies, Ross thrives on the belief that business can be done significantly better by investing in the right people.

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