Hiring Overqualified Workers – A Drawback or a Prudent Step
Managers while hiring workers are always worried when they come across any overqualified person. It is a myth that hiring overqualified workers will not benefit the company in long term and will leave the space as soon as he get better opportunities. But when given good opportunities in the company why would an overqualified employee leave his own comfort space? Managers tend to forget that overqualified employees will always take a further step and behave proactively in the whole business process and this attitude is very beneficial for the organisation in the future.
“Overqualified workers tend to try different things, and through the process, they bring creative insights and find better ways of doing their work.”
Pro: It is a known fact that Hiring overqualified workers seems like a bitter platter to have. What if they quit for something better? What if they get bored with the general work? To answer these apprehensions a new research by the Academy of Management Journal found out that hiring overqualified workers can actually be a boon and a win-win situation for the employer and the employee.
Con: There is always a flip side of the coin and the same applies to the myth regarding hiring the overqualified. Unemployment is increasing rapidly and amidst the myth of hiring overqualified workers – the fact can have positive implications as well.
Jing Zhou, a professor of management and psychology at Rice University performed two studies. In the first study, he asked teachers to fill in the rank on the basis of their qualifications on a scale of seven, and in the second study he picked up technicians from a toy factory and asked them to do the same ranking as that of teachers for themselves.
The results of the studies made it clear that overqualified employees are more innovative and proactive in nature. They try new ideas and push the boundaries of the job. The teachers in the study took the initiative and designed newer teaching ideas and on the other side, the overqualified toy technicians tried designing new and unique toys.
So we can say that hiring overqualified workers can be good for managers in two ways:
- They can do more – As the employees are overqualified their actual skill set is unused and so they try to engage themselves in other activities. They can complete the assigned tasks more quickly than other employees.
- They are innovative – the extra time that they get free can be used for activities which can benefit the organisation. The extra time of the overqualified employees can be used to create better ideas and plans for the organisation.
How do you manage the overqualified?
Although it is very easy to hire an overqualified person at the same time it becomes a little tedious to keep them engaged with the organisation. Managers should keep in mind that the employees get the freedom to create fresh and better ideas. They should be pushed in such a way that they feel important and should not be reluctant to spend extra time on the company.
At the same time managers should note that employees should not be burdened. Complete freedom of space and thought should be provided. Ultimately this is for the betterment of the organisation.