Should You Hire an Overqualified Marketing Candidate?

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There is an unofficial rule in recruiting that says you should never hire an overqualified candidate. The thinking goes that these candidates will get bored and resentful, turn in a mediocre performance, and jump ship at the first opportunity. But in a time of talent shortages, no qualified candidate can be rejected outright. Below we discuss the pros and cons of hiring an overqualified candidate to help inform your decision making.


  • Onboarding – Someone is designated as overqualified because they have a surplus of skills and experience. That means it will take little to no time for them to settle into their job and start producing results. You will need to acclimate them to your company, but otherwise the time, money, and resources necessary for training are minimal.
  • Output – Another way to think about overqualification is having more talent than you need, or are paying for. The impact these professionals can make is often greater than what they’re compensated for. You don’t want to exploit them, of course, but you can take advantage of their full range of credentials.
  • Potential – An overqualified candidate might not be the best fit for this job, but what about the one above it? Recruiting gets harder the higher up the ladder you go. Bringing manager-caliber talent into your organization at any level can prove to be an asset when you need to make a promotion.


  • Attitude – You need to screen overqualified talent carefully because they can disrupt an office if they start work with a condescending attitude or a chip on their shoulder. This hurts the dynamic on your team(s) and motivates the bitter professional to turn in a substandard performance.
  • Cost – Overqualified candidates will expect to be paid more, if not at the start then soon afterward. If you are unable or unwilling to pay them more, it can enhance their feelings of bitterness and further compromise their performance. The solution is to lay out clear pay expectations/schedules before extending the job offer.
  • Turnover – It’s easy for overqualified talent to conclude they can get a better job elsewhere and actively look for other employment. When something does come along, they have a lot of motivation to leap at the opportunity, opening up a sudden hole in your workforce. When you interview these candidates, evaluate whether they are interested in just any job or have some stronger motivation for wanting the job you have to offer.

You need to be careful when hiring overqualified candidates, but you shouldn’t dismiss the possibility outright. Careful recruiting and onboarding can connect you with professionals who may be overqualified but are just right for the job. The next time you’re searching for talent, rely on the resources of Artemis Consultants.Artemis_CTA_RequestTalent

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