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What Should You Do if Your Top Candidate is Actually Overqualified?

When you’re in search of the perfect candidate, your ideal situation is when everything clicks with a great match. But what happens if the best person for your open job opportunity is overqualified for the position? You may be worried about their long-term plans with your company. And you have every right to be concerned since the cost to replace an employee can be hefty. You want to make the right choice at the very start to avoid disruption to your workflow, and to the rest of your staff. So what can you do?

Consider the following points from one of the leading Staffing Agencies In Lebanon, TN to help you make a wise and informed hiring decision.

Ask Key Interview Questions

The best way to determine why an overqualified candidate has applied for a step-down position is to simply ask. As part of your interview, ask the candidate why they wish to work for your company. You may uncover that your culture, work-life balance and benefits package far outweigh a cut in pay. The person may be looking for something less than what they were doing previously because they’re interested in pursuing a different career path. A red flag is if the person’s motivation seems to be finding an interim job until a higher-paying position is available.


Consider the candidate’s skill set and knowledge. If you have growth opportunities available and future projects you think they would be suited for, discuss these possibilities and pay attention to their response. Hiring an overqualified person for one job doesn’t mean they can’t help you in other ways and grow into other roles. Never assume you know a candidate’s motivation before asking them.

Be Honest

Be upfront about the pay scale, paid time off and other benefits your company can provide, and gauge the candidate’s response. Does it seem they’ll be working for you with one foot out the door as soon as a better offer comes around? If so, they may not be the best hire for your business. But remember that when people get further along in their careers, money may not be the only motivator. Pay careful attention to how the candidate responds to your discussion of benefits.

Need Guidance?

It can help to work with a recruiter when you need to fill open positions that require specific qualifications. Your recruiter will have access to both active and passive candidates, to help you find the best fit for your staffing needs.

Contact Wood Personnel Services

We specialize in the placement of light industrial, warehouse, office, administrative, technical and management candidates. To learn more, contact us today!