Anchor ads are not supported on this page.

4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

The Problem of Overqualified Workers

Everyone knows that it is an employer’s market today. High unemployment continues, and the people who hire workers have never had such abundant choices.

Downsizings and business failures of the past three or four years have left competent people out of work. That expanding pool of job seekers means that instead of seven or eight applicants for a job, some positions attract hundreds of résumés of individuals looking to return to work.

As a jobseeker, you can find scores of articles that tell you how to convince someone to hire you, even though you might think you are overqualified for the position.

And, since the tables are currently tilted in favor of employers, can you blame them for hiring the best people they can?

Sponsored
Sponsored

Organizational psychologist Bruce Katcher of the Discovery Group in Sharon, Massachusetts ponders that question himself.

“The answer is, it depends,” he says. “It depends on how well you are able to integrate them into the organization, how flexible you can be with their salary, how well you provide them an opportunity to use their skills, and how carefully you nurture they along the way.”

Since up to one-third of all workers are likely to change jobs in the next year, employers need to look critically at their motivations for hiring someone.

Katcher says that employers’ desire to hire the best person available ought to be mitigated by the fact that a worker only needs certain skills to satisfactorily do a job. Other skills are often are superfluous to completing a job task. And while he points out that many job seekers are willing to take lower salaries than they once earned, they often quickly become discontent with that pay – even though they agreed to it.

He also is concerned that unless workers are challenged on the job and all the skills they possess, they may become easily disillusioned. Once that happens, these overqualified workers will be looking for work once again, leaving a void that needs to be filled again. Retention is an important part of most companies’ strategy, because it is expensive and time-consuming to have to continually hire workers.

The prospect of hiring overly qualified workers for jobs may not work out for either party, Katcher says. Any employer cherry-picking overqualified workers needs to understand that it needs to be honest with the individuals during the hiring process and not mislead them into believing the job is more than it is.

Katcher says it is okay to promise more authority as time passes, as long as that vow is fulfilled. He also says that workers that are slowly indoctrinated into the company, its mission, management, customer needs, and operations are often more likely to remain with the company.

One method of making these workers feel valued is to consult with them on problems outside their current jobs. When workers tap into their dormant skill sets, it can make their existing job more satisfying.

And, Katcher says, if an overqualified employee is doing a good job a 10 or 15 percent pay raise may mean the difference between them staying or leaving for another job. Again, that nagging retention issue comes back into focus.

Smart employers can find value in overqualified workers and keep them happy, but Katcher says they must dedicate themselves to handling them a bit differently.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Lang Lang in San Diego

Next Article

I saw Suitcase Man all the time.

Vons. The Grossmont Center Food Court. Heading up Lowell Street

Everyone knows that it is an employer’s market today. High unemployment continues, and the people who hire workers have never had such abundant choices.

Downsizings and business failures of the past three or four years have left competent people out of work. That expanding pool of job seekers means that instead of seven or eight applicants for a job, some positions attract hundreds of résumés of individuals looking to return to work.

As a jobseeker, you can find scores of articles that tell you how to convince someone to hire you, even though you might think you are overqualified for the position.

And, since the tables are currently tilted in favor of employers, can you blame them for hiring the best people they can?

Sponsored
Sponsored

Organizational psychologist Bruce Katcher of the Discovery Group in Sharon, Massachusetts ponders that question himself.

“The answer is, it depends,” he says. “It depends on how well you are able to integrate them into the organization, how flexible you can be with their salary, how well you provide them an opportunity to use their skills, and how carefully you nurture they along the way.”

Since up to one-third of all workers are likely to change jobs in the next year, employers need to look critically at their motivations for hiring someone.

Katcher says that employers’ desire to hire the best person available ought to be mitigated by the fact that a worker only needs certain skills to satisfactorily do a job. Other skills are often are superfluous to completing a job task. And while he points out that many job seekers are willing to take lower salaries than they once earned, they often quickly become discontent with that pay – even though they agreed to it.

He also is concerned that unless workers are challenged on the job and all the skills they possess, they may become easily disillusioned. Once that happens, these overqualified workers will be looking for work once again, leaving a void that needs to be filled again. Retention is an important part of most companies’ strategy, because it is expensive and time-consuming to have to continually hire workers.

The prospect of hiring overly qualified workers for jobs may not work out for either party, Katcher says. Any employer cherry-picking overqualified workers needs to understand that it needs to be honest with the individuals during the hiring process and not mislead them into believing the job is more than it is.

Katcher says it is okay to promise more authority as time passes, as long as that vow is fulfilled. He also says that workers that are slowly indoctrinated into the company, its mission, management, customer needs, and operations are often more likely to remain with the company.

One method of making these workers feel valued is to consult with them on problems outside their current jobs. When workers tap into their dormant skill sets, it can make their existing job more satisfying.

And, Katcher says, if an overqualified employee is doing a good job a 10 or 15 percent pay raise may mean the difference between them staying or leaving for another job. Again, that nagging retention issue comes back into focus.

Smart employers can find value in overqualified workers and keep them happy, but Katcher says they must dedicate themselves to handling them a bit differently.

Comments
Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

La Jolla's Whaling Bar going in new direction

47th and 805 was my City Council district when I served in 1965
Next Article

Aftermath of 99 Cents Only shut-down

Well, Dollar Tree, but no fresh fruit
Comments
Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox Movies@Home — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close

Anchor ads are not supported on this page.