Under or Overqualified Candidates: Why This Can Actually Work in Your Favour!

by | Jun 14, 2023 | Prescreening | 0 comments

By: Kelly Wilmott


In today’s job market, hiring can be stressful. Not only is it a really competitive market, but it’s also taking much longer to find the ideal candidate to fit the role and your team. In some cases, it can take in excess of 90 days to find “the one”. Of course, this is all dependent on a variety of factors, such as the size of your business, the qualifications and experience required for the role, and the availability of suitable candidates.

We hear this a lot: you needed someone in a seat yesterday and with every application you receive, you’re finding that they’re just not that perfect unicorn you had envisioned would apply; they’re either underqualified or overqualified. 

But what’s the issue with these underqualified or overqualified candidates? 

Typically, nothing.


We understand it can be frustrating receiving applications from underqualified and overqualified candidates for a position, and we also know how time-consuming it can be sifting through these candidates (that’s why we now offer a Candidate Engagement Program to agents needing the extra help), but these candidates can bring so many benefits to a team thanks to the skills, experience and qualifications they have acquired over the years in varying industries. 

Furthermore, by broadening your talent pool, it could even save you time and money in the long run if you’re willing to give them a shot, especially if they have the right personality for the role thanks to our extremely accurate personality assessments

You could be missing out on some pretty awesome candidates just because they’re not “perfect”. And let’s face it, is anyone really that perfect (unless you’re Harry Styles – he can’t seem to do anything wrong these days) 😉? So, are you curious to know what these benefits are? Don’t fret! I’ve listed them below for you: 


Benefits of hiring someone underqualified:

  • It can help you to gain a better understanding of the job market and the level of interest in your business. Even if the candidate is not qualified for the current position, they may be a good fit for a different role in the future.
  • It provides an opportunity to build relationships with potential candidates. By treating all applicants with respect and providing feedback, you can create a positive impression of your agency and encourage them to apply for future job openings.
  • It can help to increase diversity in your candidate pool. Sometimes, unqualified candidates may come from different backgrounds or have unique experiences that could benefit your agency in other ways.
  • It can highlight areas where your job description may need to be revised or clarified. If you’re consistently receiving applications from underqualified candidates, it could be a sign that the job requirements are not clearly communicated in the job ad. Need help with your job ad? We’re here to help! Check out this article, Building Better Job Ads from our Help Center, reach out to our Client Success team via live chat (click the help tab in your account) or inquire about purchasing custom job ads.


Benefits of hiring someone overqualified:

  • They bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role. Overqualified candidates can bring new perspectives, fresh ideas, and a different approach to problem-solving. They may be able to help your agency grow and develop in ways you hadn’t previously considered.
  • They can help to elevate the overall level of performance within your business. Hiring an overqualified candidate can raise the bar for everyone on the team, inspiring them to work harder and aim higher.
  • They may be able to mentor and train other employees. Overqualified candidates can help to develop the skills of less experienced team members, which can lead to improved performance and higher employee retention rates.
  • They may be more likely to stay with the company for the long term. Overqualified candidates may be more committed to the role and the business, as they are often seeking a challenge or looking to make a career change, rather than just a job.
  • They can be a great asset to your succession planning. Overqualified candidates can be considered for future leadership roles, and by hiring them now, you’re potentially building a strong talent pipeline for the future.


By focusing on these positive aspects, you can turn the experience of receiving underqualified applicants into a learning opportunity and potentially even a way to strengthen your recruitment process, while applications from overqualified candidates can turn the experience into an opportunity to strengthen your business and build a talented, high-performing team.

So the next time you receive an application from someone a little less than your idea of perfect, don’t limit your options, why not branch out and give them a chance?

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