“Overqualified” Applicants Often Overachieve


While established firms  typically will consider only experienced applicants in their search for Financial Services employees, they often consider too much experience a negative trait.

“Overqualified” candidates, they assume, will consider the position beneath them, will quickly become disillusioned with their lower station in the corporate world, and will soon be leaving for greener pastures. In the past, even professional recruiting firms may have fallen victim to this myth.

A major study shows, however, that overqualified hires CONSISTENTLY receive better job performance evaluations than new hires in general. The data also indicates they report similar job satisfaction levels, as much disinclination to leave their employer, and as much self-motivation as their peers.

Tempered with these findings, executives should allay their concerns that overqualified new employees may tend to be dissatisfied and actively seeking another job. Be clear about job duties, responsibilities, rewards, and expectations from both the employee and employer perspective.

Don’t cheat yourself out of potentially fantastic hires by falsely assuming that someone that has more experience than you initially felt was required for the role in question is not ultimately going to be the best person for the role.

As with any employee who shows superior ability and initiative, placing overqualified new hires in positions of trust and autonomy, will keep them motivated and more likely to stay and contribute.

Since 1999, ISC has been providing exceptional candidates to our clients in the financial arena on a nationwide basis.

Ann Zaslow-Rethaber is President of International Search Consultants, and can be reached directly at or direct dial at 888-866-7276

Anna Souers is Director of Finance Recruiters and can be reached directly at or direct dial at 800-450-3808