The Single Biggest Lie That HR Tells Candidates

No one ever wants to admit this but it can be really intimidating working with someone who is way smarter and more talented than you.

This is the basis for the biggest lie HR tells candidates.

You are overqualified!

We’ve told this lie for decades

Truth be told, no one is ever “overqualified” for a position. You might have more qualifications than the organization needs for the position you are interviewing for, but that really isn’t the issue. The issue is the person doing the interviewing is scared that you are better than they are.

Back in the day, HR pros and hiring managers were trained to give the excuse to overqualified people that we won’t hire you because you’re overqualified and we are scared that you won’t stay in this position and that you won’t be satisfied.

Yeah, right! It’s not that we don’t want you! It’s that you won’t want us because you’re so talented that you’ll get bored with this position and leave.

It’s such a lie, and yet, for decades we just accepted it as truth.

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Being overqualified isn’t a negative, it’s a blessing! Companies should be bending over backwards to get overqualified hires. We no longer live in a culture where people are going to stay in the job for 40 years. If you can get a good 3 to 4 years out of hires, you’re doing great.

You simply need to take the best and most qualified person you can get for every position you have in your organization and let them do great things. Being worried the person will won’t be “engaged” long-term is silly. That’s not for you to worry about. Just hire great talent and get out of their way.

Hire better and you’ll get better

The bigger reality we face in most organizations is we aren’t hiring “overqualified” people because hiring managers are intimidated to hire someone who is better, or who could become better than they are. This is the mentality we must change in our organizations.

You can’t get better if you don’t hire better. Hiring under the level of talent you have now is a slow slide to becoming an organization no one wants to work for.Overqualified

Tim Sackett, MS, SPHR is executive vice president of HRU Technical Resources, a contingent staffing firm in Lansing, MI. Tim has 20 years of HR and talent background split evenly between corporate HR gigs among the Fortune 500 and the HR vendor community ? so he gets it from both sides of the desk. A frequent contributor to the talent blog Fistful of Talent, Tim also speaks at many HR conferences and events. Contact him here.

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