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Overqualified for the Job? Recruiters Say, “Change Careers”

Recruiters don’t like placing or hiring overqualified candidates. It’s a recipe for disaster, said Nancy Anton, a corporate recruiter, consultant and speaker.

“Overqualified workers will be quickly bored, frustrated and discouraged, and the moral in the office may suffer,” she writes on her ERE.net blog. Anton said the only acceptable hire is one wh0 balances experience and the opportunity for growth and advancement.

Job seekers who want to take a step back in their careers or figure it is the only way to get a job in a down economy should consider switching positions to create room for growth and a fresh approach to the job, she said.

There is one scenario that suits overqualified candidates, she said, but not in the current hiring climate.

One hiring manager said the best time to hire overqualified is when a company is faced with rapid growth, needing to promote quickly without much runway. Having a strong bench with “A” players will position the right talent in key roles, easing the growing pains. This is not the time most companies are feeling that growth.

Mark Spoor, president of Cave Creek Partners in Colorado, disagreed with Anton in a comment on the blog:

The ladder has become the lattice and its perfectly fine to move up and down and sideways and across. Most employees have accepted this, but many companies are still clinging to a(n) up or out mentality. Also, I don’t buy that most managers want someone who is 50-70% of the capability needed for the job. Those are not the specs I am seeing.

For more on overqualified job seekers and switching careers:

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