Is an Overqualified Engineer Right for Your Open Job?

When your company advertises for an open engineering position, a host of qualified candidates typically apply. In some cases, a few overqualified engineers appear in the candidate pool. Do you simply disqualify these experienced professionals without question, essentially worried they might feel underutilized as part of your organization?

What follows are a few insights on how to approach the hiring decision when considering overqualified candidates. Leverage these ideas to ensure your engineering company makes the right final choice.

Will an Overqualified Candidate Stick Around for the Long Haul?

Undoubtedly, your biggest worry with an overqualified engineering candidate involves retaining their services over time. A costly hiring and onboarding process simply goes for naught if the engineer leaves before completing their first year. Making the right choice requires your interviewers to dive deep into the candidate’s motivation.

Your hiring process needs to include a few standardized questions aimed at overqualified candidates. Find out more about their personal situation and professional desires. Are they enamored with your company’s culture and project work? If so, this might be behind their reason for applying.

Additionally, pay close attention to the contents of their cover letter. This helps you weed out candidates simply sending out as many resumes as possible. Any insights into their true motivation help to drive whether or not they’d make a good employee.

Do Their Skills Translate into a Lower-Grade Role?

While an engineering candidate may be overqualified for your open position, do their skills match the needs of the open position? This is a core question that needs answering as part of the vetting process. Engineering technology moves at a fast pace and your company might use newer software tools unfamiliar to the candidate in question.

Once again, this is an area your interviewing team needs to cover with the candidate. Find out their familiarity with your toolset, as well as the role of the position to ensure they can do the work. Don’t assume that being overqualified guarantees their success in that role.

The final hiring decision needs to look at both the candidate’s motivation and their ability to perform in the position. Your interviewers’ opinions and your intuition all play an important role in making the right hiring decision.

When you need additional advice on building a great staff at your engineering firm, talk to the experts at Venteon. As one of the preeminent technical staffing agencies in the Midwest, we also have the candidates able to succeed on your team. Schedule some time with us as soon as possible.



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