By Karen Axelton
If you’re looking to hire employees right now, you’re probably finding a plethora of overqualified candidates in the job market. Before you throw away another resume, stop to consider the results of a new study that shows that overqualified candidates might actually be the best people for the job.
BusinessNewsDaily.com cites the study by Aleksandra Luksyte, a professor at the University of Western Australia, who found that giving overqualified job candidates challenging assignments can greatly benefit a business.
While past research has typically shown that overqualified workers are the most dissatisfied and are likely to seek other jobs as soon as they can, Luksyte found something different. She discovered that when employers gave overqualified employees assignments that allowed them to make their own decisions, coordinate projects, lead others, or be responsible for the outcome of their work, those employees were more likely to put increased effort into both their own performance and promoting the overall welfare of the business.
“When overqualified people are placed into challenging jobs, they seem to be motivated to utilize all their under-realized potential into becoming excellent employees,” Luksyte told BusinessNewsDaily. “Our results suggest that by placing overqualified employees in complex jobs, employers may be able to influence the most important work behaviors of their overqualified incumbents.”
When overqualified employees received challenging assignments, Luksyte found, they not only handled the jobs but also went above and beyond to assist co-workers with both work-related problems, such as helping with a heavy workload, and personal problems, such as making them feel better when they were discouraged.
Luksyte told BusinessNewsDaily that study suggests hiring overqualified people could actually give a business a competitive advantage. She suggests that overqualified workers could benefit from tasks such as mentoring other employees or leading teams. Any work given to them should allow for making decisions and taking responsibility for the outcomes of work.
Image by Flickr user bpfusf (Creative Commons)