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cdcox
02-10-2010, 03:09 PM
I am participating in the hiring process for an important non-technical professional-level position in my department. I'm screening the applications and there appear to be some people that are overqualified. Some are gainfully employed and others are unemployed due to the economy. We would probably pay around 2/3 or so of their peak market value to date.

We need continuity for at least 3 to 4 years (preferably longer) to consider the hire a success. I am of course skeptical that some of them would stay as long as desired, but we could really benefit from a top notch person.

Is there any circumstance where you would strongly consider an overqualified person?

DaFace
02-10-2010, 04:43 PM
I felt bad for this thread, so I figure I'll give it a bump.

stlchiefs
02-10-2010, 04:44 PM
Yes, please hire me.

Stewie
02-10-2010, 04:47 PM
Heh! We just had a layoff but we're desperate for design engineers. These are people with intimate knowledge of CAD and have some smarts, not necessarily "engineers." We're down to two finalists with Masters degrees in engineering. They're over-qualified for sure, but it's hard to turn down applicants that contribute immediately.

Sandyskc
02-10-2010, 05:03 PM
I suspect they will be so happy to have a job, they will be very loyal to your company. I know I would.

Pants
02-10-2010, 05:09 PM
I suspect they will be so happy to have a job, they will be very loyal to your company. I know I would.

But honestly, the feelings of loyalty would most likely fade in about a year or so and the prospect of a higher-paying job would most likely make them leave.

DA_T_84
02-10-2010, 05:10 PM
I've had a few interviews and I have been passed on due to lateral moves and downward moves by others.

It's hard to break in right now.

RJ
02-10-2010, 05:12 PM
Are there benefits to make up some of the difference in salary?

Stewie
02-10-2010, 05:21 PM
Are there benefits to make up some of the difference in salary?

People completely underestimate benefits. A similarly paying job from one company to another can mean a difference of $1000s in compensation per year.

Simply Red
02-10-2010, 05:25 PM
I'd have to say, considering all of the fish in the pond (currently.) Try to keep it close to a 'mutual match.'

knowing what i know about your company, which isn't a lot. :)

Mr. Laz
02-10-2010, 05:29 PM
depends on how desperate the over qualified guys is

Iowanian
02-10-2010, 05:34 PM
If the overqualified guy is hungry and just learned a hard lesson about the value of employment....I'll give him a look for sure.

LaChapelle
02-10-2010, 05:46 PM
Hire them so they can move up the ladder quickly
making you a hero in others eyes

vailpass
02-10-2010, 05:51 PM
You can get a high-performer for a mid-level price but don't complain when they leave you as soon as the economy turns up (current potus not withstanding).

Extra Point
02-10-2010, 07:15 PM
This: What Metrolike and vailpass said.

underEJ
02-10-2010, 08:14 PM
Probably better not to assume you know what a person would do, or you could miss out on a great person who really is looking for whatever you have to offer. It should be part of the interview process to discuss goals and fit, right? So, ask about it. Can you contract the position for 3 years with a non-compete clause for some protection?

RJ
02-10-2010, 08:34 PM
People completely underestimate benefits. A similarly paying job from one company to another can mean a difference of $1000s in compensation per year.


So true. My wife could go elsewhere for more money but her PTO and health insurance keep her from leaving.

I was thinking that cdcox might be underestimating those benefits when he's looking at the salary differences.

chiefforlife
02-10-2010, 08:38 PM
I would bring the issue up in the interview and hire based on the response to the question. Assuming you like everything else about the candidate.

cdcox
02-10-2010, 08:49 PM
To address some of the questions (and appreciated advice):

This would be the top level position for this person in our department. This position might be a stepping stone to a better position within the university, but to do so they would have to leave our department. This would be bad for us. We need stability in this position, 3 to 4 years min. I'd rather have a qualified but unspectacular person for four years than a superstar for a year to 18 mos.

The benefits are better than average. Holidays and administrative closings rack up around 15 days per year, plus vacation. Average health plan, retirement, etc. Also can take university classes for free. However, our department is ambitious so, everyone is a little overworked.

No way to make a long term contract to tie the person to the job.

We'll definitely try to discern the candidate's goals during the interview to find a good match. Initially we will only interview 2 or 3 individuals, so I'd like to not waste any of those slots on people who are just looking for a short-term meal ticket.

Mr. Flopnuts
02-10-2010, 08:55 PM
I am participating in the hiring process for an important non-technical professional-level position in my department. I'm screening the applications and there appear to be some people that are overqualified. Some are gainfully employed and others are unemployed due to the economy. We would probably pay around 2/3 or so of their peak market value to date.

We need continuity for at least 3 to 4 years (preferably longer) to consider the hire a success. I am of course skeptical that some of them would stay as long as desired, but we could really benefit from a top notch person.

Is there any circumstance where you would strongly consider an overqualified person?

Not really IMO. With the way things are right now, you may have them for a year or two if you're lucky. I would target individuals who were laid off from small companies that had been in their current similar positions 3+ years. I'd find the best of those and hire them.

That's knowing absolutely nothing about you, or your business.

Mr. Flopnuts
02-10-2010, 09:02 PM
To address some of the questions (and appreciated advice):

This would be the top level position for this person in our department. This position might be a stepping stone to a better position within the university, but to do so they would have to leave our department. This would be bad for us. We need stability in this position, 3 to 4 years min. I'd rather have a qualified but unspectacular person for four years than a superstar for a year to 18 mos.

The benefits are better than average. Holidays and administrative closings rack up around 15 days per year, plus vacation. Average health plan, retirement, etc. Also can take university classes for free. However, our department is ambitious so, everyone is a little overworked.

No way to make a long term contract to tie the person to the job.

We'll definitely try to discern the candidate's goals during the interview to find a good match. Initially we will only interview 2 or 3 individuals, so I'd like to not waste any of those slots on people who are just looking for a short-term meal ticket.

That's rough. You're looking for someone who's ambitious enough to achieve the top post in your department, but not ambitious enough to continue beyond that. I would definitely think about interviewing until you find people who are passionate about what your department does. Even if it means more than 2-3.

Resumes can be a good indicator to some degree, but I think in order to find out what someone's true passions are you have to talk to them about it. Resumes to me are really just sales pitches.

cdcox
02-10-2010, 09:20 PM
That's rough. You're looking for someone who's ambitious enough to achieve the top post in your department, but not ambitious enough to continue beyond that. I would definitely think about interviewing until you find people who are passionate about what your department does. Even if it means more than 2-3.

I'd never thought about it in those terms. Once people get firmly established in our university, they tend to stay in that position for a decent period of time. I've known staff people who've held basically the same position for 20 years. I know it would be unrealistic to expect someone to stay that long, but will people who come from the private sector expect to move to a better position inside 3 years?

Due to the way the university does the hiring process, it's difficult to interview a huge number of people. If none of the top 2 or 3 look good, we'll interview more, but I doubt we go much over that before we find an acceptable candidate.

RJ
02-10-2010, 09:27 PM
Have you considered looking for an overqualified person who is 5-10 years from retirement age? That might be the ideal solution.

Mr. Flopnuts
02-10-2010, 09:39 PM
I'd never thought about it in those terms. Once people get firmly established in our university, they tend to stay in that position for a decent period of time. I've known staff people who've held basically the same position for 20 years. I know it would be unrealistic to expect someone to stay that long, but will people who come from the private sector expect to move to a better position inside 3 years?

Due to the way the university does the hiring process, it's difficult to interview a huge number of people. If none of the top 2 or 3 look good, we'll interview more, but I doubt we go much over that before we find an acceptable candidate.

It really depends on what you're asking them to do regarding whether or not they'll try and move on within 3 years.

Knowing nothing about it though, my initial thought would be to heavily scrutinize the resumes, looking for people who took pride in their current positions and didn't tout the things that would make you consider them for advancement. That's really your best bet if it's a big concern that they'll bounce IMO.