Don’t Overlook Overqualified Candidates for Contract Assignments

(Editor’s Note: This is the next in a series of guest blog posts about contract staffing, courtesy of Top Echelon Contracting, the recruiter’s back-office solution.  Similar posts will appear in future issues of The Pinnacle Newsletter Blog.)

Debbie Fledderjohann

Like they often do with unemployed candidates, employers tend to automatically eliminate any candidates deemed to be overqualified.  Employers assume that overqualified candidates will not be satisfied and, as a result, will not stick around long.

But according to a recent Business News Daily article, employers who blindly dismiss all overqualified job candidates could be putting themselves at a competitive disadvantage.  A recent study discussed in the article found that if these candidates are given challenging assignments, they can have a positive impact on a company.

According to the article, overqualified candidates can thrive in complex positions where they:

  • Can freely make decisions
  • Coordinate or lead others
  • Be responsible for the outcomes of their work actions

Hmmm . . . those sound like common attributes of contract assignments.  Contractors are often brought in to take on challenging projects where they are expected to have the knowledge and skills to get the job done without a ton of oversight.  They usually decide the best way to get the job done and are responsible for the successful final outcome of a project.  Sometimes, they are even project team leaders.

Better yet, for overqualified candidates who crave a constant challenge, contracting is the perfect solution because contract assignments are only for a specific period of time.  When the project is done, they can move on to a new assignment, where they can once again put themselves to the test.

If you have candidates you are having trouble placing due to the perception that they are overqualified, you may want to consider offering them as contractors.  What may be considered a weakness in a direct-hire situation could be a great asset in a contractor.


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