19 November 2009
How and when and, for goodness’ sake, why did “overqualified” become a reason to turn someone away from employment?
This is starting to bother me a lot. I mean, I help run a Masters program, and am advisor on a major grant to create graduate opportunities for Hispanics, am the lead on one undergraduate research program and participate in another.
But I have my doubts. Reading things like this or this... don’t help.
The concept of “overqualified” just gnaws away at the whole reason for those programs. Not just ours, but nationally. Internationally.
How are you going to create a technically skilled work force in a society when there’s a threat that that very training can be held against them?
I understand that when there are too many applications too read, you’ve got to cut something somewhere. But it seems to me that, “Oh, they’ll just leave when the economy is better” is short-sighted. This is a fantastic opportunity to get amazingly smart people in your company. Imagine the energy and talent a hiring business could recruit today if it said, “nobody is overqualified.” Even if they do leave, you’ll probably have a better company at the end than when you started.
Somehow, I can’t help but think that what’s really leading to the concept of “overqualified” is that an employer doesn’t want an employee smarter than they are. Too likely to upset delicate workplace power relationships. Or something.
I clearly don’t get it.