Should You Hire Overqualified Medical Staff for Available Positions?

Even though the economy is recovering, many healthcare professionals are still looking for work.  As a result, you likely receive many resumes from candidates who are overqualified for the position you’re offering.  Should you hire a candidate with 10 years of experience for a job that requires five?  What about a candidate with a master’s degree for a job where only a bachelor’s is necessary?

Many HR professionals steer away from overqualified candidates for fear they’ll demand too much money or leave for a better opportunity.  Others are afraid to hire someone with exceptional experience because they might outshine them in the workplace.  Before you shy away from exceptional candidates, consider just a few of the reasons hiring overqualified medical staff can benefit your organization.

Even if they leave, it can be a win/win situation.

The top reason for not hiring an overqualified candidate is that the employer fears they’ll get bored and leave.  Hiring an over experienced person is often worth it no matter how long they stay. For example, retailers and organizations with higher turnover can still get value and learn a lot from an employee who only stays employed for six months. There are also many medical corporations that hire top sales people for the same length of time and get even more than their money’s worth.  Hiring an individual with deep medical industry or technical knowledge is also worth it when you can gain their knowledge and grow the success of your organization in the time that they’re there.  All of these situations provide limited downside to bringing on someone whose experience exceeds your requirements.

You can capitalize on their additional capabilities.

There is a strong correlation between employee happiness and how much they are able to use their valued skills and abilities.  When you decide to hire an overqualified candidate, identify the additional skills that they possess and develop plans upfront for integrating them into their healthcare position.

An overqualified candidate can have more passion for your company.

If a candidate is applying for a position in which they know they’re overqualified, there’s a chance that it’s because they’ve “been there” and “done that.”  They put in the time and climbed their way up the ladder at the national hospital chain, but what you have to offer is a position they’re more passionate about.  They demonstrate more excitement for your role than do the candidates with less experience.  After all, they want to work for you because they want to, not because they have to.  If you don’t sense real excitement about the job, from an overqualified candidate don’t hire them.  You don’t just want to be a placeholder that provides a salary and benefits.

You have the work-life balance advantage.

Contrary to popular belief, hiring an employee isn’t just about the money.  While you may not be able to match the higher salary the experienced candidate was previously making, you can offer them something better: a decent compensation package and a superior lifestyle.  For example, by hiring a former ER nurse for your family clinic, you are giving her a lifestyle that her last employer couldn’t.  Instead of working 80+ hours a week, often on night shifts, she’ll be getting a more laid-back work environment with a normal schedule and a better work-life balance.

You can often “try” them before you “buy” them.

More often than not, overqualified candidates are also unemployed.  Ask if they’d be interested in a temporary role that allows you to get a feel for each other. This will help you see how committed they are to joining your team or just wanting a job.  It won’t take long to figure out if this candidate will stick around long enough be a long-term contributor to your success.  Consider defining the initial role as a consulting engagement that will turn into a permanent role if both parties remain interested.  A trial engagement also helps people determine if they can be happy in a role that is technically “beneath their experience.”

Looking for healthcare professionals with experience, credentials and a commitment to extraordinary patient care?  Let BOS Medical Staffing help.  Since 2008, BOS Medical (a division of BOS Staffing) has brought talented nurses, therapists and medical administrators together with top facilities. Our nursing and healthcare staffing recruiters go above and beyond to find the right candidate for the job.  Contact us today to find the best medical staff for your organization.

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