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Dangers Of Hiring Overqualified Candidates

In addition to psychological stresses, employees who have perceived overqualification are likely to demonstrate aberrant behaviours such as not coming to work on time, leaving before the scheduled time, and even bullying other co-workers.

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As Indian economists and politicians puzzle over the issue of job creation in the economy, those hiring candidates seem to face a different problem – how to handle a large number of qualified candidates that apply for their positions. This large pool of quality candidates is a result of the recession in the economy and the unequal demand and supply of labour. According to a Times of India report in 2018, around 50,000 graduates, 28,000 postgraduates and 3,700 Ph.D. degree holders applied for the position of 62 messengers in Uttar Pradesh, citing the lack of job opportunities as the primary reason for applying for the position. 


It is, however, the prevailing wisdom among many managers to avoid hiring overqualified candidates due to the dangers of perceived overqualification. This is a psychological theory where an employee expects to use their skills and knowledge in the workplace only to discover that this is not always the case, which can make them feel frustrated, unincentivized, and demotivated. 


A study of the immense psychological pressure employees are under found that the stress stems from the feeling that they are not sufficiently rewarded for the work that they put in. Employees put in an effort into their work and as a result, they expect rewards such as promotions and career growth. An overqualified employee may feel that this expectation has been violated.


In addition to psychological stresses, employees who have perceived overqualification are likely to demonstrate aberrant behaviours such as not coming to work on time, leaving before the scheduled time, and even bullying other co-workers.


Overqualified employees are likely to be counterproductive to the functioning of the organization and younger employees who believe they are overeducated tend to experience a greater level of perceived overqualification.


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