In a Perfect HR World, No One is Overqualified
In a perfect world, candidates bring the essential abilities and motivations to the job they seek. If the job requirements match the candidate’s qualifications, and the job’s rewards match the candidate’s motivational requirements, this is a perfect match. However, perfection is hard to achieve. As a person moves through an organization, the job requirements change, and a person’s motivational requirements may change, also.
The Job Requirements
Let’s look at a typical array of manufacturing jobs to see where mismatches often happen. In lower-level manufacturing jobs, the requirements tend to be physical in nature. Candidates with high qualifications often surpass the job requirements, and their motivational desires are often vastly different than what the job provides. An overqualified person is defined as a person having more education, training, and experience than what the job calls for. Thus, an overqualified person often has needs which are not met by the job.
The Challenges of Career Advancement
As a person moves through a manufacturing organization, jobs tend to be less physical and more cognitive. That is, high-level jobs require greater amounts of decision-making, analysis, problem solving, etc. Here, overqualified candidates have the education, training, and job experience that the job requires. However, as shown above, this phenomenon creates a mismatch for the same person on a low-level job.
The Real Problem of Changing Job Demands
Oftentimes, organizations expect that a candidate who is a match for the lower-level job will somehow “change” as he or she rises through the jobs in an organization. Matches in the lower-level jobs meet the requirements of that job and are rewarded for doing so. But when they move to higher-level jobs, those jobs have different requirements, and they may be unable or uninterested in meeting those requirements. In other words, the demands of the job change, but the individual is not able or motivated to change with them.
Finding Solutions for Mismatches
What happens when an organization places a candidate in a lower-level job who is a match for higher-level jobs, such as an “overqualified” candidate might experience? That person is likely to perform well in the lower-level job, but needs other outlets for his or her abilities. Possible outlets include serving on audit teams, interview teams, safety teams, quality teams, etc. That is how an organization can deal with a mismatch. When that person does reach the high-level jobs, the person and the job requirements match.
Addressing Mismatches in Hiring
Here's a good example. Veterans of military service regularly look for jobs once they leave the service. Their qualifications typically are higher than the entry level jobs that many organizations offer. To address this mismatch, organizations need to provide outlets for veterans to exhibit the qualifications that the job doesn’t demand. For example, veterans may involve themselves in safety programs, selection procedures, company sponsored United Way fundraising events, training teams, or quality initiatives.
Another Mismatch in Selection
We have often seen a particular situation play out in organizations when they don’t use a rigorous selection process to select a new supervisor. Instead of using a time-tested selection process, they simply promote the best operator to be a supervisor. As a result, the organization oftentimes loses its best operator and gains a mediocre (at best) supervisor. This is another example of a mismatch.
An operator who has the qualifications to move into supervision may or may not demonstrate the supervisory abilities in the operator’s job. The qualifications for the supervisory job can only be confirmed by a battery of cognitive ability tests and a structured board interview. We’ve heard a top-level organizational official say that the selection and development of first-line supervisors may be the most important decision that an organization can make.
Hiring the Right Matches
Hiring the right matches for an organization involves forethought, time, and effort. Thankfully, 15dots is here to help. The 15dots® Selection Process puts employers in the driver’s seat with the know-how and tools to repeatedly, reliably, and independently choose the right hires. Carefully selected ability tests and structured board interviews are key tools in this effort. Reduce the number of mismatched job candidates and eliminate performance nightmares with a proven, effective, and rock-solid hiring process. Contact us to learn more.