Why Hearing “You Have too much Experience” from a Recruiter Isn’t an Insult

With layoffs occurring so frequently these days, it is very common for recruiters to have candidates interested in jobs that the candidate is vastly over-qualified for. In the eyes of the candidate, and understandably so, they need a job and if they possess the skill set necessary for the job it should be a fit. With their college degree and years of experience, how could they not be an asset to a company in a position they more than qualify for? However, what a lot of these candidates are hearing is that the job position is not a good fit for them.
So why is this? Well, from the perspective of the company/hiring manager, hiring someone who is over-qualified for the position is a huge risk that the company is not willing to take. In their eyes, they believe that the over-qualified candidate will only be taking this job temporarily, and if a better offer comes their way in a few months they will jump on the position that is more their caliber. The investment taken out on a new employee does not pay off if the employee leaves after a couple months, and leaves the company in a very undesireable position.
While the sound of “too much experience” may not make sense, if you break it down it does. A company doesn’t want an employee with much more experience than their superior because it could lead to issues in team synergy and respect in that individual’s immediate superior. Company structure exists for a reason, and although there is no perfect company without small, inherent problems between employees and their superiors, no company wants to knowingly enter into a professional relationship in a situation that is prone for discord.
While this may seem discouraging, if the candidate has been told they are too experienced for a certain position then that candidate is already on the recruiter’s radar, it is very possible another opportunity will become available that is more the speed of the candidate. Plus, with all things in life, one should never try to force a fit– especially with something that plays such a big role in life. The job market is changing and we have been seeing several companies creating new positions as their company grows, so hang in there and sooner or later your knowledge will pay off.