Management study: Overqualified candidates underrated
Nyberg’s findings are based on the analysis of more than 5,000 adults’ labor-force behavior over a 25-year period in a nationwide U.S. sample. The data were taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics National Longitudinal Survey of Youth.
He found that in positions with low cognitive demands, as defined by the federal government, which would include garbage collectors or car washers, employees with higher cognitive ability were less likely than others to voluntarily leave. Moreover, Nyberg said, in predicting job departure, the most mentally demanding jobs produced job dissatisfaction at three times the rate of the simplest jobs.
Nyberg said high-intelligence job candidates have many reasons for seeking a simple job. It could be for a lifestyle or health choice, an affinity for a company’s values or the simple need of earning a paycheck. He said rather than automatically rejecting an applicant who is overqualified, a hiring manager should probe to understand the applicant’s rationale.