Too Much of a Good Thing? Hiring Overqualified Food & Beverage Talent

November 25, 2016 in HR Best Practices



He breezed through the interview. He’s a great culture fit. He’s a true professional who really knows his stuff.

There’s just one problem:

He’s quite obviously overqualified for the role.

Should you hire him anyway or take a pass? Read the rest of this post before you make your decision:

Hiring Overqualified Talent

If you’re responsible for making hiring decisions in your food & beverage organization, an overqualified candidate raises red flags for a number of reasons:

  • He may quickly become bored with the lack of challenge – and under-perform as a result.
  • His job satisfaction may suffer, due to doing work that’s “beneath him.”
  • He may be more likely to “jump ship” as soon as another good opportunity comes along.

These arguments sound logical, but they’re not supported by research. In fact, this ERE Media post by Dr. John Sullivan cites a study which concluded that overqualified professionals, if hired, actually get higher performance appraisal ratings and perform better than average hires.


What’s more, if these individuals are empowered as employees, research shows that they do not have lower job satisfaction or higher voluntary turnover than other employees.

So when it comes to qualifications, is there really such a thing as “too much of a good thing?” Only you can decide what’s right for your organization, but here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t fear hiring overqualified food & beverage professionals:

  • They’re easier to manage. Already experienced in their functional area, highly qualified talent are ready to hit the ground running. They typically: achieve expected productivity levels quicker than most; require less training; and are easier to manage (due to their skills and confidence).
  • They immediately offer a high return on investment. Having superstars on your team, even if it’s for a shorter period than average performers, can still pay off for your organization. If you leverage their skills, experience and ideas from day one, you’ll reap a high ROI even if they don’t stay with you for several years. To take full advantage of their expertise:
    • Ask them to mentor junior employees.
    • Pick their brains to facilitate knowledge transfer from day one.
    • Involve them in brainstorming and planning to attract new business, outsmart competitors, develop new products and more.
  • They won’t be overqualified forever. Does your organization develop its professionals or promote from within? Of course it does! Evolving technology, new products and changes in the way you do business demand more from your team as time goes by. So even if candidates’ qualifications are currently beyond what’s required, that may not be the case for long. If you empower employees and provide opportunities for promotion, over-qualification issues will quickly evaporate.

Need experienced, exceptional food & beverage talent?

Trust your search to Kinsa Group. Contact our executive food & beverage recruiters today to hire the leaders, innovators and experts your organization needs – faster, simpler and more cost effectively.