José María Peiró's contribution was supported by funds from the project SEJ2006-14086/PSIC.
Overqualified Employees: Making the Best of a Potentially Bad Situation for Individuals and Organizations
Article first published online: 6 MAY 2011
Copyright © 2011 Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Volume 4, Issue 2, pages 215–232, June 2011
How to Cite
ERDOGAN, B., BAUER, T. N., PEIRÓ, J. M. and TRUXILLO, D. M. (2011), Overqualified Employees: Making the Best of a Potentially Bad Situation for Individuals and Organizations. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 4: 215–232. doi: 10.1111/j.1754-9434.2011.01330.x
- Issue published online: 6 MAY 2011
- Article first published online: 6 MAY 2011
One of the “truisms” of personnel selection is that overqualified applicants are likely to be a poor fit and thus experience low job satisfaction and performance and higher turnover. Recently, the issue of overqualification has come to the forefront because of the economic downturn, especially in some European Union countries where unemployment rates are extremely high. However, empirical research on overqualification in the industrial–organizational/organizational behavior literature is limited. In this article, we argue that although there may be drawbacks to overqualification for both organizations and employees, overqualification may also provide a number of positive outcomes for workers and employers alike. We review the limited research on overqualification, noting the positive and negative consequences of overqualification and the conditions under which overqualified employees may be a boon to organizations. We conclude by recommending some possible research streams to better understand the overqualification phenomenon and by making recommendations for organizational practices.