Top Vail Valley talent: ‘over-qualified’ but available |

Top Vail Valley talent: ‘over-qualified’ but available


Positive thinking bug – Michael Norton mug


It seems like a common hurdle for many Vail Valley job seekers these days is overcoming the concern that they may be “over-qualified.”

There are valid concerns for employers making hiring decisions when it comes to interviewing highly talented candidates who may be perceived as over-qualified candidates for a position. Although there are several challenges, it seems like the primary problem is the fear of return on investment. Investing the time and resources to successfully bring in a new, full-time employee only to have that employee leave for a higher paying position or opportunity more in line with their prior experience makes many companies nervous.

Hiring managers and companies are looking to fill open positions really need to look for the very best candidates, the ones who can provide immediate and significant impact on the business today. Yes, there is risk, and more than just the investment, but the available talent on the street and contributions they can make now outweigh those risks.

The worst-case scenario is that a hiring decision is made, the offer accepted, and the employee only sticks around for a few months. During this short stint, the knowledge that they can transfer from their vast expertise and practical experience could prove invaluable to the long term success of the company.

The best-case scenario is that they come to work engaged, energized, and enthusiastic and quickly discover that they have a long-term opportunity either in the role they were just hired into or another position where their skills, knowledge, and experience allows them to contribute at an even higher level, creating a true win-win for the company and the employee.

The world has changed and will continue to change. Lifestyles are realigning with income, not income potential, and there really are extremely talented, knowledgeable, connected and available individuals looking for an opportunity to contribute to an organization’s success today. There are strong performers looking for work. Some have solid track records of success and longevity with prior employers, and other top performers have equally impressive histories and statistics while serving multiple employers in the start-up world.

If I was a hiring manager today I wouldn’t discount a candidate because they have had several positions over several years. The nature of start-up businesses coupled with the current economic condition has put many talented people with incredible creativity, knowledge, and work ethic on the street.

I would also take a good look at all candidates, especially those who some would consider over-qualified. I would have an open, heart-to-heart discussion with those candidates to understand their intent and their near-term, mid-range, and long-term views of their careers. If I can find alignment between my corporate goals and their individual objectives, and we are both clear about expectations, I would bring in as much over-qualified talent as my budget would support.

Thanks again for all your e-mails and feedback. Whether you are one of the over-qualified or if you have questions about hiring someone who may be, let me know at and make it a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker, and CEO of He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.

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