Hiring Wisdom: If You’re Over Qualified, Please Apply

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Costco recently opened a new store here and invited all local members to a pre-opening party. Thousands of people showed up, but that is not the story…

I attended, but was more interested in talking to the new employees than looking at the merchandise and eating the free food.

Here is a quick summary of some of the conversations:

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  • New person at the gas pumps: Master’s degree in marketing, 25 years in sales and marketing, said they were “just burned out and looking for a change.”
  • Person in the photo lab: A young, 50-year-old, happens to live a block away from me. Retired from UPS and just wants something to keep him busy.
  • Person in the hearing aid department: 22-years-old, going to school, gave up a full baseball scholarship after one year because her mother got sick. She’s still in school, smart, friendly, and wants to grow.
  • Produce person: Mid-40’s, was a legal assistant who got tired of the commute and wanted to work around customers.

All are over-qualified for their new jobs. Costco was not concerned they would be looking to leave for something better.

This was originally published on Mel Kleiman’s Humetrics blog.

Mel Kleiman, CSP, is an internationally-known authority on recruiting, selecting, and hiring hourly employees. He has been the president of Humetrics since 1976 and has over 30 years of practical experience, research, consulting and professional speaking work to his credit. Contact him at mkleiman@humetrics.com.


3 Comments on “Hiring Wisdom: If You’re Over Qualified, Please Apply

  1. Phenomenal talent is all about having a positive attitude, a genuine value system and a craving to be of service to others. That just can’t be taught.

  2. What about people who may have been perfectly qualified to work at Costco but missed out on a job because of these “overqualified” folks? And what does it say about the expectations of our current business environment that so many people have “downgraded” to working at Costco from more “professional” scenarios due to stress, commute, and lack of flexibility? There’s a lot more to this story than Costco being happy to (under)pay (over)qualified folks to pump gas or process photos.

    1. But that’s the thing: Costco *doesn’t* underpay. They actually pay quite well. Costco is known for paying actual livable career wages. Some of them even top 50k, which is unheard of for a cashier at any other store.

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