So you have had a change in employment status. Maybe you are a recent graduate looking for just about any job to just to get your foot into the corporate world or alternatively you are in between jobs either due to your own choosing or the dreaded r-word, retrenchments, which is an unfortunate reality in this day and age. For the average person, a pause in income does not translate to decreased financial obligations. In most situations this then means that the job seeker is tempted to look for a stop-gap measure which is in the form of any job they can get, the question is then why do you hardly ever get any responses from the seemingly easy jobs to get jobs with minimal requirements?
The word overqualified is always thrown around in situations such as these. By definition, Over-qualification is the state of being skilled or educated beyond what is necessary for a job. The first reason in relation to why there is a low response rate to overqualified candidates is the issue of fair pay. The labour laws in Zimbabwe and in most countries support the right to fair remuneration. Being a candidate that has over and above the requirements needed for the role presents an interesting situation. Although employers recognize that you potentially bring more value to the company, you are also perceived as needing higher pay even if your salary requirements haven’t even been discussed yet in interviews. Employing an overqualified candidate, therefore, presents a financial dilemma to an organisation and more often than not, they would rather hire someone that does not come with an unbudgeted increase in the wage bill.
Another pressing concern for the employer is the flight risk. They know that the reason a candidate is probably applying for jobs that require minimal qualifications is to fill in the time until they get something more suited to them. In this respect, which employer is then likely to invest resources and time inducting a new employee who is likely to leave in the near future? Such an employee as well is likely not to buy into the vision of the organisation as they have no long term plans to stay. There is also the issue of job satisfaction which is a major factor in why employers insist on employing someone with just the right qualifications with respect to the advertised vacancy. A lot of the lower level jobs involve repetitive tasks and can easily get monotonous and depressing for an individual who thinks they deserve more. A disgruntled worker is unlikely to produce work that is to the best of standards so this is a prudential move for employers.
A lot of job seekers have gone through the phase of applying for just about any job to make ends meet. The practice has not started today nor shall it end any time soon in a contracting economy where jobs suited to one’s level are hard to come by. This article tried to address all the candidates who fail to understand why they seem to get no response even for the simplest advert from the recruitment perspective.
Vanessa Machingauta is an Organisational Development Consultant with Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a Business Management and Human Resources consulting firm,