We love your background and think you’d make a great addition to our team, but you’re overqualified. How many times have you heard that? Or, said it? This can be frustrating when hoping to receive that offer. Often times we don’t even get a first interview before hearing those words! When I hear the term overqualified, I cringe.
Given the shortage of talent in the legal market, why do decision makers have such a narrow focus? Shouldn’t we aim to be creative and focus on hiring a qualified person to handle the responsibilities of the position? This is an issue in both law firms and corporations. Time after time we hear that organizations can’t keep up with workload. In law firms, there is revenue sitting in the firm because of a lack of resources to get work out the door. In house legal departments cannot keep up with the pressure from executives.
Anytime there is a struggle, there is an opportunity for a new approach. I see some law firms relaxing on the pressure of partnership and being creative to who they are bringing in. I understand the importance of proper associate to partner ratios, but the lack of associate depth is the new norm. Hiring more experienced attorneys to round out a practice is better than overworking your current team or leaving certain roles vacant. More often than not, a more experienced individual provides more stability and usually has a better skillset. Plus, this will improve your bottom line and ability to take on more work.
Executive Vice President