Enrique Marú
Chief Revenue Officer
Startup Contributor

A Company’s Future Begins by Over-Qualifying its Personnel

By Enrique Marú | Fri, 08/28/2020 - 09:13

"The key to the future of work is the recognition that routine, repetitive and fragmented work is no longer efficient, it is outdated." - Alvin Toffler

Only in the last few years, perhaps the last two decades, have thousands of companies around the world begun to think about the uncertainty of the future. Not by looking at a pessimistic scenario because due to the economic changes or because of the appearance of new audiences, but about the different direction in which the new opportunities suddenly began to present themselves.

This new path opened up the spectrum that brought us closer to our goals. But at the same time, it drove us away, and had nothing to do with the spirit of trade or commerce. Surely this point may seem contradictory: what is the only thing that can bring us closer and further away at the same time to achieve organizational goals? The answer is as simple as it is complex: human capital.

I know that you have heard and read this term countless times, and that it suddenly seems more of a business cliché than a reality. However, I can assure you that after several years of working for the financial services industry and other areas, the human factor is fundamental to the success or failure of any project.

Here, the difference from everything you've gotten used to is called "overqualification." 

While I could talk to you from a corporate perspective, I'm going to tell you that hiring overqualified employees will open up the market environment in a way that may even be philanthropical. Most businesses continue to expect their workers to double or even triple the number of hours worked, which, besides being an additional cost for the company's services, just gives you the same result over and over again. An overqualified person can provide you with the same results and consequently, new ways to perform a process more effectively, making their work a valuable asset to your company.

With this I am not trying to tell you that a person of such characteristics should work in an inferior position, or with a lower income. I want you to understand that sometimes, considering professionals for your teams who are capable of providing a broader perspective, can be an investment in the future, as well as bring you great results that without a doubt will help you grow. Remember, it is better to have collaborators who decide to stay with you because you believed in their work than to have large percentages in your turnover rates. 

Overqualification is the best way of integrating more than qualified workers into the company. Do not think of them as a potential danger or a future problem, look at them as the ace up your sleeve that can also help to mitigate our country's brain drain. Harnessing national resources and making them grow should become a goal that all companies prioritize. 

Okay, so you might start considering overqualified candidates for your company right now, but what about those already established within the profile? How can you encourage collective overqualification? 

While you can create a strategy, my recommendation is not to fall into the commonplace. I know that the first thing that will come to your mind will be the monetary stimuli, but before making that decision, you should evaluate what you need from your workers and how you want them to over-qualify. If you want them to be more knowledgeable in different areas, you can take courses or hold discussions with experts within your company. If you need them to have a greater vision about different techniques, consider leadership training.

In many cases, learning is often more valuable than financial incentives. Your employees may not feel the same way you do at first, but by developing new skills, they may be better able to solve problems quickly. Even if they end the employment relationship, this person will have the skills necessary to go into any other company thanks to the learning acquired. 

It may be that you now have overqualified collaborators performing day-to-day activities. Don't forget to reward them by making their opinions heard, knowing what their short- and medium-term goals are but above all, help them get as far as they want.

Start betting on personnel who are innovative, who have a proposal and who are not afraid to face expectations. The future and life of the business will be guided by the workforce that not only has love for its company, but also knows that their word carries weight when it comes to making a decision. The growth of industries depends on happy, heard and accepted workers. Their growth depends on you.

Photo by:   Enrique Marú