Canadians say they are overqualified, but their colleagues are the opposite

by Iain Hopkins19 Nov 2012

Do you think you’re overqualified for your job? If you do, you’re in good company – almost half of Canadian workers think they’re overqualified for the position they’re in.

That’s on par with the global result from Randstad’s latest Workmonitor survey which shows an average of 47% of worldwide workers think they’re overqualified, compared to Canada’s 44%. Chinese workers were most likely to say their qualifications outstripped their position with 84% agreeing.

Hanna Vineberg, vice-president Central Ontario, Randstad Canada, said the data suggests Canadian workers may feel less challenged by their current jobs. "It raises questions about how this will affect employee turnover and retention. Employers who want to keep their best people should be looking for more and better ways to keep them challenged, upwardly mobile and happy.”

"More experience is a good thing, and can likely bring value to your business. But as an employer it's important to make sure there is room for a person to grow and develop new skills –  otherwise they will be bored," added Vineberg. "Employers now more than ever should be investing in the skills development and training that their employees value most."

Canadians were on par with the rest of the world when it came to whether they were under-qualified – one in five local workers said they don’t have the training for their job, which matches the global result. Italy seems to be the most likely to promote people past their qualifications, and47% of Italians said they are under-qualified for their role.

However, with every case of self-reporting, there will always be  those who overestimate themselves. While 20% of Canadians said they were under-qualified, 45% said they saw colleagues in a job above their educational level. A further four out of 10 see others in a job below their educational level.

Vineberg offered some examples for employers when it comes to keeping employees challenged at work. "Your employees are looking for greater variety and more autonomy. Get to know your employees' skills, goals, and aspirations, ask your employees for their input, rotate assignments or combine tasks, or help your employees set enrichment goals," Vineberg said. "When employees feel you're committed to their growth and enrichment, they'll commit to the organization and its goals."


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