When Julia Connell, a former chief financial officer at a regional hospital, came to work as a planner for Rob Hoxton's fee-only firm in Shepherdstown, W. Va., she appeared to be overqualified. According to conventional wisdom, new hires with skills, education, experience or abilities that significantly exceed job requirements will get bored and leave when they can. Nonetheless, Connell thrived. Three years later, she is a shareholder of the firm and managing many of its clients.

In the current economic environment, there are plenty of would-be employees who may seem too good for the job, meaning a lot of downsized talent is available. "Over the last couple of years nobody was hiring," says Caleb Brown, a certified financial planner and partner at New Planner Recruiting in Tallahassee, Fla. "They are like crazy now, especially in the Northeast. There are multiple offers for top talent."

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