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employ a steam engine to crack a nut

To use excessive, overcomplicated, or extravagant means or force to accomplish something relatively minor or simple. With this new system of issuing licenses, the government has employed a steam engine to crack a nut: four separate departments now handle each stage of an application, when a single department could easily process applications from start to finish.
See also: crack, employ, engine, nut, steam

employ someone as something

to pay someone to work in some capacity. I employed Fred as a personal secretary for about three months. Can you employ me as a stock clerk?
See also: employ

employ someone for something

to hire someone for a particular purpose. I employ him for special chores around the factory. Kelly employed Walter for emergency repairs on the night shift.
See also: employ

employ someone in something

to pay someone to work in a particular type of work. I employ Tom in machine maintenance. Laura is employed in accounting.
See also: employ
References in periodicals archive ?
Alyn and Deeside Labour MP Mark Tami records: "I employ my wife, Sally Tami, as part-time Secretary/budget control.
Nine Welsh MPs out of a total of 40 also employ their family members.
Adrian Bailey (West *Bromwich West) employs his wife, Jill Bailey, as a part time senior secretary.
Control System--Thermal reclaim systems, by their very nature, employ a variety of controls for temperature, combustion, fuel flow, air flow, material levels and logic switching.
They included Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, MP for Redditch, who employs her husband Richard Timney as a researcher and parliamentary assistant.
The company has annual sales of approximately Dan 47 billion (US$61 billion) and employs 188,000 employees in over 70 countries worldwide.
The idea behind "Twenty by Ten" comes from the premise that if the government and private sector pursue policies to increase the number of African American-owned firms, then by 2010, these businesses would employ 20% of the African American labor force.
As Project Employ reaches its mid-point, the research staff has completed a series of surveys and focus groups.
In areas such as postemployment and postretirement benefits, environmental cleanup obligations, fair value disclosures and derivatives, companies often employ experts or specialists to help them determine appropriate financial statement amounts and disclosures.
Based in Munich, Siemens AG and its subsidiaries employ 460,000 in 190 countries.
However, Welsh women entrepreneurs employ more than five members of staff per company, whereas self-employed men employ just over two, on average.
This has forced some small practitioners to offer new types of services and employ various marketing techniques.
CPBOSH, NISH and the rehabilitation agencies all work together to ensure that the JWOD Program works smoothly in its mission to employ people with severe disabilities.
The new system will employ High Speed Diverters (HSD) to handle the bags more gently, reducing the potential of the passenger's baggage being damaged.