Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 20 September 2015





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Hire people smarter than you

Hiring new employees purposefully is one of the most direct ways to build a company's success amidst ever growing external challenges. You need to have the best people working for you to beat the competition and the most intelligent way to do it, is to enhance your team's abilities at a level much higher than that of your competitors.

If you are a manager and you hope to recruit a team member, look for the most able candidates - people whose brilliance exceeds your own.


A hiring manager might compare a candidate's qualifications with the job description but not sit back and think, what can I learn from him? Some managers just don't want to be outshone by the creativity, skills and experience of a new employee. Business leaders should strive to create a team of excellence. Nobody sets out to hire B and C players but sometimes this is the result when ego or job insecurity gets in the way. And if you end up hiring B and C players, the company can end up being a total failure and you will be rated a failed leader.

As any well-seasoned recruiter knows, the most fitting applicant for a position often needs to be far better at many competencies than the actual manager doing the hiring or the person that they'll be reporting to, for that matter.

While this fact can be intimidating to the one doing the hiring, it's absolutely necessary to build a competitive organization. Highly competent employees improve the performance of their teams by imparting different perspectives.

While it's instinctual to hire people whose personalities are most like our own, a company of clones or 'yes people' seldom succeeds. You need to hire people smarter than you so they continually challenge you to improve the average performance of the team.

Some managers are intimidated by the prospect of a follower who's in some way more able or knowledgeable than them. They perceive the talented candidate as a threat. This type of thinking can have a detrimental impact on a business and in the long-run make you an obsolete leader. The remedy is to always encourage personal growth and introspection for everyone on the team.

Managers can become more acquainted with themselves by engaging and learning from new recruits and external knowledge. Inspiring leaders are most often not discovered but are created and re-created through continuous knowledge-building and skill-development for personal growth.

Some managers see themselves as victims in their personal and professional lives.

They maintain an outlook that things are being done to them and refuse to take responsibility for business outcomes.


When managers take responsibility for their actions, opportunities for improvement and growth present themselves. Instead of being insecure about their own job when hiring someone more able or knowledgeable, managers should embrace the chance to collaborate with an individual who has a brilliant, yet different perspective.

If you're rushing to get someone hired, stop and check to see if it's because you feel excited about them too early on. Are they someone you really like (someone like you, naturally) versus someone who is actually the best right fit for the job.

Yes, a likable personality is always important, but emotional hiring should not be at the expense of overlooking someone who may be better suited - in terms of attitude, ambition, demonstrated behaviour and competency - to the actual job. Design a culture and institute hiring practices to attract superstars - with no settling for less.

Create an organizational mandate to hire only A players and clearly define what that means. Craft an interview process in layers, beginning with discovering the way that a candidate thinks, enquiring about past performance and then seeking the big picture of what he or she wants from a career.

Success-focused employees will always choose candidates who complement their skills and abilities. Hiring people who are smarter than you means that the work can be confidently delegated over time. Then focus on the important stuff -- growing your business and hiring more A players.

They make our businesses more successful by bringing additional skills and valuable 'differences' to the table. Hire carefully, following the proven method of skills assessment, benchmarking, and communicating to ensure your company continues on an upward trend for years to come.


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