Why you should be hiring people who are ‘better’ than you

“When you hire people that are smarter than you are, you prove that you are smarter than they are.” – Mark Twain

It has become a common refrain amongst those in business that good leaders hire people better than themselves. On the contrary, weak leaders surround themselves with “yes people” — those who are incapable of challenging them. Managers today are afflicted with an unfortunate misconception: that their primary job as the manager of the company is to tell other people what to do. This mentality bears a variety of repercussions, but it particularly affects the hiring process. Employers or managers infected with this misconception believe that they do not need people who are brighter or smarter than them, but rather, people who are malleable and accepting of directions. The problem is, that could not be further from the truth.

Hiring intelligently is one of the key ways to build a company’s success. Look for the most capable candidates — people whose brilliance exceeds your own. A hiring manager might compare a candidate’s qualifications with the job description but would not sit back and think about what they can learn from him or her. But that is the difference between a manager and a leader and business leaders should strive, though, toward creating a team of excellence. Nobody sets out to hire B and C players but sometimes this is the result when ego and insecurities get in the way. If those hires follow in the footsteps of their predecessors, ending up hiring B and C players later themselves, the company can end up being a total failure.

As a leader who is building out a team, your job is similar to that of an army general, i.e., to find and cultivate talented lieutenants and give them the exercises and weapons they need to succeed. You need to find the smartest people — the strongest people in the never-ending hordes of job seekers — and motivate them with a strategy and mission that is intrinsically captivating and challenging. If those people happen to be smarter or stronger than you, that is a very good thing. Simply put, hiring sharp people leads to better results. Below are the reasons why managers should swallow their pride and, as leaders, hire people who can do their jobs just as well as they can, if not better.


1. Provides opportunities to better oneself

Hiring people who are a cut above you and have professional skills and qualities that competes yours is the best learning process in your field. Such challenges provide for the positive competition in the workplace, challenging your skills and inspiring you as well as others to become a better leader as well as learn new skills. It also helps provide different perspectives to tackle issues and alternative approaches to innovate your business plans and practices. Such competitive energy in the office helps to improve the workplace environment and is beneficial for you, your team and the organisation as a whole.


2. Frees up your time and space

Hiring people who are smarter and better than you can also help you with your workload as well. For a business leader, there is always going to be a lack of time when it comes to delegating assignments. But with hiring savvy people, you are strengthening not only your team but also the organisation’s manpower. With a strong, reliable and supportive crew with you, most of your jobs can easily be delegated according to the skills required for the respective tasks and with a confident gang in place, you also find yourself having less stress and a bit of free time to learn some new skills or work on some extra project you did not get time to do. It does not mean you leave your team alone, but it means when you work as a competent team, the job tends to get done faster and easier.


3. Improves Company Culture

We have mentioned this point before, but we are focusing on this because employees make company culture and are a major asset to an organisation. With a positive, competitive yet friendly environment, not only attracts the right talent but also helps improve the company’s productivity and brand perception.


In short, set your pride aside, be neutral and hire people who are smarter because if you don’t, your competitors are surely going to.


ABL Recruitment team