Why Hiring People Better Than You Makes You Look Good
One of the smartest things you can do is hire people with skills you don’t have. We tend to lean towards people with whom we connect and we connect with people who are most like us. When actually what our team might need is someone with different skills to our own.
Even for those of us in the middle tier or lower third of an organisation opportunities sometimes arise where you get to be part of the decision-making about adding staff to your team. If you get that opportunity remember a few simple things:
You will have your own personal biases (for better or worse)
We are complex beings. This concept may be familiar to you when you consider that you can make immediate judgements about people you come across at work, in a store or even briefly on public transport. You can instantly like or dislike someone without really understanding why on the basis of how they look or speak.
If you recognise this aspect of human nature you can make a conscious effort to keep an open mind about every candidate and form your views based on their experience and interview.
Be clear about the current strengths of your team – and what is missing
Know what strengths and weaknesses you have in your team so that you know exactly what you need.
If you have a team of extroverts, it might be beneficial to consider someone more circumspect and conservative (all other things being equal such as qualifications and suitability for the role). Broadly speaking .introverts don’t tend to make decisions on the spot but need time to reflect and consider. This quality provides balance to a team of extroverts who are prone to speaking quickly from instinct.
If you feel like someone is better than you – that’s a good sign
Sometimes it can be intimidating to interview someone who you observe has strengths that you do not have. In particular if you are recruiting for a role that reports to you. If you can put that aside however and understand that hiring someone with strengths that you do not have makes your team stronger.
Let’s say that you don’t have great confidence in public speaking, ranging from speaking up in large meetings or giving a presentation in front of peers. It is not that you don’t know the material; it’s just not something you naturally enjoy. You do it but you are conscious that your anxiety is evident to others. In a job interview this anxiety also emerges. It doesn’t stop you however (you got the job you currently have – right?) but you realise it is just not your strength.
So in comes someone to a job interview with you and they are everything in that interview that you wish you were. They are confident, natural and eloquent with no visible physiological anxiety. In the process of the interview it is clear they enjoy the challenge of speaking in groups, presentations and their performance in the interview shows you what they might bring to the team if they were successful.
Leave your ego at the door
In the example above, you may or may not decide to hire that person for different reasons once you line all the candidates up against each other. But if you decide to make a conscious decision to put your ego aside, you will make a decision that is not influenced or coloured by how you are feeling about yourself.
DotPointz to remember to build a stronger team in the hiring process;
Hiring someone with strengths that you and your team don’t have – makes the team stronger and increases efficiency
Hiring someone who you perceive is better than you – does not threaten your job it makes you look good