Laura Iñiguez, Content Manager at Hirebook
Laura is a content and social media strategist with deep experience in Employee Engagement, People Management, and Culture. She works with Hirebook to bring their innovative best practices to life through content, videos, and webinars seen by thousands around the globe.
Pub: December 15 2021
Upd: January 23 2023
As we develop our professional paths, we’ll meet people who have a better skill set, more knowledge, and are basically smarter than us. For some employees, working with people who are smarter means learning opportunities and a chance to grow, but others find it intimidating and would rather be the ones shining all the time and not let anyone else steal their spotlight.
It can be especially difficult for entrepreneurs who’ve built successful businesses on their own to hire people that are smarter in certain areas, after all, not everyone likes to admit they need help when they’ve come a long way by themselves.
But a truly intelligent move we can make when looking to fill out a position is to actually hire the most talented candidate and not just someone who fits in the job description. Thriving organizations are built by smart individuals, and putting ego before talent can have devastating results. In fact, according to the Harvard Business Review, bad decisions when hiring can account for up to 80% of employee turnover, and turnover can cost between 50-500% of an employee’s annual salary! So, having a thorough hiring process and choosing a qualified person over your ego can save you a lot of money and stress.
When companies are looking to hire new people and find employees, candidates usually go through an interview process with HR professionals and, if they move forward in the process, they’ll meet with their potential leadership team. But a hiring manager should deeply review the candidate’s qualifications in his or her resume and not just see if they’ll be a good fit for the position, but also examine if people around this position could benefit from the new potential hire. Would this candidate bring something to the table we could learn from?
Managers have to be observant about the kind of team they want to build if they’re striving for excellence. There are little to no benefits from a team full of average-performing employees, but if you let your ‘delusions of grandeur’ get in the way, you’ll end up working with a group of people that won’t make each other better, causing big failures to the company.
Job Competencies are Not a Grocery List
Every position has a job description laying out the competencies and skills required to perform it best. We’ve all doubted to apply for a job because we may be short on covering everything a company’s looking for according to the job listing, but sometimes we feel confident enough with our other strengths that we end up applying hoping for the best. On the other side of things, HR specialists and managers can be severe and immediately eliminate those resumes that don’t meet every single thing on the list, or even those who have better qualifications. We can’t treat a job description as a grocery list and try to check off every item, people have better things to offer than go beyond what we see on paper.
Why won’t managers give better candidates a chance?
Feeling intimidated by people we consider better than us is not unusual. Managers can perceive someone more knowledgeable and capable as a threat, but this mindset can only cause damage to a company and ourselves. If we keep thinking we should be the best at everything, not only will we not build our teams with high-performing people, but we’ll end up trying to do everyone’s job in our search to demonstrate how ‘great’ we are, causing extreme physical and mental exhaustion. A leader is supposed to guide their people, not do their jobs for them.
The cure to this is to simply hire smart people, people who not only will do an excellent job in their position, but that also excel in different areas that you do. Provide your employees the opportunity to succeed by giving them a game field that’s up to their level, and let them exploit their skills by allowing them to share their knowledge with their peers and supporting others.
Efficiency Starts in Recruitment
Leaving all our fears behind and putting our ego aside, you should think about how the recruitment and hiring process is working to provide managers with top talent. Company culture plays a huge role in the crafting of this process, so if we’re ok with average work, we’ll only recruit and hire average performers. Using LinkedIn for recruitment is the most significant trend in the professional marketplace right now. If a group of candidates applied for a job at your company, you’ll want to have their resumes on hand. You can scrape for profile URLs with LinkedIn People Finder so you don’t have to look for them individually every time you need to consult them. Or perhaps you want to go looking for the ideal smarter candidate even if they aren’t looking for you Or using the benefits of an employer of record to save your time and deal with recruitment processes and other compliance obligations of employers.
You can design your interview process in different steps, starting with finding out how your candidate thinks, asking about their past experience and achievements, and finally discovering what they want career-wise. Some managers like to move on to an interview, where they can see candidates perform in a team environment. This process doesn’t have to be set in stone, and you can move around it depending on what your gut tells you, keeping in mind that the best candidates are what’s best for the team and the organization, even when you may feel a little intimidated by them, but as the leader, you must know how to use their strengths to your and your organization’s advantage.
We should always be encouraged to keep on learning and improving ourselves. Sometimes this improvement doesn’t come from a school course but from the people around us. So it’s only smart to surround ourselves with intelligent people we can learn from and inspire us to be better. It can only lead to a better future and the company’s success!
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