Why you should hire someone smarter than you

  • Recruitment
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Richard Branson, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg all make a habit of hiring geniuses. Why? Because even though they’re global business moguls, they know they don’t have all the answers. So they recruit bright people who do. And by hiring smart, they always have talent on tap to grow their businesses. And you can do the same. But first, you need to…

Check your ego

Before you decide to hire employees who have more specialist skills than you, you have to get your ego in check. It’s easy to feel threatened when someone has an impressive CV. But remember, you’re still the boss, and your job is to keep your eye on the bigger picture—your overall business strategy. You need staff with the confidence to lead, and you need to recruit innovators with bold business ideas they can bring to life. That’s why you hire people who are smarter than you.

Smart talent helps your business succeed

We’re not measuring intelligence by IQ scores, postgraduate degrees, or memberships of MENSA. Instead, it’s about candidates who are willing to take on responsibility and make decisions that will benefit your business. You can hire them knowing they’ll get the job done, and free up your mind to focus on your bigger business vision.

If you don’t recruit them, someone else will

A well-qualified candidate will be hot property in the employment market. So if you don’t hire them, chances are your competitor will. And then they’ll be building up their business instead of yours. If you find a candidate with a niche set of skills, move fast to get them on your side.

How to handle overqualified candidates

But maybe your smart candidate is a bit too qualified for your job. You might think: “Why would they want this more junior job with their qualifications and experience?” “Will they be challenged enough in this role, and how do I know they won’t leave at short notice if they find something better?” “I can’t afford to pay what I think they’re worth.” When someone applies for a role at your business, chances are they have their own reasons. Maybe they wanted to take a step down or they’re looking for a career change. To put your mind at ease, ask them why they’re interested in your vacancy, and base your decision on the candidate in front of you. If you see potential, consider how they’d fit into your future business plans.

Find the best talent for your business

Increasingly, skills are interchangeable between industries. So even if someone’s worked in a trade completely different to yours, they can still add value to your business. So when you’re faced with a smart or overqualified candidate, remember to hire for the business you want to become, not the business you have now.


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