How to hire someone better than you

November 14, 2016 Geoffroy De Lestrange


The perfect hire – the HR dream.


Yet, it can be those who are hiring who can prevent the dream candidate getting the job.  


When a candidate is considered ‘too good’, hiring managers can get worried about their own position, about how they are going to look in comparison and even fear the stability of their own role – it is only natural. We all do it.


New, excellent candidates, though, should not be seen as a threat but rather an asset – that is how you grow the value of your business. Brilliant hires are the key to a company’s success.


So how do you put these worries aside and make sure you are making the best decision for your company?


Objectify the process


When judging candidates make sure to first take a step back. You need to ask yourself why are we hiring this person? Not just the tasks they have to perform but what do they need to bring to the business? How should they impact it? Rather than thinking on an individual level, you need to look at it from the perspective of the whole organisation.


Embrace the opportunity


Everyone in a company, not just new employees, is and should be constantly learning and developing. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and nobody can be good at everything. It is even more important for hiring managers to recognise this, using a new hire as an opportunity to support your weaker abilities and bolster your own skill set.


Rest easy


It is also important to remember that you are hiring this person to make your life easier. If you hire someone who is smarter than you or more skilled, you can be safe in the knowledge that they will do their job well. You will not have to micro-manage them, or worse, take on more work when they are failing or unable to complete it.


How then can you ensure you hire that truly excellent candidate? The true judgement of any candidate still comes down to the interview. So what questions should you be asking?


  1. Why should I not hire you?


Certainly a question that may throw many a well-prepared candidate but also one that provides an opportunity to have a true glimpse into their character. Do they just reel off a couple of generic answers or do they offer actual honest insight? A helpful clue as to the integrity of their character.


  1. If you owned this company what would you change?


Every candidate does their research on a company before an interview. A candidate should know plenty about the role they are applying for but being able to give practical and useful advice for the position above it will demonstrate a clear understanding of how the team works together as a whole and the goals it is seeking to achieve.


  1. If you were interviewing me, what would you ask?


Completely turning the interview on its head this grants you an opportunity to see how they would act in this position of responsibility. More importantly, what they ask will give a true indication of where their interests lie, what is important to them and their values.


For your next hire, rather than worrying about protecting your own individual position, choose the candidate that will actually improve the business – it is a team effort. After all, you would like to think that you were hired because you were great, not simply competent.



About the Author

Geoffroy De Lestrange

Product Marketing & Communication Director EMEA at Cornerstone OnDemand

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