• Mark Pearce

Quit messing around - hire people better than you

Parochial employment strategies from some Perth-based companies are having an adverse effect on their overall employee attraction and retention. 

Come on West Australia, what’s going on? Have we let our egos consume us when we’re hiring people for our businesses?

Over the past six months that phrase has re-entered the HR / Recruitment vocabulary. The one that goes, “sorry, this person is too experienced.”

What does it mean?

Well, it means some hiring managers are starting to feel intimidated, even threatened by the prospect of hiring someone who appears to be more knowledgeable or capable than them. Granted, nobody goes out intentionally to hire mediocre or under-performing people for their companies. Yet, when ego gets in the way, it's often the result.

It takes confidence and self-awareness to hire people who are different and better than you. Those business 'leaders' and managers reading, ask yourself this:

Why wouldn’t you embrace the opportunity to work with someone whose brilliance forms a different perspective?

While you think about that, here's a small selection of thoughts on why hiring someone better than you works:


Hiring smarter people is a long-term solution to micromanagement issues. Better employees know how to reach deadlines, targets and overall goals with little management. They don't want someone breathing down their neck.

And guess what? After a short while, it means you can confidently delegate work to them.

Better people build better companies

One straight out of any leadership book, but it's true. Success breeds success. High-performing people will eventually go on to hire and lead teams themselves. If you let them.

They’re more likely to hire people smarter than themselves.

Plug knowledge gaps

You can share knowledge and expertise with one another. You grow, they grow and the company grows. A win / win / win scenario – (Does one of those exist yet? – If not, I’ll claim it).

Consistently learning together has a knock-on effect. It promotes more curiosity, transparency and further growth.

Overcome challenges together

Developing a smarter team promotes opportunities for your team to overcome the toughest of challenges. It also removes the stale concept of everyone agreeing and nobody challenging the norm with enough “why” questions.

Adios, groupthink.

Managers, executives and leaders - let's start building a culture of excellence that runs through our companies. Let's try searching for people whose brilliance exceeds our own ego.

Let's go as far as implementing hiring processes that attract people better than us. Settle for nothing less.

We're still in a challenging period of uncertainty. Surely, hiring exceptional people can only result in positives for us and our companies?

It's probably time to let go of those egos and focus on moving our businesses forward.

Then you can take that well-deserved pat on the back when your competitors go to the wall because they didn’t bother.

What do you want to do now?

Inverse Energy is a search consultancy based in Perth, Western Australia with a focus on mid to senior management and leadership jobs across the energy, mining, infrastructure and defence sectors - worked on a retained or exclusive basis.