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Overcome your fear of hiring the best employee

Thursday, 20 June 2013 | By Taskmaster

In theory, every job search is a search for the best possible candidate. In practice, thousands of job applicants get knocked back each year on the grounds they’re “overqualified”.


In the back of the mind of many a control freak bureaucrat lurks a deep fear.


A fear that they might, by accident or omission, accidentally hire someone who is smarter or more skilled than themselves.


Such a skilled employee might be able to go about their work without the need of micromanagement. She or he might receive praise from higher up the hierarchy. Such an employee could even overtake their boss in the corporate hierarchy!


“Oh the humanity!” the nervous bureaucratic micromanager says.


Of course, there is a different way to look at the situation.


A skilled employee might be able to creatively innovate processes, within guidelines of course, in a way that generates value for the company. She or he might form part of an experienced team that makes their boss look good without needing micromanagement. And a talented subordinate is perfect to fill their boss’ role – once their boss gets a promotion for their skills in overseeing a team competently.


Now Old Taskmaster asks this: What sort of corporate culture are you looking to build?


Aside from the late Curt Hennig, no one can lay claim to the title Mr (or for that matter Ms) Perfect. So when you recruit, will you have the humility to look for employees who might possess the specialist knowledge or skills you lack?


Or will you hire non-threatening subordinates while writing “thanks for your application” letters to those you deem “overqualified”?


Having a long, hard think about whether candidates really are “overqualified” is worth doing before you place your next job ad.


Get it done – today!