#7: Hire people smarter than you

When we recruit new staff we encourage managers to hire people who are smarter than they are, with more energy and better ideas.

If this sounds strange, consider the alternative.

We value energy, optimism, flexibility, positivity, creativity, and humour.

We especially like people who are discontent, and who are prepared to take the initiative and fix the things that they think could be done better.

Just about everybody working in a senior role at Trade Me has done their time in the trenches. This isn’t an accident. We encourage people to hire their replacements.

Great people earn the respect of their co-workers through their efforts rather than by their position in the org chart.

Related posts:

Other posts from the Trade Me Manifesto series:

7 thoughts on “#7: Hire people smarter than you”

  1. I’m totally with you on this one, that’s the way to grow. I have worked in a number of companies where people are scared to be shown up for their inadequacies, not realising that by having the best people supporting them, they will themselves be lifted to new heights and maybe even learn from their experiences and differing perspectives.

    In my first role as a Technical Service Officer with Telecom I spent 4 1/2 years qualifying. During that time we had an HR personel reporting structure where you reported on the performance of the people 1 above you in rank and 1 below you (don’t laugh, there are still companies with archaic attitude, look at most large corporates). The result was that at reporting time / contract review time, people would call each other and say I’ll give you a good report if you give me one. As soon as I qualified I left and didn’t look back.

    Sadly in most large corporates in New Zealand, even in industries involved with Web 2.0 and other current technologies large clumps of management cling to protecting their positions rather than grooing their successors and moving forward to new challenges and exciting opportunities.

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