"I am not sure whether I should hire this person or not - he seems to be too good for the job" - I often come across people who get pangs in their stomach while hiring people who are smarter than them.
Through my experiential learning, I have seen the best way to grow is to consolidate, eliminate, standardize and digitize the work and sustain the gain to institutionalize the processes and practices and then move on to more challenging and unpopular assignments as they take you places and certainly help you fast track your career growth.
One hitch which i have found that holds people back is; most of the managers are not ready to hire people who are smarter than them and invariably i have found these people stuck in their current job (doing it repeatedly year on year).
We as HR Professionals must imbibe and then build this with in the culture of the organization to ensure that individual managers do not tend to overlook the fact and get too focused on their current role and day to day nitty gritties. They must not forget the fact that if they need to grow, somebody should be able to get into their shoes! Hence, it is imperative that we as managers build capabilities of our staff. Being in operations and HR, I have personally tried it with multiple people and it has worked wonders.
As a manager, I believe, we must focus on building people capabilities taking into account individual aspiration to the mutual advantage of both the company as well as individual. Most of the managers, I have found, tend to focus solely on organization objectives and take their eyes off individual goals and objectives which results in avoidable conflict and high churn. Whether we accept it or not, the fact is majority of the people leave their managers and not their organization.
In a nutshell, let us eliminate our inhibitions and start hiring people who are smarter than us as they help us keep on the edge and also help us develop and reinvent ourselves constantly. Smarter people create a smarter company and smarter company perform better specifically in tough business scenario as we are in today. In my early HR days, One of my senior HR Leader in GE told me that half of your work as a leader is over if you hire people who are smarter than yourself, put the right structure in place and align right people to the right job. I have found it true and having applied this while being genuinely interested in people development, life as an HR professional has become far more simpler and enriching!