When I was in high school, my friends and I would argue over which writer was best: Hemingway or Steinbeck?
Sometimes Faulkner was thrown into the fray.
I ran with a strange crew.
Even earlier, there was an odd desire to identify the best ballplayer or the best singer. By high school, however, I knew that there is a level of talent that is unique - think Beethoven or The Beatles - and the competition is not even in the game. Even with ability that is not sui generis, comparisons often don't seem to work because the level of talent is too different to be wisely compared.
This doesn't mean that employers shouldn't seek and hire the best qualified. They should but there are occasions when one candidate is just different than the other and the question becomes, "Which difference do we need at this time?"