Best Advice of All Time: Hire “A” Players

By March 3, 2022 April 24th, 2023 Identifying Talent

Last Updated on April 24, 2023 by Dave Schoenbeck

One of the biggest problems that businesses face is hiring the right people. Too often, business owners are swayed by superficial details and miss out on the right candidate for the job. Geoff Smart and Randy Street discuss this dilemma in their book Who. Their hiring advice can be boiled down to one tip: hire “A” players from the outset, and you can avoid pitfalls down the line.A well-dressed employee is holding a plaque and showered in currency, depicting that he is an A player.

How to Find Great Employees

Small business owners frequently fall into the trap of hiring the most affordable person for a position rather than spending the extra money on the genuinely suitable person for the job. But unfortunately, they don’t realize that hiring the wrong person can cost them much more in the long run.

Hiring a new employee requires time and resources during the training process. If the employee never learns to perform up to standard, you will, at best, miss out on additional profit by settling for lower performance. At worst, you may need to fire them and start the hiring process again, wasting that initial investment.

On the other hand, if you hire “A” players right away, you can rest assured that your company will only benefit from their attitude and experience. But how do you find these stellar employees?

To hire “A” players, you need to put in the legwork. Here are three steps that Geoff Smart and Randy Street recommend in the pages of Who.

  1. Get clear on your needs. Before hiring the right person, you must know what you’re looking for. What would the ideal candidate look like for your business? Please note that I don’t mean demographic information here. Instead, what qualities and skills would make your new hire a smash hit?
  2. Attract suitable applicants. Many business owners make the mistake of casting too wide a net when writing their job postings, hoping to attract a wide variety of candidates. Shotgun posting is a waste of time. Why bother interviewing someone who doesn’t check all of your boxes? Instead, be specific about what you’re looking for, as determined in step 1.
  3. Ask the right questions. Too many employers use a generic list of questions during the interview process, effectively learning nothing of value about each candidate. Instead, ask about their career goals, what they’re looking for in a job, what they love doing, and what they can’t stand. Value-based interviewing will tell you more than asking what type of tree they’d be.

Characteristics of Great Employees

To hire “A” players, you must know what they look like. So here are a few employee characteristics
 to look out for during your interview process.

  • Reliability
  • Honesty
  • Ambition
  • Great communication
  • People skills
  • Curiosity
  • Adaptability
  • Creativity
  • Passion

While this isn’t an exhaustive list, you’ll notice that none of these traits have anything to do with finding the cheapest candidate for the job. On the contrary, it’s worth investing in a top-tier employee if you want your business to thrive.

If you’ve been unable to hire “A” players in the past, you might need to give your hiring process a makeover. A business coach can help. Please fill out my contact form for a complimentary coaching session, then click here to sign up for my free weekly blog articles to learn even more about hiring and leadership.

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