Delivering the Systems and Expertise You Need to Confidently Make Great Hiring Decisions
Sure, there are some experts out there who will tell you that you can always hire A-Players, but I’m not one of them. Considering 54% of all hires are mis-hires (according to a 2000 Fortune Study) we clearly have a problem in America.
The content for discussion today comes from Global Learning Resources CEO Kevin Wheeler. He suggests that great performers tend to emerge over time, rather than appear fully formed at the interview. According to Kevin, there are four ways to improve your hiring and development systems.
1. Don’t look for “A” players, because you don’t really know who they are. Those that you think are the best, the brightest, or the smartest may not be. The problem in looking for the best is that you are always using criteria that are suspect. The fatal flaw inherent in all competency systems is change. What has been successful or what is successful in a particular place may not be in another.
2. Provide development opportunities broadly for everyone and reward and promote those who take advantage of the opportunities. If we believe that talent often emerges where we least expect it, we cannot afford to limit development opportunities only to certain levels or types of employees.
3. Have recruiters aggressively monitor and source internally. Most of the very best talent comes from within and from below. We are all enamored with the outside “guru,” and frequently pass on the person right in front of us who is equipped with the skills, the cultural understanding, and the motivation to excel.
4. Look at selecting people for broad-based competencies. We should be looking to hire people with motivation to learn, with team experience and success, with cultural compatibility, and with a basic technical skill set that can be developed by experiential opportunities and good mentoring. We need to move away from rigorous narrow competency definitions and reliance on experience as an indicator of performance.
Do I disagree with anything that Kevin has shared up to this point?
If you’ve read this blog for awhile and have implemented even 10% of what you’ve learned, you SHOULD have an issue with this last statement of his: “A” players are hard to define and impossible to recruit consistently.
In case you haven’t noticed, the hiring freeze that seemed to overtake the our nation over the last 14 months is thawing, just in time for Spring.
Here are a few of the articles that I’ve noticed in the past few days that suggest it’s time for you to pay attention and get your act together because it’s going to be time for you to start RECRUITING instead of ABSORBING…soon.
- Upstaged by Younger Rivals, Google aims to Get Hip again [LINK]
- Demand for Programmers has returned and Start-Ups are out of luck [LINK]
- Microsoft is spending 10x that of Apple to Recruit and still struggles [LINK]
- There are more than 1,000 Job Postings with the word “Java” in them on Monster [LINK]
- The same keyword results in >8,000 on CareerBuilder [LINK]
The next BLS survey isn’t due until February 4, 2011 but the statistics will continue to hold true, while there is a nationwide unemployment rate of between 9-10%, the unemployment rate for college graduates is around 5% and about 2% for married college graduates.
It’s time to get your game faces on or you’re going to be forced into hiring people in the very bottom of the barrel.
And if you haven’t checked it out GlassDoor yet, you should. Your current and former employees are talking.
You’ve been warned.
Last week Major League Baseball was rocked by an incredible story that screamed “Blog About Me!”. Cliff Lee, an 8 year veteran pitcher who’s had the chance to play in Cleveland, Philadelphia, Seattle and Texas, was the most sought after free agent of the off-season. The Rangers, who had his services for a mere 15 starts (plus the post-season) were so enamored with him that they attempted to “break the bank” to keep him in Texas. The Yankees, who have more money than any other team and like to throw that money around, offered him the second most lucrative contract for any pitcher in the history of the league (second only to their other starter, C.C. Sabathia). Lots of other teams had visions of sugarplums as well thinking that they had a chance.
In the end, Cliff Lee shocked everyone and returned to Philadelphia. A “dark horse” that didn’t even show up on the radars of any of the sports writers, Lee accepted LESS money ($50mm less to be exact, from the Yankees) to come back and play with the teammates that he really liked.
“You can definitely sense the fact that these guys step up and are up for a challenge and rise to the occasion and come up big when they need to,” Lee said before the 2009 World Series. “It’s not just one or two guys, it’s everybody. It’s a special team. To win the World Series (in 2008) and be back just proves that fact. There’s a lot of confidence here. Everyone expects to be successful.”
His former (and now current) teammate Raul Ibanez did a nice job of reinforcing what Lee was saying:
“We have a bunch of guys who are not concerned with getting attention,” Ibanez said. “They just want to win and they don’t care if they get the credit for it. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you have that mind-set, and that’s not by accident.
No one doubts that Cliff Lee is a special, special talent. What else can you deduce when a single guy shows up and changes a team’s entire track record? Some examples:
- In 2008 Cliff arrives in Philadelphia and they win their first Championship since 1983. They returned to the World Series in 2009.
- In 2010, after a mid-season trade, he arrives in Arlington and helps the Rangers reach their first World Series in Team History.
What can you learn from Cliff Lee, Philadelphia, Baseball and the Yankees? Culture really does make a difference. Below, I’ve included a video (one of many) that were created by people who LOVE this guy and are so excited to have him back in Philly – quite a different story from a place like NYC where the money’s great but the egos are huge, the spotlight is brighter and the pressure is exponentially stronger.
One other thought: Jack Daly shared with me that people who make a Career Change typically regret their decision twice in the first 30 days of being in the new role. If you had someone great who left your organization recently for more money or for more spotlight, you might consider calling them and taking them to lunch just to catch up. You just might be surprised how many times the grass wasn’t greener for them on the other side of the fence and, with just a bit of urging, they’d happily come back.
Author’s Note: The song that accompanies this video is explicit – and I’m not going to apologize.
I read a few blogs on a very regular basis and this week I want to share with you a really great post from one of them. Conor Neill, on his blog The Rhetorical Journey, recently featured a video by Randy Nelson, the Dean of Pixar University, where shared how the PROOF of a portfolio is significantly more valuable than the PROMISE of a resume.
The things that you’ll read below are truly some of the most powerful tips that I’ve ever read or heard and if you’re in any kind of leadership capacity within a business, you absolutely need to read this at least once (and I’d encourage you to read it more than once) and then take the time to watch Randy’s video. This is incredibly insightful – I hope you agree!
- Depth (in any area) – Randy believes that the best predictor of ability to master any one area is if somebody has already mastered another area. It is more likely that someone who has achieved mastery in golf will achieve mastery as a Pixar artist or programmer than any set of pre-existing talent as an artist or programmer. Mastery requires discipline more than talent. Discipline requires humility. In the highly important NASA search for the astronauts to travel to the moon they were looking for mastery after some form of setback. They placed a huge value on people who had failed and recovered. In doing new things (buzz word “Innovation”) the key skill is “failure recovery”.
- Breadth - He says they look for interested people more than interesting people. People who are broadly curious rather than just “different”. The key question is does this person “amplify me”? Can this person take my ideas and return them with passion?
- Communication - Communication requires a process of translation. When a techie speaks to an artist she must speak in language that the artist understands. Randy says that nobody can be considered articulate, because the only success of communication is that the listener can say “I understand you”.
- Collaboration - This is far beyond simple cooperation. Cooperation is for assembly lines [e.g. Ford Model T production workers]. Knowledge work requries the ability for team members to amplify each other – creating truly connected human beings.
The video for this is about 10 minutes long and it’s worth the time. You can view it below.
In the Davis Household, the start of the NFL Season is always a momentous time for our family. As we’ve been watching HBO’s Hard Knocks (I’m a huge Jets Fan) and reading about the players’ reactions to having the coaches’ critiques of them being aired for everyone to see as well as how hard the coaches push the players to perform, it got me thinking about how this kind of situation applies to businesses that don’t employ professional athletes.
Specifically, a few months ago, in advance of the NFL Draft, there was a situation where a Wide Receiver from Oklahoma State was being interviewed by the Miami Dolphins and a General Manager stepped over the line. While interviews with management are very common before these Teams make their decision to spend millions of dollars, the reason this particular interview received so much press was because the GM asked Mr. Bryant, “Is your mother a prostitute?”
I’m not interested in debating whether or not this was a fair question.
Rather, I’d like to offer the following thoughts for you to ponder as a Business Leader:
One of the common complaints I hear from Business Leaders is that the process of Topgrading is too arduous to implement or, even more common, they question why an A-Player would allow someone to put them through filling out a Career History Form or go through a 4 Hour Interview. They challenge me by saying, “Other companies that want that person won’t ask them to go through all of these steps – won’t we lose the best talent if we ask them to do so much more than our competition?”
My belief is that this a simpler situation than many would make it out to be: it’s Economics 101 where you learn about Supply and Demand. However, it’s not supply and demand from the perspective that these aforementioned Leaders would think [that A-Players are in short supply and thus have high demand]. Rather, it’s whether or not your COMPANY is in demand and the SUPPLY of positions available are limited.
Everyone is aware of those companies that have such a great culture and reputation that they have thousands of people who want to get considered for each role – Companies like Google, Oracle and DELL back in the 90′s, Bazaarvoice here in Austin a couple of years ago.
With the NFL, so many young Athletes want to have a shot at “working” for a professional team that they are more than willing to subject themselves to the Combines where they are poked and prodded and then stripped down to their underwear and asked to sprint and lift weights. They take mental acuity tests (remember Vince Young 3 years ago?). Even in the college ranks, there are young men across the country who pay hundreds of dollars to attend “camps” at major universities where the instruction that they receive is secondary to their dream of getting “noticed”.
The ultimate question I would pose to you is: What are you doing to make your Culture and your Organization one where people people WANT to get in and they’re more than happy to go through an extensive Assessment Process (like Topgrading) with a smile on their face because they know that there’s a brilliant career opportunity waiting for them on the other end if they make it through?
David Sandler once said, “You can’t teach a kid how to ride a bike at a seminar”.
With that in mind, I personally don’t believe that you can teach someone how to be a great interviewer through a blog post. My hope is, however, that by using a few of these simple tips in advance of your next interview, you can do a much better job than you previously have.
Here are my TOP 4 WAYS TO BE A GREAT INTERVIEWER
1. Setting Up the Interview Properly:
Through my volunteer efforts with EO I was responsible for managing our Event Calendar for 18 months. During that time I learned that every great event that you’ve likely ever been to had great planning at the beginning. Some companies base their entire reputation on it (i.e. Disney). When everything is planned properly it says a lot not only about your company but also significantly increases your chances for success:
- Does the candidate have a copy of the Job Description and our Company Website?
- Have they been called, confirmed and sent directions to our office?
- Do they know how long they will be there and what the schedule is during their time?
- If we don’t share the schedule or expectations, what does that say about us?
- Who will greet them when they arrive?
- What’s the 1st Impression someone will have of our company?
2. When Your Team Plans the Fight, they Won’t Fight the Plan
Be sure that the Job Description, Competencies, and Accountabilities are distributed to all of those who are interviewing the candidate and everyone on the Interviewing Schedule has gotten the chance to review and ask questions. Here’s the Checklist:
- Does everyone have the itinerary for the interviews?
- Have you been selective in choosing WHO will interview people?
- Where will they be interviewed in our office?
- Has everyone received a copy of the Candidate Packet (Resume, Description of the Role, Prior Interview Notes)?
- Does everyone involved know what role the candidate is interviewing for and how/why they are being asked to evaluate the candidate?
3. Have a GAME PLAN with your Interviewing Team:
- Add or delete questions based upon what previous information (resume, Comprehensive Interview Notes, preliminary interview notes) has revealed about the candidate.
- Assign areas of focus for your Interviewing Team so that questions aren’t redundant and everyone is maximizing their time away from their day to day responsibilities.
- Encourage everyone to establish their estimated time to spend on each section of questioning.
- Refresh your memory regarding the sequence and wording of questions to ensure a smoother interview.
- Remind everyone to never, ever write on a resume.
4. Setting the Stage for an Effective Interview once you’re Face to Face:
After a couple of minutes building rapport, let the candidate know about the expected time frame and then sell the person on being open and honest. Topgrading® suggests that you state your purpose and plan in the following way:
- Review your background, interests, and goals to see if there is a good match with the position and opportunities here
- Determine some ways to assure your smooth assimilation into your new position, should you join us
- Get some ideas regarding what you and we can do to maximize your long-range fulfillment and contributions
- Tell you more about the career opportunities we have to offer and answer any questions you have
- Understand your career history, which will be thoroughly verified in reference checks we’ll ask you to arrange with your previous managers
I had the good fortune of hearing Cameron Herold today while I am in Boston for EO’s Entrepreneurial Masters’ Program. His topic was “Leadership at 100 MPH” and a lot of the focus was on hiring with predictability and not making mistakes that really could really hurt your company.
For 2010 we’re proud to sponsor Cameron because we agree with what he teaches to Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders around the world. While I’ve heard him speak a number of times I always get a few new things each time I hear him. Here’s some quick thoughts from today that hopefully you can benefit from:
- Culture’s hard to build and easy to destroy. One of the fastest ways to destroy it is to not fire people who clearly can’t do the job they’re in. Not only that, you’re doing that “problem” employee a disservice by asking them to live on pins and needles while you’re “too chicken” to let them go.
- When you’re hiring someone new onto a team, don’t ever let your team’s “average performance” drop. More pointedly: if you’ve got 6 people on your marketing team and you’re about to hire a 7th, make sure that the person you’re hiring is at least more qualified and better than 3 or more of the existing team members to keep raising the bar.
- Ensure that you’re very clear on what your needs are when hiring and then make sure you can “smell the right person from a mile away”. Cameron used the example of going duck hunting with his grandfather as a child. Early in the morning, as the sun was coming up, small V’s of ducks would appear on the horizon and even as they were just specs a mile away Cameron’s grandfather would be able to tell whether or not they were the right ducks for them. “Nope, put your gun down” he’d say. When pressed to explain why he would clearly describe wingspan, formation of the flock and altitude. The business application isn’t a hard jump to make: it’s easy to get excited when you’re in the thrill of the hunt but you have to be very clear about what you’re hunting.
- Staying with the aforementioned parable, when Cameron was out duck hunting they’d always bring decoys to go by their blind. To an amateur, a decoy is a decoy. However, to the experienced sportsman, the use of decoys will make or break your time on the water. Choose the right decoys with the proper placement and you’ll have plenty of opportunities but choose the wrong one and you won’t attract a single target to shoot at. Business application: if you walk outside your office and look at the front door and you’re not impressed with the look, what’s an A-Player going to think? If your reception area is unattractive and your office sounds like a funeral home, how’s that 28 year-old superstar going to feel when they show up to learn more about your company culture? The morale of the story: if you’re not using the right bait, you’re going to end up eating really nasty fish or not eating at all.
- Are all of your Hiring Managers fully aware of the background that you’re looking for in team members 2 years from now? If you’re hiring for the people that your company needs TODAY, and with the scorecards of the performance targets they need to hit this month, you’re likely not attracting the A-Players who will move your company forward. Instead, they’ll be the people who will keep your company stable. Are your Hiring Managers guardians of your culture? Are they clearly aware of your company goals?
- Tread carefully during negotiations with top performers and try to avoid including profit sharing as part of their compensation plans. When you’re growing like crazy, profit-sharing can be a great bonus for people for their work but if your key players rely on profit-sharing bonuses to pay their bills and maintain their lifestyle they’ll bail as soon as the company hits any rough spots – and that’s when you’re going to need them the most. Build compensation packages that key team members feel is fair for the work that they’re doing and then have any profit-sharing programs be the cherry on top.
And lastly, Cameron shared the matrix of Jack Welch at GE used when evaluating his teams. Nicknamed “Neutron Jack” for his often rash and emotionally-devoid decisions, he was also widely regarded as one of their very best evaluators and developers of talent. In fact, Jack was the first CEO to implement executive-level Topgrading. This simple 4square was his way of slotting and categorizing talent that he already had on his team. I found it both really easy to understand/remember while also profound.
Here’s the image:
- F = FIRE THEM. NOW.
- C = COACH THEM – THERE’S STILL A CHANCE.
- H = HANDCUFF THEM. MAKE SURE THEY”RE LOCKED UP FOR THE NEXT 5 YEARS.
Tags: A-Player, A-Players, Brad Smart, hire better, hiring, hiring manager, Interview, jack welch, job description, recruit don't absorb, Retention, Scorecard, talent acquisition, Topgrading, topgrading methodology
If you’ve read this blog for any length of time you’ll know that the impact of incentive-based compensation on recruiting and retention is something that I’m both passionate and opinionated about. I’ve often referenced Dave Kurlan as being one of the top thinkers of our time with regards to sales-based compensation. But only a small portion of the typical company’s workforce is their sales team.
People in Sr. Leadership and Human Resources are likely familiar with the studies that have come out about how, on a list of the Top 10 reasons why people take or stay in a role, money typically ranks 9th or 10th. Thanks to Henry Sauer (the Dean of Rackspace University), a friend who I’ve recently had the privilege of getting to know better, I received the book DRiVE. He sent it to me because it had a profound impact on him and the way that Rackspace is working to retain their culture of “Fanatical Support” as they continue to grow.
I began reading this book as I was on a plane last week headed up to visit with a client in the Boston area and recognized quickly that this was going to be a page-turner but its information was not going to be easy to digest (and even harder to implement). On the same flight I read a new report that Dave Kurlan just released about the tenure of salespeople and how tough it is to retain them.
I wanted to share some snippets of both the book’s most compelling findings in its first 100 pages as well as interesting things from Dave’s white paper.
From Dave & The Objective Management Group:
My most recent study and analysis has shed light on some of the characteristics that determine longevity, or to use a more familiar concept, turnover prevention. Turnover, whether voluntary or involuntary, occurs when one party, either the employer or employee, is unhappy with the other. More often than not, the turnover is voluntary, and the employee resigns when income, culture, degree of difficulty or management practices are not to the salesperson’s liking. Involuntary turnover occurs less often because most sales managers are too patient, accept mediocrity, and avoid confrontation, especially a potentially uncomfortable termination.
We live in an era where employees no longer remain with a company for most of their lives. It is not unusual for a younger employee to work for several companies before they turn 30. Today, turnover is inevitable and when you consider the unique dynamic of the odds of a salesperson succeeding, the risk of expensive turnover increases dramatically.
He goes on to talk about the 5 Factors that he’s identified that are the leading indicators in predicting longevity and success for a salesperson:
- Figure It Out Factor (FIOF): In the case of retention, those who achieve overnight success tend to look for the next challenge more quickly than those who are slow and steady. Showing these talented salespeople a career path with growth opportunities, more responsibility, and promotions can offset the risk of losing “A” players too quickly.
- Sales Quotient (SQ) [Author's note: the proprietary score assigned to a candidate based on the OMG pre-hire assessment test]
- Supervision: Sales Managers must be able to effectively coach, mentor, motivate, challenge and develop these salespeople to increase their levels of success and earnings.
- Experience: Salespeople with experience – at least 5 years – are much more likely to be retained for 5 years than salespeople with less experience.
- Compensation: Salespeople who are compensated mostly by commission are twice more likely to be retained than salespeople who are compensated mostly by salary.
When you consider that salespeople are often classified as “wired to sell”, incentivized to chase deals/revenue and are often have the opportunity to earn uncapped income when they are successful dangled before them, it’s easy to think that it is because they are motivated by money. However, after reading DRiVE, I don’t believe that it is necessarily the money that is motivating them.
Here are some examples of why (taken directly from Daniel Pink’s book DRiVE):
*Author’s note: Mr. Pink references “Motivation 2.0” throughout the book. Motivation 2.0 is defined as follows: 50,000 years ago we were trying to survive as a species. Our motivations were obtaining food, running away from saber-toothed tigers and copulating – an early operating system called Motivation 1.0. As humans formed complex societies that required cooperation to get things done, M.1.0 was inadequate because it was based purely on biological drive. We developed a second drive: to see reward and avoid punishment more broadly. Motivation 2.0 was based on the theory that the way to improve performance, increase productivity and encourage excellence was to reward the good behavior and punish bad.
The trouble is that Motivation 2.0 assumes we’re the same robotic wealth-maximizers I was taught we were a couple of decades ago. Indeed, the very premise of extrinsic incentives is that we’ll always respond rationally to them. But even most economists don’t believe that any more. Sometimes these motivators work. Often they don’t. And many times, they inflict collateral damage. In short, the new way economists think about what we do is hard to reconcile with Motivation 2.0. What’s more, if people do things for lunk-headed, backward-looking reasons, why wouldn’t we also do things for significance-seeking, self-actualizing reasons? If we’re predictably irrational – and we clearly are – why couldn’t we also be predictably transcendant?
Bruno Frey, an economist at the University of Zurich, has argued that we need to move beyond the idea of Homo Oeconomicus (Economic man – the fictional wealth-maximizing robot). He suggests that the new model is Homo Oeconomicus Maturus (Mature Economic Man). He says that this figure, “is more ‘mature’ in the sense that he is endowed with a more refined motivational structure.” He goes on to write, “Intrinsic motivation is of great importance for all economic activities. It is inconceivable that people are merely motivated solely or even mainly by external incentives.”
Consider, the revelations that he revealed above were within the first 30 pages of the book. Fortunately, he’s got another 185 pages beyond this that continue to drive home his point. I’ll be blogging more in the future about many of his theories and also attempting to integrate them into the HireBetter Team’s culture and performance-centric environment. For now, if you’re not ready to go out and buy the book, I’ll share with you one other area of thought that, for me, was when I began to realize he was really on to something and that nearly all employees, even salespeople, are being motivated to perform and produce for reasons that aren’t monetarily driven. Rather, monetary reward becomes the proverbial “cherry on top” that is the result of the intrinsic motivational factors that pushed the employee to perform.
“An object in motion will stay in motion, and an object at rest will stay at rest, unless acted on by an outside force.”
Newton’s first law of motion is elegant and simple – which is one of the reasons why it is powerful. Everyone can understand it. Motivation 2.0 is similar because at its heart are two elegant and simple ideas:
Rewarding an activity will get you more of it. Punishing an activity will get you less of it.
Newtonian physics runs into problems at the subatomic level. Down there – in the land of hadrons, quarks and Schrodinger’s cat – things get freaky. The cool rationality of Isaac Newton gives way to the bizarre unpredictability of Lewis Carroll. Motivation 2.0 is similar in this regard, too. When rewards and punishments encounter our third drive, something akin to quantum mechanics seems to take over and strange things begin to happen.
Of course, the starting point for any discussion of motivation in the workplace is a simple fact of life: People have to earn a living. Salary, contract payments, some benefits, a few perks are what I call “baseline rewards”. If someone’s baseline rewards aren’t adequate or equitable, her focus will be on the unfairness of her situation and the anxiety of her circumstance. You’ll get neither the predictability of extrinsic motivation nor the weirdness of intrinsic motivation. You’ll get very little motivation at all.
But once we’re past that threshold, carrots and sticks can achieve precisely the opposite of their intended aims. Mechanisms designed to increase motivation can dampen it. Tactics aimed at boosting creativity can reduce it. Programs to promote good deeds can make them disappear. Meanwhile, instead of restraining negative behavior, rewards and punishments can often set it loose and give rise to cheating, addiction and dangerously myopic thinking.
I’ll admit it, I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to evaluating talent and Topgrading is about the best way that I’ve ever seen to do it. It’s objective, gives you a structure to follow and makes it easy to judge prospective employees without a lot of emotion.
To keep up with the latest and greatest tips for Topgrading better, I’ve subscribed to Brad’s newsletter. You can sign up here.
His most recent newsletter was fantastic – it was titled “The 5 Best Ways to Judge People”. The most significant parts of that newsletter can be seen below. Enjoy!
When people are just learning Topgrading, it’s easiest to use the A, B, and C categories, to show the dramatic differences. Topgrading professionals are able accurately put people in the right categories. In doing this they actually have three slightly different categories – A Player, A Potential, and Non-A. We define A player as someone in the top 10% of talent for the pay, in your location, in the industry, and reporting to you.
Following are 5 of the best ways I know of to judge people in a fair, objective, legally defensible way:
1. How A, B, and C players differ on key competencies. The following chart is a bit simplistic because not all A players are that great on all competencies and not all C players are that bad on all the competencies. Indeed, in real life C players usually are A players on some competencies.
2. Look for patterns of success. The “magic” of Topgrading comes from understanding, bottom line, how successful a person was in job 1, job 2, job 3, etc., with the greatest weight given to the most recent jobs.
Last year I interviewed a smooth talking executive who had clearly been a superstar in the industry, but the guy had not worked hard for years. He had peaked years ago, was on a decline and frankly the pattern showed he was “over the hill,” someone who had lost his energy, drive, resourcefulness, and passion.
3. Recruit a replacement. This really is the best way to see if your employee is truly among the top 10% of talent available.
After you have argued with your employee, complained about unsatisfactory performance, and heard 1,000 excuses, the simplest way to see if there are better people is to actively recruit them. This can be done secretly, but go through all the Topgrading hiring steps including talking with former bosses.
Over the years I’ve heard it hundreds of times: “It became very easy to replace my employee after going through the Topgrading hiring steps, because I became absolutely certain my excuse-making employee was a C player, and I had three A players very willing to join me at exactly the same salary as my C player.”
4. Never stop building your recruitment networks. As a Topgrader, you know the best way to recruit is by staying in touch with 40 A players you’ve worked with and also stay in touch with 20 “connectors,” people who know a lot of A players.
But in addition to using your networks to recruit, staying in touch helps you figure out if your team consists of A, B, or C players. As you chat from time to time with A players you’ve worked with in the past you hear about their accomplishments, what they pay people, the standards they set … and when you share your frustrations with a certain employee, your network will give you feedback that your expectations are too high or too low.
5. Assess employees using Topgrading methods. You might already know that my first consulting engagement with General Electric was to improve their success promoting people. They improved from 25% to well over 90% success, and the internal assessment methods are almost identical to Topgrading hiring methods. Two trained interviewers conduct the tandem Topgrading interview and instead of talking with outside references (for hiring) they talk with bosses, peers, and subordinates in the company.
Tags: A-Player, A-Players, Brad Smart, career history, chris mursau, Fame, Family, Fortune, Fun, hire better, hiring, Interview, recruit don't absorb, Recruiting, Scorecard, smarttopgrading, talent acquisition, Topgrading, topgrading methodology, TORC, virtual bench