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The Bible for Effective Recruiting

Who: The A Method for Hiring

Who: The A Method for Hiring

by Geoff Smart, Randy Street

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The Importance Of Right Hiring

Hiring is difficult and costly. It’s important to find the right person for a job, but sometimes people are not willing to work somewhere else without certain conditions or benefits.

In those cases, it’s important to compromise so that you don’t lose out on top talent. You should ...

Studies have found that hiring the wrong person can cost a company 15 times their salary. This is because some of those mistakes are made by the employee, and other mistakes are made when they’re fired and replaced with someone new.

If you hire a manager who makes $100,000 per month and yo...

The hiring process can be compared to that of an amateur art critic. They are not familiar with the language used by real art critics and their knowledge is limited to whether they like or dislike a piece of art.

This means that talented artists can easily trick them into thinking they’re...

In some cases, managers act like prosecutors who try to trick candidates into saying something wrong.

This approach only makes the candidate feel defensive and prevents you from finding out whether he has the right skills for the job.

Focus on Who, not What

Many leaders focus on the “Whats” in their organizations, e.g. the strategies, products and services, systems and processes.

However, without the right people in the right place, whatever problems you fix will only resurface again. When you address the “Whos”, the Whats” will natu...

Most traditional recruitment and interview techniques are ineffective because they don’t test if someone can really do a job well. After interviewing many CEOs, leaders and management experts, and then analysing the data in detail,  the author found 4 key mistakes that lead to hiring failures at ...

The A Method for Hiring is a simple, proven 4-step process to identify and hire A players at all levels of the organization.

The most common approaches (or “voodoo hiring methods”) lead to hiring failures. 

Know What You Want

Would you hire someone to work on your house without a license? Probably not, since it’s hard to know whether they are qualified and have the skills necessary for the job. The same goes for hiring new employees. You need to define what qualifications they should have before you make them an offer...

Scorecards describe the mission for the position, outcomes that must be accomplished, and competencies that fit with both the culture of the company and the role.

The scorecard is composed of three parts: the job’s mission, outcomes, and competencies. Together, these three ...

The mission is an executive summary of the job’s core purpose. It boils the job down to its essence so everybody understands why you need to hire someone into the slot.

Outcomes, the second part of a scorecard, describe what a person needs to accomplish in a role. Most of the jobs for which we hire have three to eight outcomes, ranked by order of importance… While typical job descriptions break down because they focus on activities, or a list of things a person ...

Competencies define how you expect a new hire to operate in the fulfilment of the job and the achievement of the outcomes.” Critical ones are:

  • Efficiency
  • Integrity
  • Organization
  • Aggressiveness
  • Follow through
  • Intelligence
  • Analytical skills

You can only build a house with a blueprint. Likewise, you can only hire the right person with a scorecard. The scorecard is a job blueprint—it describes exactly what success in a role looks like, including the

1. mission (why the role exists),

2. outcomes (what the person ...

Building A Pipeline Of Players

Most managers don’t plan in advance. When a position opens up, they pull out an old job description and rush to fill the vacancy.

HR shortlists several candidates with the limited time and info, and the hire one of them using voodoo methods. Sourcing is about systematically looking for an...

Traditional interview techniques don’t predict job performance because they focus on how someone behaves during the interview rather than on their track record. You need a structured approach to gather info and evaluate candidates against the Scorecard. Specifically, you’re looking for A Players ...

Sift out the B and C Players quickly using a short phone-based interview.

You can potentially weed out 80-90% of the candidates at this phase, thus saving yourselves lots of unnecessary time and energy later on.

This interview covers the candidate’s career in a chronological order, using 5 questions to draw out specific facts and stories about each career phase. By the end of 3-5 hours, you’ll have a much clearer assessment of the candidate.

This interview takes about 45-60 minutes, and the goal is to dig deeper for info on specific outcomes or competencies in the scorecard.

The Reference Interview

You’re now ready to test what you learned about the candidate through reference checks. Never skip this step.

Only move someone to the next phase of the interview if you’re truly excited about them and convinced that they could be the ideal candidate. After the 4 interviews, complete the s...

Your job is not done until the candidate is delivering results as your employee. To get them through the door, you must sell to them by sincerely appealing to the 5Fs that people care about: Fit, Family, Freedom, Fortune, and Fun

You’ll have to sell throughout the recruit...

Hiring A Players takes deliberate effort, hard work and persistence. However, the results are worth it, since the right talents will influence/shape your company culture/direction and define your long-term success. Eventually, your goal should be to build an A-team, i.e. a team of A Players, each...

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