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Hiring Paradigm Shift Gets “A” Players

 

Successful entrepreneur and investor Dave Berkus wrote a blog today titled Hire Each Employee as if Your Survival Depends Upon it. In this blog, Dave talks about the critical importance of finding “A” players, and how every CEO should invest the time and effort it takes to write good job specifications and then screen, interview and hire on the basis of what it would take to be that “A” player.

Dave cites the book “TopGrading” by Brad Smart, which is also one of my favorites.

I agree with 90% of what Dave says today, with one significant exception. I don’t think it has to be that difficult or time consuming for a CEO to get this accomplished. It is really about a paradigm shift. Most CEOs take one of two old-school approaches to hiring people for their senior management team. They
either play it safe by specifying the ideal background and experience, and screen for that, OR they go with their gut – relying on intuition to pick the right people.

In our experience it only takes 60-90 minutes to identify the Performance Objectives (critical, tangible, measurable results) required of the new executive. Then, the entire screening process is simply based on can the candidate achieve these objectives? Interview questions and reference checks are constructed accordingly, and the hire is based on the objective assessment of candidate capability to be the very specific “A” player needed – the round peg for the round hole.

Kudos to Dave for pointing out the need for CEOs to take action on this, to ensure their survival. Make it easy on yourself, with a shift in your thinking about what is most important in setting up a recruiting project for success.