Who: The A Method for Hiring

Image of Who

Why did I choose this resource?

I chose this resource to help me create a recruiting process that will make it easier for us to hire top notch employees.

What did you learn from it?

I learned methods for hiring grade A employees and other methods to avoid. This includes a series of interviews and questions to help differentiate A players from B and C candidates as well as how to attract these types of people. I also learned how to find what we need so we are hiring people that are also a good fit for our company.

Key Knowledge

  • It’s Who not What

    • What are the strategies, products, and services.

    • Who is the person who decides on the What decisions

    • “The average hiring mistake costs 15 times an employee’s base salary in hard costs and productivity loss.”

    • Better Who choices → more pleasurable career → increased salary → more available time

    • Hire only people who have a 90% or better chance of success in the position you are trying to fill

  • Voodoo Hiring – 10 Methods to avoid

    • The Art Critic –thinks they can “read” someone; most of the time they are wrong

    • The Sponge – allows too many people to interview; do not receive any valuable information

    • The Prosecutor – aggressive questioning; most knowledgeable, may not have best ability

    • The Suitor – tries too hard to impress candidate; all talking, no listening

    • The Trickster – uses “tests” to see a candidates behaviors

    • The Animal Lover – Sticks to the same questions; usually not relevant to the job

    • The Chatterbox – enjoys conversing with the person; forgets they are hiring for a position

    • The Psychological and Personality Test – answers can be faked by cunning individuals

    • The Aptitude Test – good for finding correct skill set; should not me the only deciding factor

    • The Fortune-Teller – asking the person’s view of the future in the company; great if they make it there

  • ghSMART A Method for Hiring (A Method) – Four Steps

    • Scorecard – Define the role and create a picture your candidate should fit into.

    • Source – Have a sourcing system in process to make sure you have great candidates available when you need them.

    • Select  – Series of organized interviews and relevant questions.

    • Sell – Helps keeping people with the talent you desire from going elsewhere.

  • Scorecard  – Blueprint

    • Mission – A summary of the jobs focal point written in easy to read language.

    • Outcomes – Tasks/goals that need to be met by a candidate. Set these high enough to scare away B and C players, and challenge A players.

    • Competencies – How a candidate is expected to conduct themselves in a job

      • Core competencies include: Efficiency, honesty/integrity, organization and planning, aggressiveness, follow-through on commitments, intelligence, analytical skills, attention to detail, persistence, and proactivity.

    • Cultural Competencies – Know your companies’ culture and hire someone that fits!

  • Source

    • Internal

      • Ask personal and professional networks for referrals

        • Talented people know talented people

      • Offer employees incentive for finding great talent

        • Changes their view from What to Who

    • External – Recruiters and Researchers

      • Only works when you are open and honest about who you are, the issues, and what is needed

    • Sourcing System – Final step in sourcing process

      • Spend 30 minutes EVERY week to recognize and support A players

  • Select

    • The Screening Interview – phone interview ,no longer than 30 minutes

      • What are your career goals?

      • What are you really good at professionally?

      • What are you not good at or not interested in doing professionally?

      • Who were your last five bosses, and how will they each rate your performance on a 1 – 10 scale when we talk to them?

    • The Topgrading Interview – in person, can take up to 3 hours

      • Encourages you to perform a great screening interview and reduces the hiring failure rate

      • Begins with asking about highs and lows of the person’s educational career

      • Moving from past to present, ask these five questions about each previous job:

        • What were you hired to do?

        • What accomplishments are you proud of?

        • What were some low points during that job?

        • Who were the people you worked with?

          • Ask bosses name, what it was like working with them, and finally ask what their old boss will say are their strengths and weaknesses.

        • Why did you leave that job?

      • Five Master Tactics

        • Interrupting

        • The Three P’s

        • Push versus Pull

        • Painting a Picture

        • Stopping at the Stop Signs

    • The Focused Interview – possibly multiple interviews, 45 – 60 minutes each

      • Focuses on the scorecard you created

      • Team members can assist with these interviews

    • The Reference Interview – 4 performed by you, 3 by your team (7 total)

      • Only performed when you have already decided you would like to hire a canidate (as long as the reference check goes well)

      • Choose the right references and then ask the candidate to set up the calls.

      • Five main questions you should ask each reference.

  • Sell

    • Five F’s of Selling

      • Fit – most important point, show the person their talents and values aligns with the companies’.

      • Family – make the candidate feel accepted

      • Freedom – show that your organization allows for growth; A players will thrive

      • Fortune – Award increased/improved performance with top compensation

      • Fun – this is your corporate culture.

    • Five Phases of Selling

      • When sourcing

      • During interviews

      • After an offer, before the candidate accepts

      • Between the acceptance and start date

      • During the hires first 100 days

  • Legal Traps to Watch Out For – 4 Areas of concern

    • Relevance

    • Standardization

    • Nondiscretionary Language

    • Illegal Questions

      • Anything related to marital status, children, pregnancy, age, birth place, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.

      • Medical condition and physical or mental health may only be questioned if it is directly relevant to the performance of the job.

How are you using what you learned?

I am using what I learned to create a recruiting process. This process will include the types of interviews and the questions that will be asked; as well as the way in which we search for and retain a great employee.

Key Changes / Key Actions

  • Search for new talent from within the company

  • Incorporate selling into the hiring process

  • Create a written process for finding, interviewing, and retaining grade A employees


  • Name : Who

  • Author : Geoff Smart and Randy Street

  • Summary.com: Link to Book

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