How to Hire A-Players in 2016

By Corey Hastings

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Hiring an A-Player isn’t as easy as you may think.

A common misconception among hiring managers is the belief that all candidates are begging for a job. But most top candidates are not actively looking to make a change, and are successfully employed. Investing valuable time and effort into courting an A-Player is critical, and their returns more than offset the resources applied.

Often, hiring managers struggle with what to focus on in an interview. If you’re taking the time to hire an A-Player, interview tactics have to be streamlined and focused. While no two candidates will have the same recruitment, there are best practices that make the road to landing an A-player a clear and efficient one.

The benefits of hiring an A-Player are countless, and certainly make your dedication worthwhile. To hire the most sought-after candidates, find success by engaging in the following best practices.

Courting the Candidate    

Going after A-Players takes the same effort that goes into landing a big client. Because these candidates are highly respected in their current positions, extra time and attention paid to onboarding makes all the difference. Efforts should include:

  • Multiple meetings
  • Understanding candidate’s aspirations and goals
  • Building trust and rapport
  • Weeks of work and patience
  • Negotiations
  • Salary

Company Value Proposition

While money talks, it doesn’t speak the loudest. A-Players are looking to make a change for more than just a big paycheck, and the way in which you present your company to potential hires is significant.

Providing a company value proposition, and selling it appropriately, is an important step in hiring an A-Player. Think about how you typically treat your candidates: do you sell them on your organization, or do you assume that they’re already convinced you’re the one they should work for?

Ensure you know your company’s strengths. What kind of a working environment will you provide an A-Player? Present a clear vision that touts your company as the kind of place where A-Players can develop accomplishments, innovate, and contribute in a prosperous environment.

Developing a Scorecard

Helping hiring managers organize and develop focus can be difficult, yet important. Successfully interviewing means objectively assessing a candidate by using tools that focus on the critical success factors of the position.

“Create a standard to measure candidates against a qualified criterion,” advises Joe Vona, Sr, CEO of SS&C. Removing subjectivity allows for a simple and uniform way to measure a candidate. The best way to achieve this? Develop a scorecard.

Developing a scorecard gives each interviewer common focus and positive discussion topics. Post interview, while hiring managers focus on next steps and follow up efforts, a scorecard insures information is not forgotten, and can be used in reference checks.

To develop the right scorecard for your company, gather the hiring team to discuss what critical achievement factors you want to include on a scorecard, as well as what probing questions can be asked during an interview.

Using a scorecard not only creates a streamlined hiring method, but also allows hiring managers to show A-Players how serious they are about bringing them onboard.

For help in recruiting an A-Player, email


5 Benefits of Hiring an A-Player

By Corey Hastings

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Hiring an A-Player can make all the difference.

The success of a company is directly influenced by its hiring practices. If you are not investing the time to hire preferred candidates, your company could pay the consequences. A bad hire making $102,692 per year with 1.6 years on the job could cost you more than a million dollars in mistakes, severance, and missed opportunities.

Aside from saving your company millions, the benefits of hiring A-Players are boundless.A-Players are the finest candidates in their industry, often successfully employed, and have significant accomplishments under their belt. Manufacturing operations managed by A-Players have 94% high profits than other operations, and return to shareholders for companies with top talent practices average 22% above industry means.

For those in sales, the top 3% produce up to 250% more than the average; while the top 20% produce up to 120% more. As well as being successful, A-Players are respected and admired by their peers, contributing to the formation of a happy and successful office environment.

Here are the 5 benefits of hiring an A-Players

1. A-Players are magnets for other A-Players

Recruiting an A-Player proves that your company is worthy of top candidates. It’s easier to convince A-Players to join your team when they know they are surrounded by like-minded and ambitious team members.

CEO of SSC Joe Vona, Sr. says, “Money is not the primary reason why preferred candidates make a change.” A-Players require more than just a high salary to accept an offer. Show an A-Player that you’ve built an environment where top employees make a difference and create a legacy, and they’re likely to join your team.

A-Players can also increase enthusiasm and work ethic in currently employed B-Players who are looking to adopt and learn the A-Player mentality. A current employee who has goals of becoming a leader in their industry can be strongly motivated and taught by an A-Player.

2. A-Players propel your company to think differently

A-Players are innovative and resourceful, constantly keeping up with the latest industry trends and investing time in research.

Possessing this breadth of knowledge allows A-Players to bring fresh and creative ideas to the table, a quality they thrive on. This allows your company to develop productive and successful strategy that leads rather than follows.

3. They take initiative

A-Players are self-starters. They’ll never need to be micro-managed, and possess the initiative to get things done without ever needing to be asked.

Instead of taking time to earn the company’s trust and the trust of their fellow employees, an A-Player has already proven what they can do and will on-board seamlessly. This saves time for managers who can focus on building the core business and increasing productivity.

4. They produce better results

The phrase “more bang for your buck” has never been truer. Because A-Players are self-starters, they get the job done in less time and for less cost. Their experience and proven track record allows them to produce better results on the first try.

A-Players will also never procrastinate, and in-turn encourage others to fight the urge to put things off, helping develop a dynamic workplace. Your company’s results won’t just improve, but so will the process.

5. They demonstrate better teamwork

Because A-Players are confident in their abilities, they are able to work better with others in an approachable and collaborative atmosphere. A happy office environment is a key factor for success, and A-Players contribute to a sense of teamwork and camaraderie that is invaluable in the workplace. Leading by example and nurturing potential in others are some of the many tools an A-Player brings with them.

Are you interested in hiring an A-Player? Let us help.