How to Hire A-Players in 2016

By Corey Hastings

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 12.15.17 PM

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


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s