Hiring top talent is one of the most important things you can do to help make your business successful. And while every hire you make will hopefully help you achieve your strategic objectives, stocking your team with A players will allow you to do so a lot faster and more efficiently. That’s because A players are super stars. In addition to bringing experience and business acumen to the table, they’re also willing to go above and beyond to succeed in their position.
In fact, according to research cited by McKinsey & Company, top performers like A players have been shown to be a staggering 800 times more productive than others when they’re performing complex tasks. That, of course, can have a transformative effect in terms of what your teams are able to accomplish.
Not only that, A players tend to attract other A players. The more of them you have working for you, the more other A players will want to join your business to work among equally talented and ambitious peers. Plus, having lots of A players in your organization forces everyone else to up their game and try to rise to the same level.
So how can you go about hiring A players? To start, keep these four tips in mind:
1. Develop a sophisticated recruiting strategy
Anytime you have an open role, begin by asking your top performers if they know anyone who might be a good fit for the position. A players tend to know other A players, and any referrals they make will likely be of the highest calibre.
You may also want to engage a specialist recruiting firm that has expertise in the particular field you’re looking to hire in. They should have deep networks of top people not only actively looking for work, but who are successful in their current roles and could potentially be persuaded to take on a new challenge. The trick is to make sure that you’ve framed each role appropriately, highlighting the challenges, the opportunities for growth, and the benefits that will help make them attractive to top talent.
2. Always have your top performers conduct the interviews
When you conduct interviews, always get your existing A players involved in the process. That’s because they can be very effective at identifying the traits that make someone a top hire, even if they work in a different part of the business. Plus, they may be able to evaluate candidates for things that other interviewers might miss. They’re also more likely to hire A players themselves. That’s because lower-performing employees might feel threatened by A player candidates, and will be more likely to hire on the basis of cultural fit than performance. Plus, an average employee may not even be able to identify the very best talent or recognize what will make them an outstanding hire for a particular role.
3. Seal the deal and hire quickly
Once you’ve identified an A player who’s a good fit for the role, move quickly to get them on board. Make sure you have an offer ready to go (and, of course, make sure it’s a good one). Anticipating any concerns that might come up, such as relocating to a new city, a counter-offer from their current employer, or renumeration shows that you are committed to hiring them and will be a good prospect to them as an employer.
Don’t delay in getting your new A Player on board. If your hiring process is long and drawn out, someone else may very well snap them up before you get them in the door. Extended hiring times will also put good hires off and could leave you with less desirable candidates who aren’t in such high demand.
4. Always be recruiting
A players won’t just magically appear when you decide you need them. Be on the constant lookout for the best talent and nurture relationships with people long before you hire them. It’s this long-term view that can pay enormous dividends, especially when you’re hiring executives.
If you encounter an A player and you don’t currently have a position for them, then consider creating one. It’s often disruptive events such as a company restructuring or closing that puts top talent back on the market and that’s where you can capitalize quickly. The value an A Player will add to your company will far outweigh the cost of hiring them before you’re completely ready.
A players are game changers
If you could wave a magic wand and increase your business’s productivity, your team’s motivation levels, and your revenue just by changing who and how you hire, it would be foolish not to. Securing the best talent available will have a massive impact on your company’s fortunes. A players are true game changers who can help take your organization to new heights.