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Getting the Right People

Posted by David Greer in People | 0 comments


I spend a lot of time helping entrepreneurs and their teams figure out why they do the work they do, what they are going to focus on, and how they are going to measure their success. While these are important, the most important question is:


Who you are going to hire? Who you are going to develop? Who the next leaders will be?

That’s why I recommend the book Who: The A Method for Hiring. Written by Geoff Smart and Randy Street. They have based their career on helping companies make the right hiring decisions. In Who, they share their accumulated knowledge based on more than 1,300 hours of interviews combined with their years of research.

Their solution is a step-by-step process you can use today to improve every aspect of sourcing, interviewing, hiring, and on boarding new people to your company. Finding and keeping the right people is a simple pay now or pay later proposition. You either put in the time and effort needed up front to attract, vet, and qualify the right people or you pay later in disruption, lost productivity, and the loss of human capital. The choice is yours.

Smart and Street show you how making the investment in defining and executing the process, will result in you hiring A players. They will want to come work for you and they will be productive once they have joined. While the steps are simple, the discipline and work to follow the steps is what makes all the difference.

There are four steps to the process: Scorecard, Source, Select, and Sell.


In my experience, one of the biggest challenge in hiring someone, especially to a new role, is figuring out the four to five objective outcomes that you want the person to achieve in the first year. This is Smart and Street’s scorecard. While working on the scorecard it is critical to review the core values of the company and identify those behaviours that are consistent with your core values. Hire for fit, then competency and not the other way around.


CEOs and leaders of companies have to be constantly on the lookout for new talent. This is a twelve month a year job of promoting your company and attracting A players. Too many CEOs see this as a one-time event or something that can be delegated to someone else. In their research for Who, Smart and Street found that their interview CEOs recognized recruitment as one of their critical tasks.


Many CEOs cut corners vetting and interviewing potential candidates. This is where you need to put in the time if you want to find the very best people who will contribute and stay with your organization. The process is broken down into a half hour structured screening interview by phone. Smart and Street give us specific questions, and the reasoning behind them, to ask. Everything in Who is about processes with clear steps. Those that pass the screening interview are then put through the focused interview where questions ensure that the person will be able to deliver on the outcomes on their scorecard, while digging deeper to make sure there is a cultural fit.


The final step in the process is selling the prospect on joining the company. This includes showing the person how they will fit the company, how their family will make the transition to their new role, the freedom to operate (the scorecard identifies outcomes, not how someone gets to them), the financial upside and the company’s ability to deliver on that upside, and the fun the individual will have at the company (because there is such a deep cultural fit).

I can think of the many times that I’ve done hiring and only wished that Who had been available then. If you want to find the right A players who will thrive and grow your business, buy, read, and follow the process Geoff Smart and Randy Street show us in Who: The A Method for Hiring.

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