The MHC Blog

Powerful Business Insights for Succesful Leaders

How to Source A-Player talent

Recruitment takes time and can cost a Company money - the price of getting recruitment wrong is reported to be 15 times the bad hires annual salary!

To quote Anne Mulcahy “Employees are a Company’s biggest asset, they’re your competitive advantage.  You want to attract and retain the best, provide them with encouragement, stimulus and make them feel that they are an integral part of the Company’s mission”.

The trick is sourcing talented A Players to join your team ideally with the required level of qualifications and experience. Companies need to recruit for their culture first and skills second, recognising that by offering training to get the employee up to speed technically they will attract A Players to their Company.

But how do you fill an urgent and important vacancy with a talented person that fits into the culture of your Company and is willing to take the salary you are able to pay? 

Here are my top 3 tips to hiring A Players:

  1. Avoid the temptation to take the first person you find that seems to be competent. Acting too fast can leave you regretting your decision at leisure, giving you a bigger problem – releasing an employee you have just spent weeks, possibly months, inducting to your Company whilst starting the recruitment process all over again.

    It is a far better strategy to take the time to find the right person, putting them through a step by step process to ensure they are the right candidate to fit into your Company culture before making the final decision to make an offer of employment.

  1. From my experience, when a Company is looking to recruit for an individual to join their team, they will be literally inundated with CVs. The art here is to shift this pile of CVs into a focused short list based against a clear and concise role criteria - this is a process step that Companies need to improve.  It can be extremely overwhelming to deal with such an influx of CVs, how do you find the talented individuals for one role from a pile of thousands?

    I would advise Company use "Topgrading" as a framework for their recruitment process.  Using the Topgrading approach, take the job description and create a job scorecard, which lists the key essentials that the Company needs in the role.  Shortlist the CVs against the scorecard to begin the process of finding skilled personnel – be ruthless and cut the 1,000’s into a more manageable number and then move into the next Topgrading stage.

  1. Apply a dose of truth serum to the Candidates credentials. Request the short-listed candidates to complete a “career history form”.  This form asks for a full compensation history, previous manager ratings and much more.  This additional step demotivates weaker candidates to complete the process meaning that you automatically short list the candidates a step further. The stronger candidates will be only too willing to complete this additional step.

    A quick screen of the forms, comparing them to the details provided on the CV reduces the number further as you spot inconsistencies in the details given, saving you more time and more importantly identifying the stronger candidates for you to interview.   

Now you have a manageable short list of candidates, you need to move onto the physical interview process. 

We would also like to invite you to collect your complimentary copy of the Top Grading Toolkit below.

Download Your Free Top Grading Toolkit Here


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Claire Donnelly

Written by Claire Donnelly

A Business Growth and HR Strategist helping medium size companies to Scale Up using proven systems. Claire is an MCIPD qualified Human Resource professional, with 25+ years’ experience working within various industries and 10 + years’ experience of HR practices throughout the Middle East. As a HR Generalist she has held a number of senior and Board level HR positions. She is experienced in working at both strategic and tactical levels.

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