The Hiring Experience

Rethinking the 'A Player' Concept in Hiring: The Misconceptions and New Perspectives

August 17, 2023 Max & Mike Episode 6
The Hiring Experience
Rethinking the 'A Player' Concept in Hiring: The Misconceptions and New Perspectives
Show Notes Transcript

Ever wondered why your carefully chosen 'A players' sometimes fail to live up to expectations? Turns out, there might be more to this enigma than meets the eye. 

My co-host, Mike, and I, Max, unravel the misconceptions surrounding the term 'A players' in hiring, and why defining an 'A Player' for your organization and role is crucial. We share anecdotes from our experiences where individuals, once considered misfits, ended up as star performers with the right role alignment. 

This episode aims to debunk the myth of a secret island of 'A players' waiting to be mined. Instead, we stress the importance of recognizing the unique talents of each individual and assessing them against the role at hand. In our journey to rethink the art and science of hiring, we urge you to prioritize 'company-worker fit' over 'culture fit'.  So, get ready for an enlightening discussion that promises to reshape your hiring strategy, revealing potential star players in unexpected places.

We love to hear your hiring experience, whether you're a hiring manager with 100s of hires, about to make your first hire, or an applicant that has a story to tell. Share your stories with Max & Mike at hiringexperiencepod@gmail.com

This podcast and the matters discussed herein are for informational purposes only and should not to be construed as advice for a particular company or person. This podcast is not intended to be a substitute for professional or legal advice.

Speaker 1:

This is the Hiring Experience the podcast that helps you break down the art and science of hiring. Hosted by Max and Mike friends, founders and creators of rapid hiring, on a mission to bring an end to the resume, bringing you tactical advice to help you attract, select and retain the best talent. This podcast and the matters discussed herein are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as advice for a particular company or person. This podcast is not intended to be a substitute for professional or legal advice.

Max:

All right, Going over the cliche of we only hire A players here the difference in what it actually means and the fact that there's no such thing as a universal A player. So we want to break down a little bit what it means when people say you only hire A players, what hiring somebody who could be considered a top talent quote unquote A player means for the role that you're looking for. Every single role has the pinnacle of it. There is the Steph Curry for every position, but it's not going to be the same person or they're not going to look like the same person and they're not going to come with the same criteria and background and experience, because every single role is slightly different. And so you need to establish what it means when you're looking for your top talent and what your A players are for that position.

Mike:

Yeah, and I think it goes into. There's a couple of segments of this whether it's like a skills based criteria of A player or there's a culture fit based criteria of A player where, when you have hiring managers and people conducting interviews, when they generally say this person's a good culture fit for our team, it most likely means that that person is somebody that they'd like to have a beer with, where all sorts of personalities can do that role and they can do it effectively. So to define what an A player in your organization means, because that, based on what you're actually doing, what you're looking for, that could be a B player elsewhere. So it's not a universal criteria and when you're using systems that provide you with a grade or a candidate level or something, it's paramount to make sure that if you're going to use the grades that are being provided by a set of questions or skill set or what have you, that it's very pointed at the job, at the role, at the criteria. Otherwise the grades are universal for a non universal position.

Max:

Right. You want to understand that just because somebody is said to have been an A player at a different organization in a different position, doesn't mean that they're going to transition into the to be an A player that you need in this position. From my past experience with working at two different companies that simultaneously, we used to move people from one to the other and vice versa to find that fit for where they could be the A player, that they fit the role better. They liked the work better, whether it was more hands on or more repetitive, so they could get into a flow. But understanding that each person, just because they weren't an A player in the previous role, when you flip them over to the next, they actually could become that A player for the first time.

Mike:

Yeah, some of our at a previous company, some some of our best contributors and our best, you know, long standing staff members, began in a role that they were not very good at. If you would have just looked at it from an overarching perspective you would have thought like this person isn't a good employee. But analyzing it a step further, like Max said, you know they've now been at the company five, six, seven years. They're excelling at their role. They're working their way into more responsibility, but it's because they've now. You know they might have been a C player when they started in a role, but shifting role directly immediately made them an A player. Nothing about them, or their personality or their skill sets or anything changed in the one day that the shift happened. Right, obviously they gained skill sets as they continued in that other role, but when you took somebody from one role to another they didn't magically develop a new skill set to become an A player.

Max:

And we talk about it from time to time with clients and customers, in that you want to focus on what we can do. We call company worker fit not the main focus that most will find is that culture fit. Like Mike said, you want to go have a beer with this person. They'd be your buddy or your friend, and while it's also, it's good and great to get along with everyone you work with, that should be secondary to what they bring to the table in terms of the skills for the position that you're looking to fill. You want to align those skills with the skills you're looking for. That the way they work is the way you work as a company, and when you put all of those together, you can actually find a lot of people who, as we've said, were never quote unquote A players on their previous team or at their previous position, and allowing us to focus on what we're actually looking to hire for is something that can reveal a lot of new candidates to yourself.

Mike:

Yeah, and I think, to summarize this you know there's no secret island of A players waiting to be discovered. Instead of kind of chasing, that it's more beneficial to understand the unique talents, the potential that each individual brings to the table and grade it. You know, if you're going to go with grades, grade it based on that role, assessing those unique talents that you're looking for.

Speaker 1:

Thank you for listening to the Hiring Experience. We hope you enjoyed this episode and learned something new about the art and science of hiring. Don't forget to subscribe and leave a review on your favorite podcast player. This helps others discover the show. Share with a friend, colleague or anyone going through the Hiring Experience right now. Share your hiring experience with us at hiringexperiencepodcom.