Screening, Assessment, Interviewing

7 Questions (Answer Only if You Want A Players)

Yesterday’s Advisor offered consultant Mel Kleiman’s “eagles or turkeys” hiring advice. Today, seven questions Kleiman, founder of hiring consultancy Humetrics, suggests you ask before you start hiring.

While it’s important to ask the right questions during the interview itself, it’s even more important to ask yourself some questions internally first. Here are seven that Kleiman advises if you’re looking to attract A-level talent to your organization:

  1. Can we do this job differently or can we stop doing this job altogether? This is the first question a strategic partner asks, says Kleiman. How has the job changed? Should we keep doing it the way we are currently doing it? Should it be changed? Should it be outsourced?
  2. Why would an A player want to work for us? Do you have a list of 10 reasons an A player would want to work for you? asks Kleiman. You need this list, and once you have it you should post it on every manager’s wall. Then they are accountable for delivering on those reasons, says Kleiman.
    How do you develop the list? Go to your best people, Kleiman says. Why do they like to work here? What would make them leave? What could we do to make their jobs better? You can get this information by conducting “stay interviews.”
    What’s the number one reason that A players quit? Management fails to deal with B and C players who aren’t getting the job done, says Kleiman. Remember, he says, A players never have to play on B teams.
    In general, A players are looking for a great boss and great coworkers, opportunity, challenge and growth, a family-friendly environment, and recognition.
  3. Are we really committed to having an A team? Once you identify the top 10 reasons an A player would want to work for you, you then have to decide if you’re willing to commit to delivering on those 10 items.

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  1. How will we identify the A players? You now have another challenge—developing a profile of an A player and figuring out what approach will allow you to identify these people during the application and interview process.
  2. Where are we going to find the A players we need? Where are those A players? They’re most likely working for someone else rather than unemployed and job-hunting. How will you ferret them out? Also, don’t forget that the #1 source of great employees is stars who have left your company and someday want to come back. Do you have a process for staying in touch with these people?
  3. Why would an A player want to work for that manager? Be honest: Is your hiring manager a type who will successfully manage an A player?
  4. What will we do or are we doing to retain our A players? Finally, says Kleiman, ask yourself what you are doing to retain the A players you have (or will have).

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