Who: The A Method for Hiring – Geoff Smart, Randy Street Book Summary

Who: The A Method for Hiring – Geoff Smart, Randy Street | Free Book Summary

Who: The A Method for Hiring – Geoff Smart, Randy Street

The Bible for Effective Recruiting

The Importance Of Right Hiring


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Hiring is difficult and costly. It’s important to find the right person for a job, but sometimes people are not willing to work somewhere else without certain conditions or benefits.

In those cases, it’s important to compromise so that you don’t lose out on top talent. You should also be sure to do everything possible in order to keep that candidate from leaving your company for another one.

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Hiring The Wrong Person For a Job Can Be Costly

Studies have found that hiring the wrong person can cost a company 15 times their salary. This is because some of those mistakes are made by the employee, and other mistakes are made when they’re fired and replaced with someone new.


If you hire a manager who makes $100,000 per month and your decision turns out to be a bad one, it could cost the company up to $1.5 million. Hiring the wrong person is a huge mistake, but it happens all the time. Most managers make at least half their mistakes during hiring decisions.

The Art Critic

The hiring process can be compared to that of an amateur art critic. They are not familiar with the language used by real art critics, and their knowledge is limited to whether they like or dislike a piece of art.

This means that talented artists can easily trick them into thinking they’re good when they aren’t. Similarly, people who hire based on instinct may be fooled by charismatic candidates who have little true ability.

The Procecutor

In some cases, managers act like prosecutors who try to trick candidates into saying something wrong.

This approach only makes the candidate feel defensive and prevents you from finding out whether he has the right skills for the job.

Focus on Who, not What


Many leaders focus on the “whats” in their organizations, e.g., the strategies, products and services, systems, and processes.

However, without the right people in the right place, whatever problems you fix will only resurface again. When you address the “whos,” the “whats” will naturally fall into place.

The Four Key Hiring Mistakes

Most traditional recruitment and interview techniques are ineffective because they don’t test if someone can really do a job well. After interviewing many CEOs, leaders, and management experts and then analyzing the data in detail, the author found four key mistakes that lead to hiring failures at all levels:

• Lack of clarity on what the job requires

• Lack of good candidates

• Inability to choose the right candidate

• Losing the selected candidates

The A Method

The A Method for Hiring is a simple, proven 4-step process to identify and hire A players at all levels of the organization.

The most common approaches (or “voodoo hiring methods”) lead to hiring failures.

Know What You Want

Would you hire someone to work on your house without a license? Probably not, since it’s hard to know whether they are qualified and have the skills necessary for the job. The same goes for hiring new employees. You need to define what qualifications they should have before you make them an offer.

Recruiters often don’t have a clear idea of what they’re looking for. This can cause problems in the hiring process.


Scorecards describe the mission for the position, outcomes that must be accomplished, and competencies that fit with both the culture of the company and the role.

The scorecard is composed of three parts: the job’s mission, outcomes, and competencies. Together, these three pieces describe the A performance in the role—what a person must accomplish, and how. They provide a clear linkage between the people you hire and your strategy.

Scorecards: Mission

The mission is an executive summary of the job’s core purpose. It boils the job down to its essence so everybody understands why you need to hire someone into the slot.

Outcomes, the second part of a scorecard, describe what a person needs to accomplish in a role. Most of the jobs for which we hire have three to eight outcomes, ranked by order of importance.

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