How do you find great A Players for your team? The number one challenge facing leaders today is how they find great talent for their growing organizations. I’ve spent the past 25 years helping clients recruit and retain A Players.
I partner with many of the world’s best organizations to hire their leaders. I use a simple attract, recruit, and onboard process for almost all the recruiting I do today for both clients and my own organization.
I’ve learned finding A Players is more about mindset than process. However, I believe having a strong recruiting process is critical to your hiring success. A Players are rare. Knowing how to attract them is a skill critical to your organization’s growth and success. Next week we will talk about recruiting and in two weeks we will talk about onboarding your talent. I’m traveling extensively in August, so you’ll only see one blog a week from me.
If you’re trying to build a great organization adding additional A Players can accelerate your growth. You don’t need many of these great people, but you will be surprised how much easier it is to grow a business when you have high performing leaders.
The first rule of attracting A Players is to know that if you find one you will find several more. Where do you find these high performing people? Before I tell you where to find them, let me remind you that you need to make it a habit to always be looking.
My best recruiting partners make it a practice to always be looking for great talent. They never go anywhere without reviewing what roles they might need to fill over both the short and long term.
These people are always talking with their teams about their future hiring needs. Many use bonuses to uncover other high performers that can help their organization continue to grow. Some of the more active executives I’ve known understand that A players know each other.
These executives are always reaching out to their team members to find out what events they are attending. They then decide who else should be also going to these events. Many of these clients are great at getting their whole team involved in attracting A Players. Having multiple people at the right events increase the odds of attracting A Players to your organization.
The second rule of attracting A Players is to understand that your best employment ad is investing in your people. If an employer wants to find more A-Players, they need to invest in the people already on their teams. I’ve recruited many technical people for my clients over the years. I’ve attended many technology programs with my clients’ team members. I always learn something new and it’s a great way to connect and understand the way people see things.
I also find out about different resources that are available to the program attendees. Many times, I offer to speak to the group on a topic that is near and dear to them, their careers. No pitch, just sharing what I’ve seen and trends that might impact them in the future. This single idea helps me build relationships with many potential A Players at the same time. I have hired several people out of these events saving my clients thousands of dollars in recruiting fees at a single event.
The third rule of attracting A Players is to learn how to bring the best out of the people you’re interacting with. If you are able to shine a spotlight on a person they never forget it. As Dale Carnegie taught, make the other person comfortable and important and you will never be at a loss for friends or professionals to help you in your attracting efforts.
Learn how to ask interesting questions and share in a provocative way. There are many ways to do this, but I’ve found doing some light research before attending a program can help you ask better questions.
As an aside, don’t try to stump the presenter. Ask questions that allow the presenter to shine. The better they feel about their interactions the more helpful they will be in your quest for the elusive A Players.
When I do virtual programs I still use this process, but might send a note prior to an event to see if they have anything they need. I will also ask for a set of the slides after the presentation. This is a great way to jump start your relationship with new people.
Finally, learn how to deliver what you promise. I would bet that over 80% of the people I meet don’t follow up. If you want to stand out, do what you promise quickly. When I meet people I try to figure out what I can do to renew our connection quickly after I’ve met them. In some cases, it’s sending a LinkedIn connection request, at other times it is sending an article or even a book recommendation.
I always tell them what they should expect, and then I respond quickly. If I’m on the road I will have my assistant send it out under my name. Before you ask, she includes a note saying “Tripp thought you might like this” so there is no misunderstanding.
Now that we have several ways to attract the A-Players attention, next week, we will talk about how to begin to recruiting an A Player to your team.