I was thrilled when I saw that Geoff Smart and Randy Street of ghSMART came out with the book Who: The A Method For Hiring on how to improve hiring.
If you are involved in any hiring, I suggest you acquire this book right now!
You may recall that I had an incredible experience studying under Topgrading guru Brad Smart (Geoff’s father) in Chicago a few years ago with Eben Pagan and some of the Hot Topic Media gang.
It’s good to see that the Smart family is even Smarter than I thought!
The highlights of Who for me were these simple six steps to hiring an A-player (#s 3 and 5 were mentioned in my original Topgrading article, but Geoff and Randy add a lot in the other 4 steps and also simplify steps 3 and 5):
A scorecard simply lists out the outcomes and competencies you want the candidate to possess within some defines set of time.
Examples of outcomes include: …
My brother-in-law Rich recently asked me for my favorite business book. I had a tough time answering because a slew of book titles raced through my mind.
Well, make room on your bookshelf because I dove in and came up with 20 top business books below:
The Best Business Books Of All Time
If I had to pick just one business book for folks to read, it would be this illustrated tome by Charlie Munger — Warren Buffett’s long-time right-hand man — with its folksy and entertaining tales of business and life (see Charlie Munger Quotes for a taste).
There’s plenty of Buffett tips in here too so you get two-for-one! …
It can cost you 13-times a person’s annual salary if you hire the wrong person, according to Brad Smart.
A dozen of my colleagues and I were lucky enough to spend two days with Brad in Chicago in October 2005 when we took his Topgrading training program (which I also recommend).
The 13X cost of a mishire was a stunner! So, for example, if you hire the wrong person for a position at $40,000 per year, that could cost you $520,000 (due to the salary you pay them, the severance, the mistakes they make, missed opportunities, etc.).
Here are some highlights from the books and the training course.
Build a “virtual bench” of people who you’d like to work with and be talking to them regularly about your business (even if you can’t/won’t hire them immediately)…they may not even be perfect for the position you envision.
This way, you’ve got people you think highly of who already know about your business.
Topgrading Interview (go to Topgrading for the full Topgrading Interview Guide)
Here are some snippets on how you topgrade someone:
Ask the applicant about their entire school and professional life in chronological order (Starting with School, then first job, then second job, etc.) (I think of these as Chapters of their life).
Ask these Topgrading questions about each “Chapter” of their life; here are some of my favorites:
Each “Chapter” of their life should take 15 minutes or so.
So, the interview may take 3 to 4 hours — trust me, it’s worth every minute of it.
And it helps to have a colleague do it with you so that one of you can ask questions and the other can take notes.
References (go to Topgrading for this and other Topgrading Forms)
Ask the applicant if it’s ok to contact their past managers and, if the interview has gone well, ask them for the contact information for as many as you can get).
When you call the references, cover the same types of questions as you did with the applicant (so you can cross-reference): Responsibilities, Pluses and minuses, etc.
Then, describe the role you envision for the applicant and ask them what’s a good fit and what’s a bad fit.
Brad and his Top grading team also have a free email newsletter and other neat Topgrading solutions at Topgrading.
Thank you, Brad and team!