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on 30 May 2011
A thought provoking book on how to populate your team (or company) with top performing talent. Not just about the selection process itself but it also covers techniques for filling the pipeline so you have candidates when you have vacancies to fill.

The basic premise is that as a manager, your role is to select the team (the who) who do the tasks (the what), not to do the tasks yourself.

The book lays out a structure for defining the characteristics of who you want to hire, then a very structured process to screen and interview and background check the candidates.

A definite must read for anyone hiring staff, or who wants to build a top-performing team.
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If your success rate in hiring star performers from outside your organization is much less than 80 percent, you need this book immediately!

When you talk to CEOs and board members at most public companies, they tell you there's no task more important than hiring highly effective people who hit the ground running and just accelerate in improving performance in a sustained way. Most will also tell you that they get their best candidates by checking with their CEO and board member friends in other industries to find out who is a true star.

Most of us however aren't CEOs or board members of public companies and few have access to the kind of contacts that lead to identifying top candidates. As a result, most organizations fall back on setting a title and a salary, asking the human resources department to run some advertisements, and interviewing a whole raft of candidates until one seems to be impressive. Then in over half the cases, the new hire doesn't work out. The missed profit opportunity can be enormous. The waste of time, money, and effort to make the mis-hire is also large.

Now, you can rely instead on Who by Geoff Smart (son of the illustrious Brad Smart, coauthor of TopGrading, the management bible of building talent in organizations) to show you exactly what to do.

The process is pretty simple. It begins with defining exactly what you want someone to accomplish. Then, you source in ways that allow you to see high potential candidates who are a good fit for your needs. Next, you thoroughly interview and check out the best prospects who survive a brief telephone interview. Finally, you woo, win, and hire the best candidate who meets your standards (or re-do the process if no one of that caliber has turned up).

Okay, you can do that.

What makes this book special is that it gives you enough detail on "how to" do those steps that you will be able to increase your successful hire rate by quite a lot. Pretty soon you can have an organization that's full of high performers, and your organization's performance is bound to follow suit.

The strength of the book comes in the interviewing sections. Most people don't know how to conduct interviews, and the authors do a fine job of describing the primary ways that ineffective organizations interview before teaching the right ways to interview.

I also liked the section on how to find top candidates without using head hunters and advertising. I have used the method described (long before I had heard of either Brad or Geoff Smart), and it has always worked well for me. In fact, people I hired this way went on to become CEOs of major public companies.

I thought that the interview insights from the senior executives and investors who were included in the study made the book much richer than the typical, "here's how to do it" book. Pay close attention to those.

Bravo! This book is one of the most practical I have seen about how to turn hiring into a competitive advantage.
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on 26 October 2009
Geoff Smart and Randy Street offer a clear, sensible strategy for finding, selecting and recruiting the best candidates for jobs you are trying to fill. Their process, called the "A Method for Hiring," begins with a step many managers neglect: preparing a focused, specific description of the results you will expect from the person who gets the job. The authors describe the four steps of their hiring method in just the right amount of detail, neither bogging the reader down in minutiae nor leaving important matters to the imagination. They use real-life anecdotes to connect their advice to actual business problems and issues. Many books about human resources tend to be long on vague generalizations and short on actionable, how-to information. getAbstract thinks this book is a standout and recommends its straightforward ideas to anyone who is responsible for hiring.
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on 18 April 2012
I found the first few pages to be largely padding, and waited to get to the meat of the topic. The book contains some really useful insights, like defining the Mission of the new team member/contractor, etc instead of just assigning duties. The idea of a scorecard is also helpful. Overall, I found the constant reference to A-players a bit too full-on for my liking and made the book more of a chore to read, that I would have hoped.
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on 7 June 2011
A great practical guide for the Selection process. Contains lots of best practices plus some case studies . Should be in the bedside table of every hiring manager .
Lots of recruitment agencies would also benefit from it by replacing their voodoo hiring methods with a structured and effective selection toolkit.
After all , recruitment is a craft , not an art.
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on 4 March 2016
A codification of common sense.
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on 10 June 2015
i bought it for a colleague
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on 12 November 2015
Great book.
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