How to Hire A-Players: 3 Tips to Keep in Mind

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Posted by: David Garcia

Topics: Human Resources, Recruitment

As all the classic business wisdom states, you’re only as strong as your weakest link. Every single player needs to be adding significantly to the team dynamic for your company to operate at its maximum potential.

The burden doesn’t entirely lie with your crew, though. As the person in leadership, it is your responsibility to stack your team with the right people.

A well-thought-out recruitment plan will help you and the HR team identify what you are looking for in a candidate and how to find the best person who meets those needs. It will prioritize finding a qualified worker who is, above all else, a good fit for your team.

If you dream of having a workplace full of A-players, read on for these tips on finding and recruiting them.

How to Hire A-Players: A Proven Step-by-Step Guide

1. Ask Some Key Questions

So you have an empty spot in your line-up, and now you need to fill it. Simple, right?

If only hiring and recruitment were that easy.

Instead, the hiring process involves figuring out your specific needs as a company and a work team. Then you have to figure out how to resolve those needs.

Try asking yourself some questions about the current workflow to start:

  • What work isn’t getting done, or is getting shortchanged?
  • What sort of help do current employees need so that they can do their jobs better?
  • What values and experiences do you want any new additions to have?

Not every highly qualified job applicant is necessarily an A-player at every workplace. These questions will help you identify more accurately the skills and qualities your unique office environment needs.

2. Design a Recruitment Plan

Now that you’ve more clearly narrowed in on who you are looking for, it’s a matter of finding them in the crowd. Luckily, these two tasks aren’t entirely separate.

Having an idea of the qualities you are looking for will help you determine which applicant pools to draw from during recruitment. Some job posting sites, for instance, cater to different groups of job seekers.

Beyond figuring out where to post, you should consult with HR to compile goals and a timeline. How long you have to look will determine how many applications you can pull, how many interviews you can reasonably accomplish, and how many postings you should publish.

Another critical issue you’ll want to sort out is whether or not you want to recruit from outside or promote internally. Perhaps your A-player has been right under your nose all along and just needs some mentorship.

3. Make a Solid Offer

Recruitment does not stop at locating the ideal candidate. So much of it is about making them want to work for you, too. The right applicant wants to find a solid place to work just as much as you want to find them.

A good workplace fit has to be mutual, after all. An A-player knows that what they have to offer to the team is valuable and should be treated as such.

Making a solid offer in terms of financial and other compensation benefits is huge when it comes to getting someone to agree to work for you. So is welcoming them onto the team properly.

3 Tips to Keep in Mind When Hiring A-Players

1. Fit Is Sometimes More Important Than Experience

It’s certainly understandable to be tempted by the applicant who graduated from the best schools or interned at the most impressive firms.

Ranked schooling and prior employment only tell part of the story, though. Certain qualities in an applicant—like interpersonal skills, creativity, and work ethic—are a lot harder to quantify.

The fact is that the candidate who looks best on paper might struggle to connect with your team. Whereas someone you might have otherwise passed over could be the A-player you’re looking for in the right environment.

You don’t need to hire the underdog just for the sake of it. What you should do is spend a little time getting to know the candidates in question to determine whether they will be a good fit with the rest of your crew.

2. Strike a Balance Between Practical and Interpersonal Skills

Going into the recruitment process, you probably already have a long list of hard skills to require of applicants. Maybe you want someone to know how to use specific software or have previous training in a specific area.

These are important, but so are having other skills along the lines of personality and thought-process. Soft skills like creative thinking, analytical abilities, and communication are just as critical to your company's success.

An employee can learn hard skills over time, even ones related to digital tools. Most interpersonal tools, on the other hand, either come naturally or don’t.

Don’t be afraid to take a chance on a candidate who will ultimately be an excellent fit just because they need a little bit more development and training upfront.

3. Consult Your Team

Chances are, the members of your current team have an excellent idea of what kind of applicant you should go after. Since they are already on the ground doing the work, they’ll know what A+ qualities are needed.

As an employer and manager, you might feel that you should only let your workers be privy to certain decisions once they are final. Consulting them early, however, and being transparent can pay off.

Your workers’ insight is priceless, and you shouldn’t be afraid to follow their directions from time to time. They want an A-player to join the team just as much as you do.


The main point these tips are trying to drive home is that finding an A-player is more about finding a good fit for the team than finding someone who only seems perfect on their resume.

Even the best players won’t do their best work if they aren’t in sync with the overall team dynamic.

If you’re still struggling to find that A-player who is perfect for your company, get in touch with ScoutLogic. The right candidate is out there—it’s just a matter of knowing what to look for and how to recruit properly.


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