Hiring dilemmas and keeping top performers. Week 6 topic – WCU ENT600

Wasserman states that “evaluating a hire’s fit with the start-up can be much harder than evaluating his or her skills.”  We also must assume that we have put forth the correct attention and strategic thought that would allow us to derive what skills we are looking for in our start-up.  As many of us struggle with making sure we are aware of what skills are needed, evaluating and concluding a good assessment of the recruit’s skill is equally important.  A miscalculation in either could result in a costly hiring mistake that could cost the start-up value beyond profitability. 

                Also, we must be aware of the ever-changing needs of our start-up.  Certainly, as mine only involves beginning with 4 associates on staff, I cannot afford a mistake.  “As the team grows beyond the founders its dynamics change dramatically” (Wasserman).   So, planning our hires for today and tomorrow are very important.  I can imagine that for casting the talent needs of our companies can somewhat be an optimistic approach as we all see success.  However, identifying a possible roadblock in the future and keeping that in mind when hiring could also bring some success. 

                I do conclude that Wasserman is somewhat as a pessimist with Herrenkohl bringing in optimistic solutions to his “dilemmas”.  I can see why Dr. Llam felt that we should read them together as in reading Wasserman alone we may just give up.   I just felt like this needed to be said. 

                As Herrenkohl states, “C-players don’t typically become A-Players, so you have to build a system to finding A-Players.”  As we have learned previously finding an A-Player goes beyond placing an ad in the local newspaper and must involve our social capital and a recruiting strategy that is ongoing even we do not have a need.  As Herrenkohl goes on to state how A-Players have the ability to make big contributions and have more opportunities with other companies.  I contend that A-Players also do not want to work with C-Players.  So how do we help the C-Players find a new home after they have settled In and pose a larger opportunity to disrupt the A-Players?  Wasserman proposes that linking rewards and roles together can help solve this problem.  I have always believed that C/D Players always know they are not doing a great job and many times they will admit it if you just ask them how well they see themselves doing.  I do believe that by adding the reward piece it will help them out the door as it exposes them more to their peers.  

                Creating the environment for A-Players to thrive can certainly be a hit or miss effort for a leader.  Many times, it is a tailored fit for one associate that would not fit with another.  I do like the idea of using personality assessments in the hiring process to help identify those that will not only fit but will serve a need for the start-up.  In conclusion, all we can do is work on our personal leadership ability and strategic acumen to help us identify and create the correct environment for attracting the type of A-players that we need. 

4 thoughts on “Hiring dilemmas and keeping top performers. Week 6 topic – WCU ENT600

  1. I enjoyed reading your post! I agree that “A-players” generally would prefer not to work with “C-players.” However, I was slightly conflicted over Herrenkohl’s statement, “C-players don’t typically become A-Players, so you have to build a system to finding A-Players.” I like to think that individuals have the ability to change if they so choose. There may also be some situations where “C-players” have the potential to improve and become “A-players,” perhaps with additional training and experience. I have seen some individuals that were not necessarily the most skilled in certain areas but they were incredibly hard-working and had great potential.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Jeramy,

    You wrote are a very good blog. I like how you pointed out that you can’t stop thinking about the future, and your mind always has to be focused on the next hire. Anything can happen at any time. Even if people stay, injuries occur, people are driven to move away if a spouse gets a better opportunity, the list of possibilities is probably endless. I’m intrigued by your take on Wasserman and Heronkohl. I actually enjoyed Wasserman’s book very much. I felt he supported his points very well and he cited thorough and substantial examples. I’ll concede that it probably wasn’t the most exciting of the two readings. I can’t exactly say the same about How to Hire A-Players. I felt Herronkohl asserted too many points without evidence or rationale. I’m not a fan of “sayings.” For instance, an apple a day doesn’t really keep the doctor away. I just felt A Player’s was littered with too many sayings as opposed to The Founder’s Dilemma.



  3. Jeramy,

    You bring up a good point about A players not working well with C players. I’m sure we have all seen this in our business as the “Go-To” guy gets burned out if he’s surrounded by people who aren’t competent. At one of the first places I worked, it was a flow chart on which shop to call iif a certain IT issue was happening, but in the end, it always pointed back to “Call Steve” to come in and fix if noone else could. While it was humorous for all of us (except steve) it brought up a good point that it’s not good to have an entire 140 man team dependent on 1 guy if everything is on fire. Eventually, Steve left and everyone else picked up what he was doing and life moved on, but instead of the standard 2-hour fix, sometime now it took 20 hours, and that was okay. Everyone learned and life resumed back to normal and we actually ended up in a stronger position afterward, after some fires of course.



  4. Hi,

    When I was applying for starter jobs I HATED going through skill and personalty assessments tests. After our assigned readings I can see how they are important to making sure that you are getting the right people for the right job. I would also consider using some kind of screening questions to learn more about a person, as well as be upfront about what our work culture is.

    I also like that C-Players are the worst people. No one is perfect at everything and its important to see if that C-Player could turn into a B-Player in another position. Admittedly it would be hard to turn them into an A-Player, but like you said talking with them and being honest is important. I would avoid being too blatant about calling out their poor performance in front of others, so I think your way of keeping the A-Players properly rewarded is appropriate.


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