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3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  1,482 Ratings  ·  122 Reviews
In this instant New York Times Bestseller, Geoff Smart and Randy Street provide a simple, practical, and effective solution to what The Economist calls “the single biggest problem in business todayâ€: unsuccessful hiring. The average hiring mistake costs a company $1.5 million or more a year and countless wasted hours. This statistic becomes even more startling when you ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published September 30th 2008 by Ballantine Books
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Jan 31, 2009 Ann rated it liked it
"Who: The A Method for Hiring" by Geoff Smart

One-third of this book is an advertisement for itself: how great it is, how the methods are truly awesome, tested, etc.

The book is for hiring CEOs and financial industry managers, not your day-to-day workers.

The advice can be boiled down to a few principles:

1. Prescreen the heck out of your applicants so you only use your valuable time interviewing only those who will fit the position.

2. Ask a lot of questions that get the applicant off of their scrip
Pavel Annenkov
Jan 13, 2017 Pavel Annenkov rated it it was amazing
Это лучшая книга по тому, как подбирать персонал в свою компанию.
Jul 19, 2016 Mart rated it it was amazing
This was recommended as THE book for hiring by Matt Mullenwegg (the “WordPress founder”) on his Tim Ferriss podcast.

It starts from the basic premise that the Who is by far the most important decision in a company. The Who help define the What, so to have a happier more productive life and company, you should invest a ton of time in hiring the right people. And not hiring the wrong ones, or getting rid of them ASAP. So even if you’ve done loads of work in interviewing, and you find one thing slig
David Robins
Jul 12, 2011 David Robins rated it liked it
Read it because Gawande recommended it in his excellent Checklist Manifesto; it's not terrible, but could be distilled into much less text and it's laced with advertisements for their consulting service. Has some worthwhile methods, however - the scorecard, topgrading, determining fit.
Kevin Fanning
Mar 26, 2017 Kevin Fanning rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I read this for work. I have to admit that even though I hate business books & how-to's and corporate non-fiction this was interesting and helpful. I've been a recruiter for ~14 years and there was a lot I thought was interesting and helpful and I'm excited to try it out at my job. UGH SHUT UP UGH
Apr 17, 2017 Jules rated it really liked it
Good, short read on a systematic way of hiring for your company. The essence of the book can be boiled down to a few pages, but the book is padded out with examples of clients who have used the Smart methods successfully. The method is more suited towards finding senior, more specialised employees (IMO) but there are some broad methodologies which can be applied in all cases.

I found the "Select" chapter particularly helpful and will be using it for future hires.
Apr 11, 2016 Dmytro rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recruiting
This was a really good book full of very useful information for hiring and selecting people.

Whoever is reading this book: all the important tidbits in the book are highlighted in grey boxes.

This book starts out by saying that recruiting is not easy so relying on simple strategies or not having a strategy does not work.
An example of no strategy is to invite someone for a chat with no preset questions or agenda.
Given that a strategy/process for recruiting is important the authors specify the d
Jan 15, 2016 Eugene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-to-read
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andreea Pahontu
Jan 29, 2017 Andreea Pahontu rated it really liked it
Un ghid practic, usor de parcurs, cu exemple concrete de aplicat in recrutarea posturilor din zona de middle si top management. Insa, exista aplicabilitate si in cazul posturilor de executie daca metodele sunt adaptate corespunzator pe cultura companiei si job. O carte bine structurata care ajuta la organizarea, implementarea si standardizarea recrutarii. O recomand recruterilor idiferent de senioritate cat si managerilor implicati in selectia candidatilor.
Glenn Burnside
Short focused and actionable

One of the better hiring books I've read. Gets to the heart of the problem with hiring - you need to know what you want, what it looks like, and how you're going to measure it. Then use the same hiring practice for every candidate. My only concern with this book is its over-focus on executive hiring. I couldn't always tell how this would relate to an individual contributor or functional/but-not-people leadership role.
Chad Warner
Aug 01, 2016 Chad Warner rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: business owners, entrepreneurs, hiring managers, recruiters
Recommended to Chad by: Aaron Schaap, Brent Weaver
Shelves: business
This shows how to make better hiring decisions by basing them on data rather than vague feelings. It explains how to create hiring criteria and assess candidates rationally. It's based on the authors' significant firsthand consulting experience and input from many successful executives and hiring managers.

It's about hiring employees, but can be applied to hiring independent contractors too.

I've been focused on building the team at my web agency, OptimWise, for the last 2 years. As I read this bo
Mila Paunova
Mar 18, 2017 Mila Paunova rated it really liked it
The authors offer a nice and structured method for hiring A players that is easy to follow. I liked that the book was easy to read and full of practical tools and examples.

However, It shows that the authors' experience has been primarily with hiring C-level players. The described selection process is quite lengthy and while, it is perhaps justifiable for executive positions, it might prove to lack agility for mid-level hiring. Nevertheless, the book offers a well-structured guideline that could
Ola Olusoga
May 28, 2015 Ola Olusoga rated it liked it
Shelves: business
Great read on implementing a highly effective hiring process that not only aids with recruiting A players, but also assists in improving review, promotion and success planning.

If you're an employer, employee, person who makes a living working with others, or just interested in the people aspect of business, read this book.


Who is your number one problem. Not what.

Who mistakes happen when managers:
- Are unclear about what is needed in a
Cedric Charpenet
Jan 27, 2017 Cedric Charpenet rated it it was amazing
A must read for any founder, business owner and manager that wants to hire/retain top talent. The A Method is a clear winning strategy when it comes to hiring the best people. I highly recommend this book.
May 08, 2017 Shirley rated it liked it
I love the term voodoo hiring.
Erin Caldwell
May 08, 2017 Erin Caldwell rated it liked it
Nothing earth-shattering in here, but a lot of great reminders to consider when hiring, especially at the senior/executive level.
Scott Sill
Mar 16, 2017 Scott Sill rated it it was amazing
If you have to hire people at your job, this book is for you. ghSmart's research found that a bad hire costs 15-20x their annual salary in damage to a company. I totally believe that and think it may even be higher. The book walks you thru a process to attract, interview, hired, and grow A-players. I've put their techniques to work and seen immediate results. I'm so convinced about the value of their work that I've bought and gifted over 50 copies of this book. Do yourself a favor and get one.
Erik Rostad
Mar 13, 2017 Erik Rostad rated it really liked it
Great book covering a simple and objective method for hiring A-level talent for a company or organization. This will be a useful reference book for the future.
Saad Youssefi
Feb 24, 2017 Saad Youssefi rated it really liked it
This was a great book on hiring and the dos and donts. It clearly broke down the economic, opportunity cost and intangible negative effects that hiring can provide. Strongly recommend for individuals working in startups and looking to expand organization and teams.

The questions to ask, the consistency of questions to properly answer, and the signs to pay attention to are all clearly explained.

The author does a great job explaining the psychology and ways around retrieving valuable essential in
Nikita Zhuk
Mar 26, 2015 Nikita Zhuk rated it really liked it
## Book review: Smarter - Who

Geoff Smart and Randy Street run ghSMART, a management consulting company which maintains a database of thousands of business executives and which is then used to analyze different aspects of what makes executives and businesses successful. They noticed that unsuccessful hires are one of the most expensive mistakes ever made, costing, on average, 15 times the annual salary of the hired employee. Finding the right people is hard, and current average success rate in th
Feb 27, 2017 Ashley rated it really liked it
Next time I need to hire a CEO for my company, I'll read this book again.
Alberto Lopez
Feb 22, 2017 Alberto Lopez rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favorites
What an stupendous book about hiring people; and to think that it is also one of the few great books for the folks who deal with Human Resources chores... The methodology described is so scarily valuable that I found the many mistakes I have personally committed while being interviewed. It is an eye opener and a must read for any manager wishing to build a team of any value at all. In second thought, the book is for all managers. It is my experience that all managers fail when hiring despite the ...more
Daniel DiPiazza
Feb 22, 2017 Daniel DiPiazza rated it really liked it
Great primer on the core elements in the hiring process. A great introduction for CEOs looking to skill up and scale up.

I see 3 critical elements in all successful businesses:

1.) Correct strategy/marketing
2.) Financial discipline
3.) Hiring A-players

The rising tide lifts all boats. Hiring is extremely important, so this is a big one.
Feb 24, 2016 David rated it really liked it
As an Executive Coach, I consistently remind my clients that as an executive or manager of any sort, your greatest responsibility is hiring the right person for your job. Mistakes in hiring cost you money, time, quality, productivity and aggravation unmatched by any other errors you can make. Too often we tolerate our bad hires because either we don't want to start all over again or admit we had dropped the ball.

"Who" by Geoff Smart and Randy Street address this epidemic in a fast-paced, well-wr
Jun 08, 2011 Paul rated it really liked it
I immediately connected with the authors of this book. Their initial statement that the success of a business is not about what you make or sell but about WHO is involved has always been my philosophy. Great products or services will always suffer from less than stellar people behind them.

The book focuses on populating your employee base with only “A Players.” For companies to excel, they need to set the bar higher in their hiring practices to the point where they select from only the top 10% of
Feb 22, 2016 Miles rated it liked it
As a newcomer to the world of business, I don’t possess the background or knowledge base to properly critique this book. I learned some interesting information and strategies, but am not sure how useful they will be until I’ve implemented them. Who is very accessible and easy to understand, and it seems like the authors did their homework.

Smart and Street’s most helpful idea, as I see it, is the use of “scorecards” in the hiring process. Scorecards provide a detailed job description with a “miss
Ben Salkowe
Sep 14, 2016 Ben Salkowe rated it really liked it
Made me rethink how we create job descriptions and go about hiring staff. The central idea of creating very specific priorities and crystal clear score cards for jobs is a transformational one.
Nov 06, 2016 Andy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got this because Atul Gawande recommends it in "The Checklist Manifesto" as a validated way to hire. I got some useful tips here (summarized elsewhere in GR reviews), but I can't say it's a great book.

Some aspects seem suspect. For example, for proof of how well the author's system works, he uses the example of a big bank hiring Jamie Dimon to be CEO, specifically because the process revealed how honest Dimon was. Of course, since then Dimon has been implicated in the 2008 Crash shenanigans a
Oct 26, 2009 E rated it it was amazing
Actionable recruiting guide

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
Michael Bodekaer
Oct 15, 2016 Michael Bodekaer rated it really liked it
Very good intro book on hiring interviews and key questions to ask.
Overall, I still use many of the questions in this book for my interviews (so now you can prep if you got an interview with me ;)

Importance of reference interviews is also highlighted as key with good guidance on how to best perform them. I still to this day find reference checks to be both the most important part and also the part that most people leave out/down-prioritize simply because it can feel uncomfortable/hard to do well
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Geoff Smart is the #1 thought leader on the #1 topic in business. He is Chairman & Founder of ghSMART, a leadership consulting firm that serves Fortune 500 CEOs and boards, billionaire entrepreneurs, and heads of state. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Who, Leadocracy, and Power Score: Your Formula for Leadership Success. Geoff and his colleagues donate hundreds of hours per year ...more
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“Do not hire anybody who has been pushed out of 20 percent or more of their jobs.” 2 likes
“These who mistakes are pricey. According to studies we’ve done with our clients, the average hiring mistake costs fifteen times an employee’s base salary in hard costs and productivity loss.” 1 likes
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