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Who: The A Method for Hiring

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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 today" 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 consider that the typical hiring success rate of managers is only 50 percent.

The silver lining is that "who" problems are easily preventable. Based on more than 1,300 hours of interviews with more than 20 billionaires and 300 CEOs, Who presents Smart and Street's A Method for Hiring. Refined through the largest research study of its kind ever undertaken, the A Method stresses fundamental elements that anyone can implement-and it has a 90 percent success rate.

Whether you're a member of a board of directors looking for a new CEO, the owner of a small business searching for the right people to make your company grow, or a parent in need of a new babysitter, it's all about Who. Inside you'll learn how to

- avoid common "voodoo hiring" methods
- define the outcomes you seek
- generate a flow of A Players to your team-by implementing the #1 tactic used by successful businesspeople
- ask the right interview questions to dramatically improve your ability to quickly distinguish an A Player from a B or C candidate
- attract the person you want to hire, by emphasizing the points the candidate cares about most

In business, you are who you hire. In Who, Geoff Smart and Randy Street offer simple, easy-to-follow steps that will put the right people in place for optimal success.

208 pages, Hardcover

First published August 19, 2008

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About the author

Geoff Smart

4 books36 followers
Dr. Geoff Smart 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.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 384 reviews
Profile Image for Ann.
12 reviews2 followers
January 31, 2009
"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 scripts in order to identify both problem areas in the past and areas where the applicant fits the position. When you're offered a cliché, such as the response "I tend to work too hard" to the "what are your perceived weaknesses?" question, probe until you get real answers that contain real examples.

3. Make sure that you glean information about underlings who've dealt with the applicant as well as their supervisors. Many applicants appear to be a good fit until you talk to those who've worked FOR them.

4. Have the position and the expected outcomes of whomever would fill it defined as precisely as possible, with real-world measurables.

5. Fire them hard and fast if they do not meet the defined expectations.
Profile Image for Ola Olusoga.
28 reviews9 followers
June 28, 2016
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 job
- Have a weak flow of candidates
- Do not trust their ability to pick out the right candidate from a group of similar looking candidates
- Lose candidates they really want to join their team

Th economic reported that finding the right ppl is the single biggest problem in business today.

Everyone has been subjected to miss hire at some point. The goal is to focus on the person not the resume. The issue with resumes is its rife with fodder that evangelizes the positive attribute and jettisons the negative of an individual. When that occur you may end up purchasing at face value.

In order to hire right, some bad hiring habits (Voodoo Hiring) need to be dismissed.

Hire A players. An a player is "a candidate who has at least a 90 percent chance of achieving a set of outcomes that only the top 10% of possible candidates could achieve". Both can get the job done and is a culture fit.

C Players = You will never win in your market. Will always lag.
B players = You will do okay in the market, but will never be number 1
A Players = You will always come out on top. Talent acquisition is the leading indicator for innovation.

A players not only raise the bar for the overall outcome and dynamics of a company. They also bring culture value.

Identify and hire A players by utilizing the "A Method".

The A method consists of four steps:

A comprehensive analysis of what the candidate should possess and should be able to accomplish.
Describes the mission (job's core purpose), success indicators/outcomes and competencies for the culture, position and company.
Without defining what the role initials, what the company needs and what the hire needs to accomplish, you cannot press forward.
Business changes, you need to hire a person for now, not what the role requires 5 years from now
Translates business objectives into clear outcomes

Everyone on your team should be on the lookout for A players.
The best pool to tap into are referrals from your personal and business network
One strategy: Always ask when meeting someone new "who are the most talented people you know?". Talent knows talent, and they're always happy to pass on a name.
Other methods of recruiting: deputizing affiliate firms/companies, hire recruiting firm, hire recruit researcher.
Create a structure that empowers you to stay connected to potential hires (ex: spreadsheet w/ contact name and snippets about the person). Try to establish a weekly follow up tempo.

Utilize 4 interview processes to winnow potential candidates and collect facts + data about a persons track record

The 4 interviews are:

The screening interview
A short/brief 30 minute phone based interview that helps weed out inappropriate candidates

Top grading interview
By using data and patterns of behavior you can extrapolate a candidates future performance

Focused interview
Focuses on the outcome and competencies of the scorecard.
This is shorter than the top grading interview and should take about 2-3 hrs.
This is were you double check culture fit.

Reference interview
All together the team should complete about 7 reference interviews

Skill-Will bulls eye
When candidates align with your scorecard it should feel like hitting a bulls eye.
Evaluate the outcomes/ objectives + competenties and rate the candidate a-c.
An A player is someone who's skill matches your scorecard to the T. How will you know?
You're 90% sure the candidate can get the job done because he matches the outcomes on your scorecard
You're confident he's a good fit because he matches your mission and competencies of the role
If you have multiple a players, rank them and select the best candidate

Hiring is a two way street. Not only are you evaluating A players, they're also evaluating you.
In order to close the deal there are 5 criteria you have you meet:
Fit,Family, Freedom, Fortune, Fun

Persistence is the greatest recruiting lol. If you've found "that person" go above and beyond to be them.
Don't get lazy/cold. Constantly be on the offense.

Talent management makes up about 50% of business success.

Successfully instilling A method hiring across your entire company requires 10 tens:
Make people top priority,Follow the method yourself, build support among your executive team or peers, cast a clear vision for the org, train your team on best practices, remove barriers that impede success, implement new policies that support the change, recognize and reward those who use the method and achieve results, remove managers who are not on board, celebrate wins

Managing the dynamics of multiple A players is easy when you have each individual doing a specific role and contributing to the overall direction the team is going.

If teamwork is core to your company, it should be part of the culture, and in turn should be a criteria on the scorecard.

Development, Promotions and success planning should also follow the A Method
Outline outcomes/leading indicators and competencies on a scorecard for ppl looking to advance
Profile Image for Pavel Annenkov.
390 reviews107 followers
January 13, 2017
Это лучшая книга по тому, как подбирать персонал в свою компанию.
Profile Image for Märt.
88 reviews13 followers
September 7, 2016
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 slightly wrong in the end, you do not hire, since you only want the best of the best.

The authors are members of a hiring consultancy firm with tons of experience. The “A Method" makes a lot of sense and is supported by great examples and tactical tips. On the other hand, most examples are for hiring “A level” CEO-s or executives for successful corporations (not say for a rising start-up), and they seem to assume that both the talent available and the time for hiring are nearly infinite.

The great value of the “Who” is in how after reading the great in-depth explanations and tactics, it can be paired down to a number of checklists. I will list them here, and thus consider my review complete!

- Voodoo Hiring Methods - 10 popular methods to hire that have been shown to have nothing to do with job performance
- The A Method For Hiring - Scorecard, Source, Select, Sell
- Scorecard - Job Mission, Outcomes, Competencies
- Source - Referrals from Networks, Referrals from Employees, Paid Referrals, Hiring Recruiters, Hiring Researchers, Sourcing System (to follow up regularly)
- Select - Screening Interview, Who Interview, Focused Interview, Candidate Discussion, Reference Interview, Final Decision (loads of great stuff here)
- Sell - Fit, Family, Freedom, Fortune, Fun (often undervalued)
Profile Image for Cody.
47 reviews1 follower
July 8, 2018
My boss asked me to read this. It's basically a couple of blog posts stitched together with some redundant anecdotes and a bunch of unnecessary fluff. Knowing there are people in the world out there who subscribe to this kind of thinking, who are hell-bent on commoditizing and reducing people into "A-player" hires, is unbelievably depressing. There is, in fact, a section about how to adopt this hiring methodology at your place of work and one of the steps amounts to this: fire any managers who aren't on board with this technique.

One chapter is about interviewing. I've been asked to interview candidates using their Topgrading technique half a dozen times or so now, and it's a pretty commonsense approach that amounts to reviewing in chronological order each phase in a candidate's work history and asking the same set of questions about their time in that role. You really don't need anything more than the list of questions and some techniques to politely prevent the candidate from derailing the process. It's fine. It's a reasonable procedure (though super long! If I recall correctly they advise you adhere to 3 hours) that in combination with the other interviews can paint a fairly comprehensive picture of a candidate. The other sections are about sourcing candidates (sorry, A-players!) and how to sell them and blah blah blahhhh. Nothing earth-shattering or even memorable, frankly. Moreover, the authors try to make it sound like their technique works at any level and in any context but it all reads through the lens of hiring corporate executives. SO if that's not what you're doing then beware of sinking the vast amount of time and energy into the hiring process of each candidate that this method prescribes.

If you hire B-players your business will fail and it will be your fault. If your business fails... it's because you hired B-players. BEWARE THE B-PLAYER! ALL HAIL THE A-PLAYER!
Profile Image for Greg.
40 reviews37 followers
February 14, 2019

Sound advice but the content is more befitting a blog post than a book...padded like a high school English paper trying to hit a word count
Profile Image for Eugene.
157 reviews16 followers
February 5, 2016
Great book on hiring A players.
The keys to the successful hiring (according to the book) are in
- always be hiring. constantly look for new leads, due to the high demand for A players need to get lot of leads as A players are about 10% or less. the main source are workers, colleagues, partners, friends - they should be aware that you are always looking for great players.
- doing the proper and effective screening to put away B and C players.
- measuring candidates by using scorecards and rely on these scorecards when making decisions.
- checking candidate's references (lot of tips on better ways to check references, they also refer to Topgrading method including Threat of Reference method). the book discusses different ways of doing a reference checks
- do not spend time on B and C players by recognizing red flags and stop signs (lot of specific tips to recognize particular wording and how to guide the interview to reveal important details).
- selling your company to candidate: A players are in high demand in other companies too so the selling and convincing candidates is the very important point, the book provides with lot of useful tips on this task.

I do like lot of specific tips and examples (not just theories but real cases with real people and real mistakes) in this book that can be taken instantly to apply in the business.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
September 20, 2018
Why are most examples of successful leaders in this book male, whereas struggling ones female?
I feel this book suffers from several cognitive biases. If all you are looking for is A players that are white, straight, male... guess what... that’s all you will find. Even “better”, you will be able to write about talking about how essential it is to hire for this folks and not get sued in the process.

Despite a couple good example, this reads like a modernesque Hiring guide for the mad men era
Profile Image for David Robins.
342 reviews22 followers
July 13, 2011
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.
Profile Image for Brian D..
25 reviews1 follower
February 12, 2019
This book easily could have been a blog post. There are a few good tidbits, but they are wrapped in a giant turd of a business book that rattles on about 'the "A" method for hiring,' and other zingers. If biz-bro is your thing, then you'll probably love it. Otherwise, avoid.
Profile Image for Pavel.
15 reviews2 followers
April 19, 2019
Пожалуй, лучшая книга про то, как находить сотрудников А класса в свою команду. Часто встречал элементы методики в подходах разных людей из разных организаций (однозначно успешных). Сама книга (кстати, очень небольшая, без воды) разделена на четыре блока (4S) + обрамление:
1. Как сформулировать, кто тебе нужен (сделать Scorecard).
2. Как привлекать на собеседование нужных людей (наладить Source).
3. Как проводить оценку сотрудников через интервью и рекомендации (Select)
4. Как договориться с выбранным сотрудником класса A (Sell).

Scorecard инсайты.

По сути, надо сфо��мулировать и написать три вещи: миссию должности, ожидаемые смартированные результаты и набор компетенций (fit для должности и компании). Вместе это составит scorecard.

Миссия должности должна быть суперпонятной даже стороннему человеку из твоей организации. Просто сформулированной. На основе которой можно принимать решения сотруднику. Кажется, что все логично, но часто я встречал расплывчатые и неконкретные миссии, которые невозможно применять ни к поиску, ни к работе. В таком виде они становятся профанацией. К моему сожалению, я сам писал такие не раз. Тут немного отдает подходом "спроси свою маму" - если не сможешь объяснить миссию должности сотруднику из другого отдела, у тебя проблемы.

Надо срастить видение среди топ-менеджеров и тех людей, с которыми предстоит работать с этим человеком. Кажется, что это наиболее часто пропускаемый этап, который доставляет кучу неудобств в дальнейшем.
Список expected outcomes легко превращается в KPI, цели и задачи. Если, конечно, он составлен хорошо.

Source инсайты.

В моменты чтения вспомнил несколько своих последних диалогов на встрече со знакомыми. Более чем уверен, что они или читали книгу, или сами нахватались где-то подходу. Основная идея - поиск кандидатов начинается в момент создания компании и не прекращается никогда. А занимаются им все.

В основе лежит, что в момент любого общения стоит спросить что-то в духе "Кто самый талантливый человек, которого ты знаешь, кого мне стоило бы нанять к себе в компанию?" Разные вариации этого вопроса я слышал десятки раз. И это работает) Более того, системный подход позволяет пообщаться уже с этим человеком и задать такой вопрос уже ему. А часто таких ребят будет несколько. Большая часть ребят не будут искать работу в моменте, но вы можете поддерживать с ними связь и в нужные моменты быть первым (ну или хотя бы самым понятным и знакомым).

Вторым каналом называют сотрудников - тут без вопросов, сложнее положить в голову фрейм, как это сделать элегантно (в какой-то момент мы делали визитки "вы мне нравитесь, приходите к нам работать". Помню, что сам рекомендовал не менее трех друзей. Порекомендовал бы большему числу, но вот в этих я был прям уверен. За рекомендацию, кстати, можно платить.

Ну и третий канал - поиск тех людей, которые не ищут активно работу, но могут быть заинтересованы. Этим часто занимаются hr-агентства или крупные hr-отделы компаний.
И ни одной рекомендации по работе с базами резюме в случае с A-уровня кандидатами!

Select инсайты.

Методика предлагает 4 собеседования:
* скрининговое интервью - просто отсеять тех, кто точно нет максимально быстро и незатратно;
* Who интервью (много часов, 5 вопросов, золотой стандарт что делал, что сделал, слабые места, с кем работал, почему ушел);
* Focused интервью (конкретная проверка культуры, соответствия scorecard, уже не только HR)
* Проверка рекомендаций (просто нечего добавить, стоит взять 7 рекомендателей и не только из списка кандидата).

Все логично, но внутри есть много крутого мяса.

Например, TORC (threat of reference check). Есть два вопроса: "Как бы вас оценил ваш прошлый начальник по шкале от 1 до 10?" и "Как вас оценит ваш прошлый начальник по шкале от 1 до 10, когда мы с ним свяжемся?" Большинство задают первый. Второй включает объективность и заставляет кандидата отвечать честнее. Помните, что 6, это на самом деле 2.

Например, как прерывать кандидата, чтобы это было ок (сам грешу этим - позволяю болтать интересным людям).

Например, 3P (previous, plan, peers): что сделал в прошлом году, какой был план на прошлый год, как справились сходные позиции.

Например, вопрос "В чем вы не хороши или не заинтересованы в работе" - позволяет мягко спросить про слабые стороны. Не стыдно быть "не заинтересованным".
Например, три способа развивать диалог: что, как, расскажите еще про..., которые позволяют раскрывать любую тему.

Ну и наконец моя любимая - про проверку рекомендаций. 7 штук надо проверить. И это 25% работы. Есть фишки, какие есть красные флаги и как добиться открытости от сотрудников компании. Кажется, многие ленятся проводить этот этап и не особо умеют (получают ложно-позитивные ответы).

Sell инсайты.

Здесь было меньше всего инсайтов, может быть, потому что в этой сфере было больше всего опыта.

Подход 5F (fit, family, freedom, fortune, fun) хорошо структурирует то, на что нужно обратить внимание. А именно: соответствие миссии и сути работы, удобство для семьи (и других стейкхолдеров решения), свободу в принятии решений, денежные и другие компенсации, удовольствие от коллег и работы. Наверное, главное, что напомнил себе - все хотят быть значимыми, делать значимое дело.

Ну и что "продажа" должности начинается еще в момент первого знакомства и заканчивается не раньше чем через 100 дней после вступления в нее.

Общий вывод по книге: краткая и простая, как автомат Калашникова. Книга-инструмент, который позволяет полностью изменить подход к найму. Прежде всего, у себя в голове.
Profile Image for Andy.
1,320 reviews455 followers
August 19, 2020
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. Since then Dimon has been implicated in the 2008 Crash shenanigans and in lying to Congress to cover up trading losses. So, if Dimon's honesty is the proof, then it's not very convincing.

Overall, reading this didn't add much to the concept in Gawande's book: know what outcomes you want to produce, measure those systematically, and come up with a checklist that helps you get more of them.

The Checklist Manifesto How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande
Profile Image for Mikko Ikola.
37 reviews6 followers
June 29, 2021
There are loads of books on recruiting, and most of them are full of fluffy rubbish. Believe me, when I started to recruit, I browsed several books on recruiting and most were either too general or had too narrow a perspective.

This was the only really good book I’ve found in the field. It’s research-based, and there is over 1300 hours of interviews with over 300 CEOs on the topic. When you’re about to start recruiting your first employees, you want to pick up this book.

The main thesis of this book is that many entrepreneurs use bad hiring habits (“voodoo hiring”), and that these need to be unlearned, and replaced with actual time-tested methods.

The first part is the job post description. It needs to be based on outcomes of the role, and specific enough.

The second part is pre-screening. You need to pre-screen heck out of your applicants to save valuable time for the actual face-to-face interview, for those who are potential fits. The largest takeaway I took from the book was the pre-screen phone script. It enabled me to identify potential candidates faster than any other method. It’s simply pure gold. If you are short on time, just implement this pre-screen phone method.

The third part is the actual interview. This is where I see most people doing the ‘voodoo hiring’. I’d estimate 90% of the people in charge of hiring, ask the same stereotypical interview question, and simply just swing the whole meeting. The candidates already know to expect the typical questions, and have well-formulated slick answers. In most cases, the interviewer really learns only some polished superficialities of the candidate.

The whole point of interviews is to put applicants off of their scripts in order to identify both problem areas and whether the candidates fit the position. This book includes a process and practical set of questions on how to make this happen. Also, it guides you to probe deeper when candidates give only superficial answers and gives suggestions on how to do that. I’ve been able to extract many times more value in interviews when I started to use the method.

Finally, an important remark for all tech entrepreneurs out there: The methods in this book are best suited for executive positions — operation, sales, and such. This is not the best book for highly technical hires, such as with software developers. Also, the methods might be a bit overkill for entry-level positions.

After you’ve read the book, they provide a free toolkit on their website you can use with the hiring process.
135 reviews
May 17, 2016
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 different types of interviews that are conducted:
- Pre-screening
- Main
- Focused interviews

For each kind of interview the authors suggest some very good basic questions. The rationale is that when you ask everyone the same questions it makes the interview process more objective and easier to evaluate.
After you ask the basic questions you are encouraged to probe deeper into whichever part of the answer were most relevant.
Another good section in the book is about selling the candidate. In my business experience I've had people sign our offer to join our organization but back out later. Once I read this section in the book I was able to see why that happened.
Selling a candidate on the job is something that must happen from the very first time they are in touch with you and especially when they first meet you in person.
There are 5 elements to selling the candidate:
- Fit
- Family
- Freedom
- Fortune (money)
- Fun

Generally you want to address all of these either directly or indirectly when speaking to candidates about the firm.
For example, if you want to show that your work environment is fun, you might not say directly "our company is so fun" but maybe if you're walking through and the candidate catching people playing games or laughing loudly the candidate will get the idea.
It is very important to understand which of the 5 elements are most important to a particular candidate. For the most part it ends up being either family or fortune. Especially in smaller companies, selling the family is really important. You likely will have to convince the candidate's partner as they will have a significant say in whether the candidate joins or not. You may even have to go to the extreme of meeting the partner.

In summary this is a really good book for anyone who is recruiting or any manager who wants to gain a glimpse into what goes on into building an effective team.
Profile Image for Bogdan Florin.
116 reviews44 followers
May 24, 2020
This book was on my reading list for a long period, however, it was high on the list of books I wanted to check in detail. I didn't check it earlier most probably because It was waiting for the right time to read it, and it just happened at the beginning of the year - probably because I'm working with some HR-related projects, and it was the right moment to learn more about selecting talent and recruiting it. I've found the book on a visit to our library, and it took me a while to finish it. In the meanwhile I've received 3 or so letters to bring it back, however, it's still with me... due to COVID. I will bring it back don't worry and buy my copy.

The book is a 10/10. A 10+ even for the quality of the content, the splendid structure, and the insightful examples within the 188-page manual.

Written by very talented pros who have spent a lifetime helping leading businesses (including top 500, hedge funds, or billionaire CEOS) to hire top talent, the book is No 1 in Amazon for the category. And it's there for years - The NYTimes bestseller is top of the ranks since 2008. This is a huge factor when considering great books in the field. The algorithm might fail, however, to stand for years is not that often the case except if there is something extraordinary, which this book stands for.

In a nutshell, you will learn what is the A Method for Hiring, and why this method brings 90% of the times the results expected, by avoiding the most common mistakes in the industry and backed by 1,300 hours of interviews with hundreds of executives.

Here is the four-step process that you will learn in detail:

Here is an example of a scorecard:

The book is structured in 6 chapters:
1. Your number 1 problem
2. Scorecard: A blueprint for success
3. Source: Generating a flow of A-players
4. Select: The four interviews for spotting A players
5. Sell: The top five ways to seal the deal
6. Your greatest opportunity

Key takeaways:
1. A major question you're asking when recruiting is WHO, not what?
2. Recurring A talent is the biggest factor of success in your business
3. Using this framework will increase the success of your business from 50% to 90%
4. How your structured interviews should look like?
5. What are the elements of a scorecard
6. How to select who to hire and how to pitch that potential of the company to the top candidate

Some essential elements that you will learn by reading this book:
- A Player Productivity and why you should focus on hiring them vs the others
- Why you should have a checklist when hiring
- Why your scorecard should contain the mission, the outcomes, and competencies of the targeted recruit - and why it's better than a job description
- How to source using referrals, recruiters, and researchers to increase your lead pipeline
- Discover some of the Red & Green flags after the interview - slide 25 https://www.mequoda.com/wp-content/up...
- Select: Decide Who to Hire
- The 5 F’s of Selling: Fit, Family, Freedom, Fortune, and Fun
- When Do You Evaluate Talent?
- Even when the candidate accepts, selling isn’t over, because research suggests many new hires often leave in the first 100 days
- Selecting talent after 4 interviews: Screening, topgrading, focus, and reference interviews.

Find below the leading questions when doing the 4 interviews:

1. What are your career goals?
2. What are you really good at professionally? Please give me some examples.
3. What are you not good at or not interested in? Please give me some examples.
4. Who were your last 5 bosses, and how will they each rate your performance when we talk with them (1-10)? Why?

For each job in the last 15+ years, ask:
1. What were you hired to do?
2. What accomplishments were you most proud of?
3. What were some low points during that job?
4. Who did you work with?
5. Why did you leave that job?

1. The purpose of this interview is to talk about ________
(one or more key outcomes or competencies).
2. What are some of the biggest accomplishments you have had in this area?
3. What are your biggest mistakes and lessons learned in this area?

1. In what context did you work with the person?
2. What were the person’s biggest strengths? Please give me some examples.
3. What were some of the person’s biggest areas for improvement back then? Please give me some
4. How would you rate their overall performance in that job (1-10)?
5. The person mentioned that they struggled in that job with ______ (e.g. hitting their gross margin targets); tell me more about that.

Later edit: You can find the templates on the author's website: https://geoffsmart.com/smarttools/

Probably best quotes to borrow:
“Who are the most talented people you know that I should consider hiring?”
“Here is where we are going as a company, and here is how you fit in.”
“What can we do to make this change as easy as possible for your family?”
“I will give you ample freedom to make decisions, and I will not micromanage you.”
“Here’s what you can make if you accomplish your objectives.”
“I think you will find this culture one that you will really enjoy.”
"Hiring is every company’s number one problem, yet managers use the wrong approaches to hiring "

Here are my sources for this review:
The official website of the book: https://whothebook.com/
A very good summary of the book (could be made by the author): https://www.slideshare.net/interviewc...
Another great presentation, very well structured:
The two images come from:
Profile Image for JM.
9 reviews
March 8, 2019
The authors ask the right questions, but fail to provide the right answers.
There are so many things that are wrong with this book that I don’t even know where to start.
Putting a chosen number on a subjective topic doesn’t make if magically an objective assessment.
There are simpler and safer ways to assess candidates, but also to identify the keys skills needed for a job.
It doesn’t seem like the authors have done proper research on scientific results on these matters, especially in the field of work and organizational psychology.
And the way they suggest to treat candidates is sometimes by no way acceptable in terms of candidate experience.
It doesn’t seem to be more than a massive promotion for their services.
5 reviews
May 13, 2019
Who's a typical "business process" book -- it's to-the-point, provides good coverage of accepted best practices, and is lacking in analysis or coverage of its methods. I would have liked more information on how the authors arrived at their conclusions, as there was plenty of asserting that sufficient study and analysis had been gathered with very little coverage of the data itself. Most the points, though, are common sense, and having it all in one place is helpful for future reference. The authors do make a couple of more controversial points, namely to hire specialists over generalists and to prefer aggressive, decisive executives over diplomatic ones. Overall the book is a good starting point for hiring practices that could have had more substance.
Profile Image for Aksena.
56 reviews
July 14, 2021
Хороша і досить практична книга про найм людей в команду. Сподобалось, що є покрокова інструкція та приклади питань, які треба ставити. Особливо хорошим є розділ про рекомендації - як брати і як правильно ставити питання так, щоб тобі максимально об‘єктивно розказали про потенційного співробітника.

Як людина, яка працювала і з наймом, скажу, що я би процес найму в попередніх компаніях за результатами цієї книги таки б змінила. І так, повністю погоджуюсь, що необхідно і краще довше наймати людину - бо для компанії вигідний правильний працівник, а не просто хто-небуть.
Profile Image for Alexander Pavlov.
19 reviews4 followers
May 10, 2018
Книга базового уровня по подбору людей в команду. Авторы описывают самые основы:
- Что должен содержать лист требований к кандидату;
- Из каких стадий состоит отбор;
- Какие вопросы стоит задавать на каждой стадии;
- Как на основе ответов на эти вопросы принимать решение о найме.
Полезна для закладывания основ найма. Изложена очень доступно и подойдет для руководителей разного уровня.
Profile Image for Igor Gorchakov.
19 reviews3 followers
July 8, 2019
Начало июля в области чтения было ознаменовано прочтением очень важной и своевременной книги о подборе персонала класса А. Книга "Кто" однозначно занимает теперь первое место в области подбора кадров в моём личном рейтинге. Получил ценный багаж знаний и большой мотивационный заряд для активного движения вперёд в этом направлении. Большое спасибо Павел Анненков за рекомендацию!
Profile Image for Natalia Amelina.
14 reviews1 follower
August 12, 2018
a good recap of executive search tools.
This book shifts you hiring approach from subjective "I like him / he seems like a good guy" to objective "he fits a role by x%, he has these competencies which I need"
Profile Image for Bjoern Rochel.
359 reviews66 followers
March 27, 2022
Overall a useful structured framework for hiring efforts, at least for people like me who haven’t read an awful lot on hiring so far. I definitely see how the process outlined in here, could have helped me in the past and where the process of my former employer severely lacked for example. Just for that it was useful to read

Could be half the size of pages, if you rip out all anecdotal stories though.

Some parts in the book feel a bit too sales oriented and I definitely also disagree with the push to hire uber-specialised people (especially if you’re a startup).

Overall solid though

Ignore those parts, the rest is useful nevertheless
Profile Image for Mercer Smith.
325 reviews3 followers
December 26, 2022
This book was recommended to me by a boss 5 or 6 years ago and I just got around to reading it. While I think this may be helpful for someone just starting on their leadership journey, or for folks who haven’t put a lot of intentionality into their hiring, for me this was kind of redundant. The one thing I did like was setting aside 30 minutes a week to reach out and have a chat with someone that may be a dream hire for you in the future—love playing the long game in building relationships, and the idea of being more intentional about it sings to me.
Profile Image for Karrea Kolb.
26 reviews
March 1, 2022
Very interesting read on how to find and hire 'A' players. Had lots of examples and case studies.
Profile Image for Bobbi.
156 reviews2 followers
October 13, 2022
It was an interesting book, but the intro needs to be re-written and the rest is a bit out of date considering it’s over 10 years old. I also think that they need to establish what happens in companies when there are too many leadership personalities. A Player should be redefined as the person best fit to do a certain job and stay long term, which doesn’t always mean that they’re a leader. Maybe they’re just an insanely good engineer who enjoys backend work? They might not be a leader, but having someone with that consistency and knowledge will be a backbone for the front end developers to build on.
Profile Image for Peter Keller.
33 reviews7 followers
January 17, 2018
Amazing, best book I've ever read on recruiting and hiring "A-players".

Here is my hiring flow for my business, Fringe Sport that I wrote and refined based on Who:

How to Hire for Fringe Sport
Establish WHY we are hiring
Set the budget
For the employee (comp package)
For the referral
What will we pay to the person that refers a hire that lasts 6 months?
Create a scorecard for the role
3-8 outcomes
Including their Top 5 and Top 1 of 5
Create a 3 & 12 month success check-in
When we review them at 3 months in, what will they have achieved for us to be overjoyed that they are on the team?
When we review them at 12 months in, what will they have achieved for us to be overjoyed that they are on the team?
Write job posting
Set up the job in Workable, including the link you want the applicants to hit
Publish the job to:
fb (Austin Digital Jobs, if applicable)
Your personal fb and Linkedin if it makes sense
Collect resumes for at least one weekend before you begin sorting for a phone screen
Sort resumes for a phone screen (questions here)
Do phone screens, candidates either get knocked out or invited to in-person interview
Do in-person interviews (interview questions here)
Share the mission, outcomes, and 3 and 12 month success indicators at this stage if you have not yet
Do reference checks on all amazing candidates from the in-person interview (interview questions here)
Have the candidates do a paid trial (if at all possible)
This means- “chunk” their job down to the smallest parts, and have the applicant actually do the job- preferably for at least 10-20 hours of work. Pay them for this time! But this is a trial on both sides. Will they work well with us? For them- do they still want to work with us?
Determine to whom you want to make an offer. Discuss the hire with Peter for final approval and sign-off
Make a written job offer, including the mission, outcomes, and 3 and 12 month success indicators
Joyfully make a hire!
Calendar 3 month and 12 month success check-ins at this time
Profile Image for Brian.
205 reviews2 followers
July 10, 2019
This is a short but practical read to help in effective hiring. It focuses on how to go about hiring "A" quality workers in a methodical, systematic manner. Having been on both sides of the hiring process many times, I can attest to the haphazard way in which hiring often happens.

This book offers simple, clear, pragmatic, proven solutions to effective hiring. It is broken up into chapters reflecting the sequential process:
1. Identifying the problem
2. Scorecard: Defining characteristics of hire
3. Sourcing: Maintaining a Pipeline of "A" Players
4. Select: The Four Interviews for Spotting "A" Players
5. Sell: Top Five Ways to Seal the Deal (getting "A" players to choose your company)

Not only is this book helpful for hiring managers, it is also practical for "A" player applicants in preparing for interviews with "A" quality companies.

Finally, it is short and to the point. Given the focus of the book, it is just the right length. It is heartening to hear the authors confirm at the end of the book that by creating quality scorecards and follow effective hiring practices, companies will inherently avoid discrimination based on protected classes or statuses.
Profile Image for Tam.
93 reviews1 follower
June 30, 2018
The method outlined in the book is sound, for the most part, and definitely would improve many hiring processes significantly. However, the entire book reads like an ad for their company - there’s even a section promoting the workshops they offer at the end of the book. It leaves a bit of a bad taste. Also, it’s interesting they don’t mention how this scorecard helps with diversity hiring - it levels the playing field to some extent, but they clearly aren’t interested in that as much (only 4/80 (5%) of the CEOs and leaders they interviewed were women, for example). It’s painful to read because of the ad-salesy positioning, but overall it’s a really good method for hiring better people.
Profile Image for Glenn Burnside.
195 reviews8 followers
July 7, 2016
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.
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