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Who: The A Method for Hiring [Kindle Edition]

Geoff Smart , Randy Street
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $25.00
Kindle Price: $11.84
You Save: $13.16 (53%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

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.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Think of Who as the literal and figurative son of TopGrading (2005), by Brad Smart. Coaches and consultants Smart and Street have broadened the how-to-hire process from interviews to a 360-degree perspective on recruiting A players. It’s a compelling read for many reasons: the research is solid and expansive, based on actual work, CEO/top-management interviews, and statistics analyses from a top graduate business school. It’s simple: instead of 6 reasons here and 10 steps there, the authors boil down their recommendations into a 4-step process, from scorecard and source to select and sell. Who wouldn’t like to read stories from well-known CEOs like George Buckley of 3M, opening up the mysterious method of executive hiring? And finally, it’s a book laced with humor; anecdotes about interviewees who’ve told their stories all too well are not only laughable but memorable, too—for all the right reasons. Like the candidate who bugged his boss’ office because he never received any performance appraisals. Intended for executive readers—and human resources’ follow-through. --Barbara Jacobs


Advance praise for Who

“Seventy percent of the game is finding the right people, putting them in the right position, listening to them, and alleviating what gets in their way. Who is a practical guide to making sure you get the right people to start with! Excellent advice and guide.”
–Robert Gillette, president and CEO, Honeywell Aerospace

“Geoff Smart and Randy Street have done an amazing job distilling the best advice from some of the world’s most successful business leaders.”
–Wayne Huizenga, founder, Blockbuster Video

“A great read–it really is all about finding, keeping, and motivating the team.” –John Malone, chairman, Liberty Media Corporation

“The key point in this book is that those of us who run companies should include who decisions near the top of the list of strategic priorities.”
–John Varley, group chief executive, Barclays

“Who is the only book you need to read if you are serious about making smart hiring and promotion decisions. It is the most actionable book on middle- and upper-management hiring that I’ve read after twenty years in HR.”
–Ed Evans, executive vice president and chief personnel officer, Allied Waste Industries

“I wish I had this book thirty years ago, at the beginning of my career!”
–Jay Jordan, chairman and CEO, the Jordan Company

“This book will save you and your company time and money. In business, what else is there?”
–Roger Marino, co-founder, EMC Corporation

“You’ll find yourself nodding yes, saying ‘That’s right,’ and thinking, Oh, I’ve been there, all the way through this grand slam of a book. Whether you’re starting a company or running a part of a big one, the level of success you achieve is almost always a result of choosing the right people for the r...

Product Details

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
67 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book on Hiring September 30, 2008
I just finished reading a pre-release copy of the book Who by Geoff Smart and Randy Street. Wow, it's good. Really good.
Geoff and his father Brad Smart are well known as the team that popularized Topgrading, a thorough interview process that takes the success rate for new hires from the average of about 50% to just over 90%. I don't know of a business owner alive who wouldn't love to increase the effectiveness of the interview and hire more effectively.
Smart and Street are experts in their field - they are paid huge sums of money to do this for some of the biggest and best companies in the world. Their research estimates that the average hiring mistake costs employers 15 times the salary of the incorrect hire. The number sounds absurdly high, but when you include salary, lost productivity and opportunity costs, it's plausible. Frightening.
Who is a fast and simple read, but is heavy on content. It begins with a discussion of what they call voodoo hiring, or the process most business owners use during the interview process, and it was painful for me. I'm guilty of voodoo hiring and I'm guessing most of you are, too. Much of my process is guessing and gut feel, and is done over too short of a period of time. It's not hard to see the need for a change.
Next comes a simple explanation of why hiring "A" players is so important. They define an "A" player as the right superstar for the job, a talented person who fits in well with your company culture. B and C hires cost you money; A's make you rich.
The meat of the book is about the four keys to what they call the A Method : Scorecard, Source, Select and Sell. I can't do justice to the brilliance of the system in this short review, but here are the basics.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical, straightforward, highly valuable October 8, 2008
I like this book because it sets out a clear point of view--that most of us have been neglecting a key component to business success: hiring in a rigorous manner. It then proceeds to offer a method for correcting this problem. I haven't yet tried the method itself, but I intend to. My preliminary reaction is that it makes intuitive sense, but that it's going to take a fair amount of time to implement successfully. The authors anticipate this response and argue that more time now saves an inordinate amount of time later. I'll add more once I've tried the method, but first response is positive.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent manual for how to hire great people April 1, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I wasn't looking forward to this book - I find books like this excruciating to read and generally hit "skim" by about page 30. I found this one to be really good - it drew me and and ended up being a very practical guide to how to hire great people. I'd recommend it to anyone in an entrepreneurial company who is responsible for interviewing and hiring people. I rarely send out book recommendations to the Foundry Group CEO list - I sent this one the day I got home.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You are WHO you hire January 15, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A companion book to Topgrading by Brad Smart, this little handbook takes the Topgrading concepts to the next level by providing a guide to using Topgrading to improve hiring for your organization. In the world of Topgrading, there are three types of employees: A, B, and C. "A" employees are in the top ten percent of skill and ability for their position. "B" employees are in the next 25 percent, and C employees make up the rest. High performing organizations are filled with A and B players and do their best to help C employees improve to the A or B level or be released from the organization. Topgrading includes sample interview guides and describes hiring methods to make sure you hire A and B players from the get go.

The book, Who, simplifies the Topgrading concepts by creating a system for hiring: Source, Scorecard, Select, and Sell. These four systems work together to ensure you hire the best employees possible. A further breakdown looks like this:

1) Source: Constantly reach out to A players in the market and create a list of people you would like to work for you. This way, when an opening occurs, you will have a strong Source to fill the spots.

2) Scorecard: Determine the key elements you are looking for in your position and design a scorecard for each key role you will be hiring. Use that scorecard to screen out who you will bring in for in-depth interviews. Careful screening prevents a host of problems in hiring.

3) Select: Determine who is best for the position through an in-depth Topgrade interview. The best predictor of future success is past success--don't cut corners in reference checking.

4) Sell: "A" players have options. Work hard to sell your organization to them.

The screening interview process was a highlight of this book. Who is a must have resource for every HR director and leader who wants to attract and secure top talent for their organization.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on hiring...period. February 5, 2013
Read this book when it first came out and then implemented the practices throughout our company. I consider it to be one of the best investments I have ever made in the business as our revenues have more than tripled in size from that time and the growth per year is only accelerating. I have more time, and the business is more fun because of hiring, developing and retaining "A" players. "Who" is a must read!
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38 of 52 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Good but Not Great Book October 21, 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a corporate director of human resources and business book author, I am always interested in new books that deal with the age-old problem of hiring the right person. I received my preview copy from Churn-baby-churn last week (great service!). It is very well written and flows smoothly from topic to topic. I must say that I was pleased with the overall content of the book but a little disappointed due to the reviews and pre-publication buzz not matching my expectations.

To begin, the subject matter is crucial to an organization's success. Some simply luck into hiring A players (even a blind hog will occasionally find an acorn) but so many do not put in the effort. This book makes a strong point that it is often a lack of effort on the part of management that prevents excellent hiring. I totally agree. I also agree with the "voodoo hiring methods" as I have seen these processes implemented through the years with astounding failure. I have been guilty of "voodoo hiring" myself.

I find difference with two aspects of the book. One is the process of using the Scorecard, Source, Select, Sell approach to hiring. Individually, they all have merit in parts or whole. However, as a system, I believe it would be somewhat cumbersome and eventually fail as a process. It also has the appearance of being a "fad" of which I strive to avoid. With that said, according to an organization's culture, select parts of this process could be adapted and implemented I believe with great success.

The other difference is the author's clear embrace of a total scientific methodology in making selections. In fact, the book states that the `gut instinct" is unreliable and should never be utilized in an interview. For the young and uninitiated manager, I agree.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Somewhat current corporate hiring policy. Influenced my own strategy for advancement with positive results.
Published 1 day ago by karmutzen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Simple. To the point. Clever.
Published 7 days ago by Mike Nabavi
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
This is a terrific book and has totally changed how I view the hiring process.
Published 8 days ago by Daniel R. Chaudoir
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!!!
Must read, especially for those in charge of hiring (business owners, etc).
Published 8 days ago by mooo
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good methodology, promotional writing style unnecessary
The authors offer a solid methodology, but their promotional writing style is unnecessary and dilutive. Perhaps better presented with more case studies and less self promotion.
Published 25 days ago by Sippican
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for anyone making hiring decisions!
Geoff shares so many high value techniques in this book. We're implementing this process and have seen considerable results. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bryant Cornett
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This book provides very clear and specific guidelines on hiring. It is easy to read, understand, and to put into practice.
Published 1 month ago by Jim
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book!
Fantastic book! It provides so much information on how to choose the right person for a position in your company. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Julie
5.0 out of 5 stars Came very highly recommended
I was not disappointed. Have given to my Senior Leadership team to read and all have agreed that this is the process moving forward as we grow our business.
Published 2 months ago by Pen Name
5.0 out of 5 stars Who... Should be on your to read list!
Easy read, extremely valuable information, a different approach! I highly recommend the program for anyone who is in charge of the hiring process!
Published 3 months ago by Vonna torrey
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