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Who Hardcover – September 30, 2008
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The Amazon Book Review
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“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 right jobs at the right time. It’s all about the who!”
–Aaron Kennedy, founder and chairman, Noodles & Company
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
The book is further flawed by assuming the bucket list qualifications that HR cooks up is what's needed in the company and is unassailable in its correctness. When was HR great? Anyone? If it’s so important why are there never any CEOs in for profit companies with HR backgrounds if people matter so much?
The book also assumes that candidates contacted that say no, are really a negotiation starting point. And that you would be able to grill the hell out of that person if they agree for a quick coffee.
The problem is that innovation, out of the box thinking and real outperformance is always done by outliers by outsiders that don’t play by the rules. This is exactly what a “A” player is, totally different from B’s and C’s because they do things very differently and have a skill set that can vary from feeble to outstanding. This book doesn’t address any of these important issues.
When did you have a bad boss?
(studies show the majority of management is bad, and bad middle mgt. is mainly responsible for people quitting, not the overall company)
SO the book assumes that the employer is king, is right all the time, ignores that companies go bankrupt, lose money, produce bad products, etc.
So what you get is devious candidates that are great story tellers, never slighting the boss, or the company or telling what it is really like. Basically you are going to hire great politicians with this book.
In other words, Group think is what the book is promoting.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Who touts itself as the book to solve one’s “#1 problem.” It is a book on the importance of hiring correctly and how to go about the undertaking. Read morePublished 7 days ago by AliGhaemi
I've been working with an executive coach for years to improve our success rate in hiring, and have learned a lot of hard lessons from hiring toxic people. Read morePublished 14 days ago by B3n S6z
Recruiting and interviewing can definitely seem like a chore, but Geoff Smart lays out a good framework on how to find the best people for the job. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Amazon Customer
If you want to 10x your business, this book is critical for your success. You can't afford to make hiring mistakes.Published 1 month ago by Ben
I highly recommend anyone who is running a company or hiring employees to read this book. The template And checklist format is excellent!Published 1 month ago by Anik K. Singal
I have read Smart's prior Topgrading book, but this one took the concept to an entirely new level. No candidate could b.s. Their way through this process.Published 1 month ago by scott d merritt