3 Reasons Not to Hire An A Player

You’d think every employer would want to hire a top quality candidate, but to my surprise, I’ve discovered there are at least 3 reasons not to hire an A Player. Here they are, backed by true examples to prove that not everyone intends to hire an A Player. Of course, no one would ever come right out and say, “Sure, find me a B Player. I’m willing to accept sub-par candidates!” But when you read the 3 reasons not to hire an A Player our Southern California recruitment firm has experienced, perhaps you’ll recognize yourself or your hiring manager in one of the following stories! (Of course, names and details have been altered to protect anonymity.)

1) You’re afraid of the competition. Sandra was part of a hiring panel responsible to find the company’s next division leader. When the recruiter presented Diana’s resume and the panel interviewed Diana, every other panelist voted to hire her right away. Diana was highly qualified and, with her skills and presence, wouldn’t be on the market long. But Sandra felt threatened by Diana’s competence and felt worried that this new person might show her up. So Sandra made a couple of flimsy excuses to say that Diana wasn’t the right fit. Because the panel’s decision needed to be unanimous, they did not hire Diana. Sadly, they missed out on acquiring a great A Player. What Sandra didn’t realize was that a competent direct report such as Diana would’ve made her job easier in the long run. Hiring Tip: If insecurity is one of your reasons not to hire an A Player, you might want to consider that making a great hire makes you look good!

2) You don’t think he or she is worth it. Regina wondered whether her company really need to pay fair market wage for a candidate to fill their open sales position. “Can’t you just find us someone who will bring a book of business with them and who is willing to work for commission only?” she asked. “Would you leave a job where you had satisfied customers and take a chance on starting all over, all for commission only?” our recruiter asked. Regina’s company was not convinced that a better salary would attract a better quality of candidate. But every candidate the recruiter found who was willing to work for commission only did not meet their expectations. Eventually, our recruiter moved on to fill other job orders where he could satisfy the customer with qualified candidates. Regina’s company was left to find a high performer on their own. Hiring Tip: You can always negotiate, but paying fair market wage will attract top performers to your open position. Using PayScale.com like we do can help you determine fair compensation for your open position.

3) You don’t have a solid hiring and onboarding process. Because Jacob’s company was a startup, it meant that he had to wear many hats, one of which was hiring. Jacob tended to fall in love easily with candidates, and he made hires quickly. The problem was, he also tended to fall out of love with them as soon as they failed to perform right away, so he also fired frequently. This wasn’t such a big problem when the company was small. But as it expanded, the company needed someone to manage the day-to-day operations. Doing the best he knew how, Jacob hired Tim, a qualified candidate he just loved, and handed over many of his responsibilities. But Tim’s management style didn’t mesh with the way the owners ran things, and several of his decisions crashed and burned. Jacob was quickly falling out of love. Plus, he hadn’t known to use an onboarding process or performance acceleration tool, so he hadn’t set up Tim for success. Pretty soon, it was clear that Tim was working against him, not with him. Disappointed again, Jacob concluded that Tim was not the A Player the company needed to grow. Hiring Tip: To acquire and retain A Players, develop a solid, consistent hiring process and use a performance acceleration tool such as our Great Start Tool to start your A Player off on the right foot.

Did you find yourself in any of these 3 reasons not to hire an A Player? If you really want to attract, hire, and retain a top performer, follow the hiring tips above. You’ll find yourself making better hires–and keeping them.

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