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Solve Your #1 Problem


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Who do you want to hire? A clear, comprehensive guide to recruiting “A”-level employees

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


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 begins with a step many managers neglect: preparing a specific description of the results you expect from the person who gets the job. The authors describe the four steps of their hiring method in the right amount of detail, neither bogging the reader down in minutiae nor leaving important matters to the imagination. They use real-life anecdotes to connect their advice to actual business problems and issues.


Who to Hire – and How

Your goal when you hire someone for your organization is to find an “A Player,” a superstar employee who “has at least a 90% chance of achieving a set of outcomes that only the top 10% of possible candidates could achieve.” Hiring the wrong person can incur additional expenses and productivity shortfalls that cost, on average, 15 times a faulty hire’s “base salary.” Despite the consequences, organizational leaders often hire the wrong people. Managers can make hiring mistakes if they don’t know what the job really requires, if they work from an inadequate pool of potential hires or if they don’t believe they can chose the right person from the available candidates. The main reason managers make hiring mistakes is that they don’t systematize their hiring process. Instead, they fall back on “voodoo hiring methods.”

Here are some examples:

  • “Art critic” – This manager expects to make a good visceral judgment on the basis of a few minutes of conversation with a candidate.
  • “Sponge” – This manager gets every member of the relevant team to conduct a separate interview, but the team members do not...

About the Authors

Geoff Smart, Ph.D., co-authored Topgrading with his father, Brad Smart. He is chair and CEO of ghSMART, a management assessment firm where Randy Street is the president.

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    S. U. 4 years ago
    Really good book younger
  • Avatar
    6 years ago
    Great book, especially for younger firms trying to define a framework for their hiring practices.

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