Hello, Rick Crossland with A Player Advantage here.

Today what I want to talk about is a question I hear quite frequently in a really tight labor market. If an A Player does not exist and the firm cannot locate one, or the recruiter cannot locate one, when is it okay to hire a B Player? So, let me start out first by saying in most cases and, I will say nine out of ten, a bonafide A player does exist out there, and you just need to be patient to find them.

But let’s say you’ve looked at 8, 9, ten candidates and nobody is quite fitting the bill. Well, how do you address that? Well, first of all, again, an A Player is that person who has all the bonafides so to speak. They have the results, and they also fit your company culture. You can go deep with them in an interview, and every time they have the results, and they tell you how the did it and how they had leadership and the right ethos for the team. But let’s say you get that candidate that just comes up short, a B player in our parlance. The only time and again I really see this as a very advanced move. You really need to go in eyes wide open with a team that knows, you know, candidly what they are doing in terms of coaching and developing this B Player.  Is in the course of an interview and again you need to go deep in the interview process and so over the course of a 2 and a half, 3-hour interview, this person is just coming up short in terms of results. It looks like they have been around the action, but they haven’t really led the results. They weren’t the ones on the frontline. You know driving those bottom line results for the company. In that case what we do is we actually tell the candidate that they are a B Player but we are willing to work with them and we point out very specifically where they need to develop to get those skill sets to be that A Player in the organization.

So, in other words from point b to point a, we very clearly point out to them where they need developmental work. We do that right up front, typically in the interview. We will take a break as an interviewing team, talk about that, talk about who we’ve seen so far, and you know tell the candidate we are going to take a chance on them. That is followed up with a very detailed development plan, and the candidate clearly knows that in our eyes they are B, not an A going into this situation.

Now, the good news with this approach is in many cases, it’s not a 100 percent solution by any means, you really want to go and get that A Player and be very patient.  But if you utilize the process that I mentioned and your recruiting manager is willing to function as a coach in a high percentage of cases you can actually develop that B Player.  And in many cases, this is kind of a great story, that B Player wants to prove you wrong.  But again in most cases, you can find an A Player. But if you have looked at lots of candidates and you are just not finding that bonafide A Player, you can take a chance, eyes wide open with you entire leadership team and a hiring manager who is willing to coach and give that B Player.  That development and by the way as I mentioned be sure to point out that B to A right there in the interview and say we are willing to take a chance but you, not a ready-made finished product as you stand right now.

So, that’s worked really well for clients of mine when we are in that situation but then again. It’s always followed up by the hiring manager being willing to develop and coach that new individual

So, let me know how that works for you and again Rick Crossland with A Player Advantage and looking forward to talking about A Players.

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