AKF Partners

Abbott, Keeven & Fisher PartnersPartners In Hyper Growth

Hiring 'A' Players

We posted a couple weeks ago about using the recession as a time to upgrade your team.  In a recent post Seth Godin says it’s harder to hire great people in a tough economy so be prepared to work harder.  Seth basis this statement on a post by Auren Hoffman, Why hiring is paradoxically harder in a downturn.  Auren’s argument is that there are more ‘C’ and ‘B’ players out there so your noise level increased, which is probably true if you are using some public recruiting tool like Craigslist.  That’s one reason we advocate viewing your recruiting process as a pipeline that needs to remain full at all times.

We also think the technical interview is critical to distinguishing the ‘A’ players, whether or not you use puzzle questions. Auren says at his company, Rapleaf, that the pass rate on their technical test has dropped from 17% last year to 6-8% this year, perhaps because of this increase in unqualified candidates he advocates for targeting candidates rather than posting a job ad.  We think the five most successful sources of quality recruits are:


  1. Your own extended network
  2. Internally sourced candidates (candidates offered up by your engineering team)
  3. College sourced candidates
  4. Candidates from a professional recruiter
  5. Recruiting “fairs”


Whatever your method of finding the ‘A’ players, get started today on making your team into the best possible.

Comments RSS TrackBack 1 comment

  • Marty Abbott

    in April 13th, 2009 @ 18:08

    While the people who have been laid off of companies that are continuing to operate are likely B and C players, you can find many A players from companies that have failed. Consider this when looking to hire candidates.