Skip to content

How To Attract A-Players For Your Team

Hiring a team can be costly if not done correctly. Here are four tips to follow if you want to attract A-team members for your creative business. | Rising Tide Society
Photo by Husna Miskandar on Unsplash

Have you ever hired someone who looked great on paper, but at the end was a total misalignment and you ended up having to let them go?

When that happens you:

  • Lose momentum
  • Team morale goes down
  • It costs you money. (It’s an expensive mistake!)

The people I work with think about talent more holistically. They are truly committed to attract and retain high performers who are in alignment with their vision and values. They understand it is not about putting rear-ends in seats to complete a task.

The Shift of a Team

People are looking for purpose and meaning a.k.a self-actualization according to Maslow’s pyramid. Offering status and prestige alone won’t cut it anymore.

You cannot just publish a good old boring “job ad” hoping to attract “A-players”.

Here we go. Let me give you 4 tips to follow if you want to attract A-Team members so you can focus on growing your business.


1. Avoid misalignment in your offer

A sloppy ad = no quality candidates.

You see, years ago I saw one of the best job ads I’ve ever seen. After reading their post I wanted one thing only “work for those dudes.” I was not even looking for a job but I decided to apply.


Their vision was powerful and explained clearly. I was able to understand what they were building. That got me excited.

The essence of the Job was clearly laid out in plain language. It was very clear what the purpose of the job was in the ad. In other words, the offer did not have the “maximizing capabilities while minimizing communication insufficiencies” kind of jargon nobody really understands.

Alight your offer with your vision and values.

2. Be bold. Define outcomes

Don’t be lazy. Often this part is not done properly because it takes time.

Define the things the candidate must get done when working for you/your company.

These are not things you hope one day will happen when we grow. You need to sit down with relevant team members and clearly define what the person needs to accomplish in the role.

Let’s say you’re looking for a business development director. Well, if your outcome for your “biz development director” is to drive company’s business and increase revenue… you’re setting yourself up for trouble.

Be clear. If you want this person to lead sales, say it. Define the outcome! Your biz development person can either bring 20K-500K or +1M in sales by the end of “xyz”. Define an ambitious goal. That’s how you’ll start telling apart B and C players. A-players like challenges.

This applies to all the people you’re hiring (VA, graphic designer, sales, product development, etc.) no matter the size of your business.

Don’t focus on the task, focus on the outcome.

3. Are they adding value?

I’m all for effort and grit. A-players put in the effort. If the ad is compelling they would love to come and work with you… and that will show in the application.

Some people would disqualify a candidate for a grammar mistake or a typo. They may consider that as a “lack of effort” from the candidate. I don’t. What I am looking for is people able to bring ideas and solutions as the hiring process moves forward.

(Heck, I am not a native speaker. So, if people were only focused on my grammar mistakes I wouldn’t be writing anything at all.)

By putting in the effort, I mean showing that they have ideas to help you move forward. You need people who see beyond the scope of your ad.

Focus on people who add value

4. Competencies

This is hard! We all have been confronted with the candidate we like, we think is a great cultural fit but is lacking a couple of skills. The conundrum of our existence!

What to do?

First, let me come clean. I believe you can acquire skills. Cultural fit is more important than “skills fit.” However, even though you’re hiring an “A-player” you must provide conditions for this person to excel in their job.

If you have a small team and limited resources…be honest, if you need a certain type of skill so the person can hit the ground running because you lack mentoring/training/coaching do not hire them. At least not now. Keep them in your rolodex.

Define a list of 2-3 skills that person must have and stick to the rule.

What rule? They must have those two skills to be considered. People either have it or they don’t.

If you have a tip or a “secret technique” you’ve used and works great share it in the comments.

PS: Read these to go deeper: Who by Geoff Smart and Randy Street, The Best Place to Work by Ron Friedman

Blog tags:

Share to:

Related posts