Ultimate Guide to Hiring A-Players
3 Reasons to Groom B-Players to Be A-Players
#1 Save Time and Money
It takes a lot of time to hire qualified people, and even more time and effort to find elusive A-Players. Month after month, the costs of trying to find the right people goes up exponentially.
Before your costs skyrocket, look to your roster of B-Players with potential. You’ve already made a substantial investment in them. Pick the one with the most potential and help them grow into an A-Player. Besides saving time and money, you’ll send a strong message to other B-Players with potential that you value your employees and promote from within.
#2 Contingency Plan
A-Players are the most fickle, changing commitment to employers quickly quickly. They can be lured away with better compensation or more challenging work with better opportunities for advancement. A-Players focus more on work and less on loyalty.
B-Players, however, are the tried and tested loyal employees. If you have already prepared them for an A-Player role, they will hit the ground running when an A-Player jumps ship in the blink of an eye.
#3 Ensure Loyal Employees
B-Players are loyal. Their loyalty will continue when they become A-Players. In fact, they have more interest in staying since they have grown within the company. They enjoy a sense of belonging and achievement, while honoring the bond and commitment the company has shown to them.
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The One Way To Know When a B-Player is Ready
Now that you’ve identified your B-Players and their capabilities, you may be wondering how will know when you can really depend on them to perform as A-Players.
Keep in mind that some B-Players may NOT want more responsibilities or advanced training. Others simply don’t like change and don’t want to advance, preferring to stay stagnant. It could be because they are happy with their current situation where they get to balance work and life; it could be because they simply don’t want to do more and are content with their current workload. Perhaps they are very content but don’t have a lot of ambition. These are NOT your B-Players with potential.
Then, there are others who WANT more. They want to BE more. They want to KNOW more. They want to ACHIEVE more. Those are your B-Players with potential to step and be an A-Player.
Look for the B-Players who show desire in seeing and understanding the big picture, and how they can better support the company’s growth rather than simply accomplishing tasks assigned to them. Those are your B-Players with potential. Increase your investment in them.
It may be difficult. B-Players with potential do not yet have the experience or confidence of A-Players. Expect to invest time and energy mentoring and guiding your B-Players on the path to becoming A-Players. Challenge them, support them, and help them learn from their mistakes. In the next section, you’ll learn the 3 steps to facilitate their transition into an A-Player. Follow our steps and you’ll see an impressive return on your investment.
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Turn B-Players into A-Players in 3 Steps
Step 1: Mentorship and Guidance
Have Clear Expectations
The key to a successful mentor-mentee relationship is your pre-mentorship discussion. In a face-to-face meeting, set clear expectations. Discuss topics such as the scope of mentorship you are willing to provide, limits and boundaries, your preferred mode of communication, and the results you expect them to deliver.
Both of you need to be on the same page about the goals the mentee is expected to work toward. Create achievable and stretch goals, and reasonable timelines to track progress, monitor performance, and provide timely feedback.
Create a Schedule
Make sure you regularly make time for each other. Set dates and times for them to meet with you, report on progress, and troubleshoot issues. As a mentor, you need to commit to devote uninterrupted time to your mentee. Advise them of your availability for face-to-face meetings and phone calls.
When They Struggle
Make sure you are providing opportunities for your B-Players to become A-Players. In order to grow, they need to struggle and work through complex issues. Your purpose as a mentor is to ensure your mentees become A-Players.
So, when you find them struggling, don’t rush to tell them how you would do it. Instead, ask them questions that will help them fully analyze the obstacle and figure it out themselves. Think of their struggles as teachable moments.
Step 2: Trainings and Conferences
Training opportunities are available every day, and there are several modes of training available. For example, in-person trainings are available in major cities, and online trainings are available on demand, whenever students are available. There are even valuable free training opportunities that offer students certifications.
Whatever your budget, there are many opportunities for B-Players to hone their skills, increase their skills, and learn best practices that will benefit your company.
Conferences help your B-Players keep up with advances in their field and widen their perspectives on work-related matters. They are likely to meet a wide variety of people from all over the world. Conferences are great opportunities to network on behalf of the company while learning best practices or strengthening their skills.
What is more, the change of pace from a typical work day provides a great way for professionals to recharge and refocus before heading back to the office. Your B-Players will consider attending a conference a reward.
Step 3: Engage and Talk
Getting to Know You
One of the personal skills most B-Players need to master is balancing work and life. They may be so eager to prove they are an A-Player that they run themselves down. Watch for signs of burnout.
As a mentor, it’s ok to step beyond the professional realm and get to know them on a personal, human level. Engage them in conversations about hobbies, interests, and weekend plans. This will help you to understand them and know what makes them tick.
As we learned in Part 7 — A Look Inside the A-Player’s History, both A- and B-Players are products of their backgrounds and upbringings. When you understand them on a deeper than professional level, you will have insight that will help you optimize their growth and make significant contributions to your company.