Having our A-Cake and Eating It Too [ENT 600 Week 6]

Eric Herrenkohl concludes How to Find A-Players by arguing that “While it’s vital to find A-Players….You also must keep the A-Players.” (191)  He again covers the the very valid points that we can waste a lot of time trying to coach “people who can’t rise to the challenges before them.”  But it’s the final point that attracts my attention:  “What’s in it for your A-Players?”  And I better have an answer for that question or they will go work for someone else.

In my SME Interview with recruiter Ken Greenwood, I was also reminded that, as a recruiter, “99.9% of all recruits are working for someone else when I recruit them.”  There have to be reasons the A-Players Ken recruits leave perfectly good jobs to face another long interviewing process for a position that may or may not be better than the one they have.  So departing A-Players definitely have processed the “devil you know” argument before they leave.

But if Abundance works to plan as it sits on the drawing board today (early October 2017), we plan to recruit A-Players….and intentionally let some of them get way….to our clients.  We can chalk part of that up to a quirk in how the business is structured.  It will really become several businesses wrapped together into a one stop shop for setting up and running a business and a huge recruiting operation will be part of that.

We envision recruiting young A-Players as administrative and other types of assistants, then sending them to client companies to implement the plans designed by consulting specialists in their field.  Ostensibly, these nascent A-Players will have exhibited traits from our A-Player profile: they have a good work ethic, they communicate well, play nice in the sandbox, are coach-able and show potential at coaching.  And they already are building their social and work capital so they lead us to more potential A-Players.  To top it off, they will be our employees, complete with an ownership stake in a company that should see meteoric growth, working in an interesting environment for a great company that cares about them.

The kind of training and coaching they will receive from our A-Player management team should amount to great incentive to stay with Abundance long term.  But since our A-Player management teams will be difficult to dislodge from their happy perches at what will be one of the hottest places to work for so many, advancement within the company will probably be foreclosed for many.  However, the prospect of finding a higher level of responsibility and compensation with one of our client companies–one the A-Player is helping to build with a plan hatched with that person’s input at Abundance–is probably what will keep our A-Player pipeline full.  Even if we can’t hold onto all of our A-Players.

1 Comment

  1. Great post Arjay! Your right on with thinking that it is okay to let some of your A-players go. It is inevitable that in natural discussion your A-Players will talk about the great experience they had working for Abundance. Wasserman mentions that A-Players attract other A-players, but I don’t that is what he had in mind, at least originally. By investing in the personal development of your team and allowing them to fly, other A-Players will surely be attracted when they learn about Abundance. It’s just so natural when a new employee arrives at a company to ask them where they came from. If they enjoyed their previous experience, it will be noticeable.

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