You SAY You Want High-Performing Employees… But Do You Really?
by Mike J. Agugliaro
I talk to a lot of service business owners and they tell me how hard it is to hire A-players. “I just can’t find any A-Players in my market,” they say; “maybe there are A-Players in other markets but not in mine. As soon as I find one, I’ll hire them right away!”
I hear that a lot… but the reality is quite different.
There are A-Players in every market… the reality is: service business owners SAY they want to hire them but in reality, they don’t want to hire them. People say and think that hiring A-Players is the answer (and it’s a great approach) but very few people actually do hire A-Players when faced with the opportunity.
The reason? There are 2 reasons…
Reason #1. A-Players Seem Hard To Manage
Many service business owners who are sitting in interviews across from an A-Player may not even realize they are talking to an A-Player… they may think they are talking to a potential management nightmare. Instead of recognizing the amazing A-Player qualities that the candidate has, the business owner is just replaying in their head the many different ways that troublesome employees in the past have caused them headaches. They can’t see the difference between a bad/troublesome employee who was hard to manage and an A-Player who is also hard to manage (but for different reasons).
A-Players are highly motivated, highly driven, and they can push the boundaries. They can seem like rebels. They can seem unruly. They aren’t bad employees (in fact, they’re great employees) but they SEEM unmanageable to the untrained eye because they are natural leaders who need a VERY VERY strong leader to lead them.
And, simply put, many service business owners aren’t strong enough leaders to lead A-Players. The truth is: many service business owners find the strength of A-Players intimidating and even threatening so they avoid hiring A-Players because of it.
Reason #2. A-Players Cost More
The second reason is: A-Players probably cost more. If you are hiring two people—one of whom is just a C-Player and the other is an A-Player, do you expect to pay exactly the same amount of money for them? You might think you do but let me ask you: would you pay the same amount of money for a cheap imported car from Russia and a high-end sports car? Of course, you wouldn’t. You would expect to pay more for the car that was the higher performer; it’s the same with A-Players.
A-Players get more job offers and if you are not paying them what they are worth then they may go somewhere else. So, expect to pay more for A-Players… but that’s okay because you’ll also get far more work from A-Players! The amount you pay an A-Player may be high but they’ll often produce much more per dollar of salary than your B- or C-Players.
(And don’t forget: there are many reasons beyond pay that an employee might work for you. Pay is just one way you can attract better employees. Other reasons include: great training, a great reputation in the community, a strong company culture, better career opportunities, etc.)
You say you want to hire A-Players… but do you really? When sitting across from an A-Player in an interview, do you see someone who seems hard to manage and who costs more? That’s all that many service businesses see when they look at A-Players so even though they want to hire them, they often don’t… and then say “I can’t find any A-Players in my market” (which really means: “I can’t find an A-Player that I want to hire in my market”).
You can solve this very easily: First make sure you have a company that attracts A-Players, including a pay structure and other attractive qualities that an A-Player would want. Second, you need to step up as a leader and become a very strong leader so that A-Players will step in line and work the way you need them to work.
A-Players can turn around a company and help it grow in amazing ways. And although hiring A-Players sounds good, the reason you’re struggling to hire them might actually have more to do with you than it does with them.
Want a great first step? Come to Service Business Edge to get a fast start on how to become a stronger leader, build a stronger culture, and create a business that attracts A-Players like never before. (Plus, you’ll get some hiring tools and strategies that will help you find even more A-Players than ever.) Go to ServiceBusinessEdge.com to learn more and to get your ticket while some are still available.