Is Your Organization Full of “A” Players? 8 Questions to Ask Yourself about how to Maximize Your Talent

In a few short years we have gone from talking about how to recruit and keep top level talent in a competitive labor market to talking about how to find a job in this agonizingly slow economic recovery we are in. This is a rare opportunity for many firms, but one that many are failing to take advantage of due to their economic situation.

Few are talking about what needs to be done by companies to optimize their organization by hiring the highest number of “A” players possible. What percentage is possible? If done properly, 80-90% is a reasonable goal for “A” level talent over time. In our current economic climate it is especially important to move away from mediocrity in order to separate yourself from competitors, prepare for the future and hasten your firm’s recovery from the effects of the economic downturn.

The 80/20 rule is just not acceptable if you truly want to be successful in today’s market. For those who aren’t familiar with the 80/20 rule, it says that 20% or your sales organization will produce 80% of your revenue. What is your company is committed to? Consider the possibility of what your organization or security department would look like if everyone would achieve 80% of their productivity goals vs. 20-50%?

Optimization Checklist
Here are some questions you should be asking yourself. If you’re not asking these, you could be headed for mediocrity or possible failure.

* Have you calculated the costs of your hiring errors over the past two to five years? This is one of the best ways to know how many dollars you’ve lost by not committing to hire the best talent.

* Do you know what type of people you’re looking to hire? Have you created a specific and measurable job specification using your current and past A players as the benchmark? Is the executive team aligned with these goals and growth plans and how each department should be contributing to this plan?

* Have you clearly defined your corporate or department culture? Have you put a process in place to assess how candidates fit with this culture? Do not simply use past job performance as the only criteria.

* Do you have a plan in place to assess your current employees and remove all your under-performers? Don’t forget to also develop a timeline in which to complete this task.

* How are you identifying candidates? If you employ an internal recruiter, are they posting ads on job boards that typically attract lower level talent or are they actively searching out quality “A” level candidates? Are you using a recruiting firm that specializes in placing security professionals to supplement your own efforts?

* Are you paying your internal recruiters at the same level you pay your firms top professionals? If not, is it realistic to expect a mid-level recruiter to have the ability to find and attract “A” level talent?

* Do you have a plan to onboard and retain top talent?

* Have you created a list of questions, both open ended and closed, to qualify the competencies you require of your executives and security management?

Good luck –
David Lammert

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