Related 1: WHO is one of your first HOW Questions
The Score Card:
How often have you seen a job description and wondered to yourself how a single human could do all these things? It looks like a superhuman grab bag of skills, accomplishments, and qualities that are confusing and sometimes contradictory. The result is the applicant has little idea of what they need to do and what success looks like. So the first step in building an A-Team is to be very clear about the required skills and qualities, and the success metrics for the candidate.
I use a modified version of the scorecard outlined in the book Who: The A Method for Hiring by Geoff Smart & Randy Street. This is an example of a scorecard for an imaginary General Manager for a boutique gym :
|WHY||We have a passion for inspiring, supporting, and helping our community become happier and healthier||Your Company’s WHY Statement|
|HOW||We do this by building a long-term profitable business that integrates into our community as an active and responsible member. We build an environment that is welcoming, supporting, and safe, where we can all learn and continue to strive to achieve our goals.||List some of the key values for your company that are critical for this job|
|Title||Location General Manager||Position Title|
|Mission||Lead membership sales and ensure the delivery of the highest-quality gym customer experience||Position Mission|
|Competencies||Organized||Keep this list to no more than 8 items and well aligned with your WHAT and HOW|
|Proven track record in boutique gym membership sales|
|Ability to hire and lead sales associates and instructors|
|Employee and customer focused|
|Outcomes||Get the membership to 300 members within 3 months of soft open||Define what must be done in short to medium term to meet your organization’s strategy. Keep this list stack ranked and no more than 8 items that are SMART goals. Remember you are focusing on accomplishments and NOT tasks|
|Maintain monthly average membership retention of 97% over a rolling 3 month period|
|Maintain disruption due to class rescheduling or cancelations to 1 per month|
|Maintain a clean and safe site based on visual inspection by owner and customer feedback|
|Maintain an employee satisfaction of 90% based on the quarterly employee survey and a 90% employee retention per quarter.|
|Intangibles||Any intangible things to look for in a candidate|
|Average acceptable score||3.1||The lowest average score that is acceptable for the candidate to be considered for the position|
Note on Score: You are scoring each candidate for each scorable line item from a minimum of 1 to a max of 5. To score a 3 they must meet the criteria for an A-Player. That is, share the same motivation (WHY) and values (HOW), have a 90% chance of success, AND will push the rest of the organization to be more successful. Ratings of 3 through 5 define their level of success beyond that acceptance threshold. Any candidate below an average score of 3 does not meet the criteria for A-Player.
Now use the Scorecard to create your job description without embellishing much beyond the scorecard.
I genuinely believe A-players are people who are in a position because they not only have the competencies for the job, but also share the same motivation and values as the rest of the organization. Having managed teams both small and large, I have never met someone who I thought was a bad person or a bad employee. However, I have met people who were not in the right job. To be honest, I have also been in that position myself. In those cases, it is essential to understand why the combination of job and the person’s skills/goals are not a good fit, before jumping to quick conclusions.
Next post in this series will be on Finding the Right People.
Thoughts about Billy Beane’s (and my) approach? Have a different take on building A-Teams by developing B-Players? Would love to hear from you in the comments!