5 Reasons Why Your IT Organization Must Only Hire A Players

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“I noticed that the dynamic range between what an average person could accomplish and what the best person could accomplish was 50 or 100 to 1. Given that, you’re well advised to go after the cream of the cream…A small team of A+ players can run circles around a giant team of B and C players.” Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was right. A Players run circles around B and C Players. And he credits Apple’s ability to find, hire and retain A Players as a key driver in the company’s unprecedented success.

It’s also true in the IT world. According to Brad Smart (author of Topgrading) the top IT talent, the best of the best, is 12 times more productive than the average IT worker.

Twelve times more productive!

In other words, the top A Players in your IT organization produce 12 times more work than B Players.

We’ve probably all heard the term A Players, but what exactly does that mean? Simply that A Players are the top 10% of the talent available to fill your jobs. B Players are the next 25%. C Players are everyone else.

For most managers, finding, hiring and retaining A Players is the biggest struggle they face. In fact, in Smart’s nearly 40 years of research with thousands of companies, he says that the average company only gets hiring right about 25% of the time.

Smart says without a proven system of hiring A Players, companies hire the wrong candidates about 75% of the time. On the other hand, companies with a systematic way to hire, onboard and manage their top talent fill their teams with A Players 90% of the time.

But the benefits of hiring A Players go well beyond productivity. Hiring a team full of A Players creates a multiplier effect for you, your team and the organization.

Here are the 5 Reasons why your IT organization must only hire A Players:

Greater Return on Investment

Let’s agree that the top A Players are 12 times more productive than the average. But did you ever stop to think that you probably also pay your A Players the same wages as your B and C Players? If that’s the case then it should come as no surprise that your top performers create a significantly greater return on your invested wages. Quite simply, your top IT talent will deliver 12 times more return on your investment than the average IT worker.

Higher Quality Work with Fewer Mistakes

It should come as no surprise that A Players deliver higher quality of work with fewer mistakes. And there’s no greater need than the IT industry where, historically, as McKinsey reports, 56% of all IT projects fail. But not with A Players. A Players go the extra mile to get it right the first time. They instill more trust. They communicate better. They’re proactive in heading off problems before they occur. A Players simply deliver better results.

Attract More A Players

Steve Jobs is credited with saying that “A Players hire A Players. B Players hire C Players.” We found this to be true as well. A Players hang out with other A Players as in “birds of a feather flock together.” They know them by name. They’re not threatened by the other guy taking their job. They want to learn and grow from others but they also want to share their knowledge with other A Players. In this way, the whole team gets better.

Deliver Extraordinary Customer Satisfaction

A Players deliver the highest level of customer satisfaction. Not just merely satisfied customers. Call it what you want (Net Promoter, Customer Loyalty, etc.) it’s all the same. A Players consistently deliver the best and most satisfied customers. It’s no wonder IT organizations consistently put their best people on their toughest challenges.

Make It Easier to Grow Revenue & Profits

It should come as no surprise that all these pieces working together creates a healthier business. Hiring A Players that deliver more and better work with fewer mistakes and more satisfied customers. They are inextricably linked together to creating healthy, growing businesses.

The demand for IT talent is at an all-time high. Some estimate that there are over a million unfilled IT jobs out there today. And there’s no signs of this slowing down. Every organization we work with is struggling to find IT workers to fill their jobs, much less A Players.

We get it. This is our business.

IT managers that fill their organizations with A Players not only deliver the results we talk about here, but it makes it easier to do their real job. Hiring A Players allows them to get back to business. To focus on strategic goals and plans. Not simply dealing with people issues from B and C Players.

In the coming months, we’ll talk more about the anatomy of an A Player and how to find, hire and retain this level of talent.

But, what about you? What impact would hiring A Players have on your organization? What if there was a proven system that made it easier for you to find, hire and retain the top IT talent for your team?