Week 6 ENT 600 – Discuss Hiring Dilemmas & Keeping Top Performers

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Week 6 assignment Blog – ENT 600

Discuss Hiring Dilemmas (Chapter 8, The Founder’s Dilemmas)

Discuss Keeping Top Performers (Conclusion, how to Hire A-Players)

“There is something that is much more scarce, something finer by far, something rarer than ability. It is the ability to recognize ability.” – Elbert Hubbard.

Hire plays an important role in the launching and growing of business. How to find the right hires at the right time. Founders face the same dilemmas with hiring decisions that they face with cofounding decision, especially the changes in hiring decisions from startup to transition to mature stage. The dilemmas fall into the three Rs framework of

(1) Relationships (whom to hire as employees), from a tight-knit family to friends and colleagues; from young and inexpensive to more experience and specialists.

(2) Roles (what positions to create or upgrade, when to do so, and what roles to give them) at the startup and matures, choices between hiring a specialist or a generalist; between employees at a big company or people from small company; between experienced and inexperienced hires which relate to the size of paychecks.

(3) Rewards (the compensation and equity used to attract and retain them): before crafting a compensation package for the earliest hires, the founders should already be anticipating how different stages will require different packages. Startup can choose from contingent alternatives (performance-based bonuses) and non-contingent alternatives (salaries) and can tie financial rewards to individual performance (bonus tied to the specific performance) or to the startup’s collective performance (most prominence via equity stakes in the startup).

In any job or business, relationship building is the most importance objective because the quality of the relationship determines the quality of the product or service.  That’s also why leaders succeed when they recognize that their employees are human and the employees succeed when they recognize their work involves interacting with human beings. Successful leadership understands that all outcomes are created by and through interactions with others. Strong relationships create loyalty and are the basis of partnerships and teamwork. They strive to work well with others, whether one-on-one with the customer or in a team with colleagues.

So, the challenges are how to find A-Players, how to build a team of A-players and keeping top performers whom fit in your organization. Seeking out and recruiting top performers from both internal and external organization:

  • Let them find you: A-Players want to work for strong leaders. According to Dale Dauten, author of The Gifted Boss, people want to work in organizations and for bosses who offer them a change and a chance. The change is the opportunity to work for an organization that recognizes, rewards, encourages and values. The chance is to become better than one has ever been.
  • Discover them: Managers commonly believe it is easier to let employee go than to release their talents and abilities. In theory at least, everyone has the potential to make the ordinary extraordinary, but nobody has figured it out, figurative speaking, to “pull the trigger”.
  • Hire and keep them: A-players contribute the most to your success and set a fast pace for everyone else on your team. To keep your top performers, invest your time with them first. A-players don’t want to be taken for granted. Make sure they know where they fit in the future of your business by keep them engage in building your business, give them bigger challenges, more responsibilities and more money right away.
  • Design and use organizational structure as a quick and effective tool to analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats inherent in your current team. Define business goals; key results for each role of team members; roles that need to be filled; responsibilities, measurements and value.


The Founder’s Dilemmas of Noam Wasserman

How to Hire A-Players of Eric Herrenkokl

The Fred Factor of Mark Sanborn – First Currency Edition: May 2004

The Gifted Boss of Dale Dauten

Video Youtube: Human Resource Management


7 thoughts on “Week 6 ENT 600 – Discuss Hiring Dilemmas & Keeping Top Performers

  1. Hi Mary!

    Nicely written, I enjoyed reading your post. You know, I’m in the position of looking for a job right now and I can really identify with many parts of the “A-players” book, along with the other sources you used here. For example, you mentioned how A-players want to work for people who will give them “change and a chance.” I completely agree with that and feel the same on a personal level. Too many of the positions I have applied to have simply seen me as a candidate without much related work experience – so I’ve gone unnoticed, even though I feel like I have a lot to offer them. Maybe one day an A-player boss will notice me. 🙂



  2. Austin,

    You know what, you deserve a good position with a good boss! All of the positions that you went through were the best lessons and experience that helped lead you to a better place. So with that in mind, you (A-Player) will be a magnet to an A-boss and/or you (A-boss) will find an A-Player for your own company.

    Best wishes to you!



  3. Your opening quote gave me the tone of the blog and also provided brain provoking thoughts. I agree with you in relation to your view on relationship building being an important factor. Every day we are building relationships in many different forms, from friendships to business-ships. It’s an aspect of life that we as humans must learn to do.


  4. I love the opening quote and how it ties in perfectly to your blog topic discussion. You are spot-on with “relationship building is the most important objective because the quality of the relationship determines the quality of the product of service.” It reminds me of the golden role that happy employees equal happy customers. Businesses, particularly recruiters, have to hold high regards for their hired help in order to maintain a satisfactory, functional work environment.


  5. I worked for a bank that hired A-Players who were kept by above market salaries, having a voice, and drive. The company was successful and the major players like the taste of that success. We were lavished with perks and enjoyed our work. We contributed to the overall success of the company. So yes people sought to work for us. But most A-Players came from internal referrals. We were a family.


  6. The opening quote in this post really struck a chord with me. I think it is so true in the modern job market. I have often heard from friends and coworkers that the feel it is hard to express their true abilities within the process of the initial job interview. It is not until they are immersed in the job that they can make progress with showing their superiors how capable they are.



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