Hej, I'm Julia.

Who book summary

Who book cover


The 4 steps of hiring are:

  1. Scorecard - define a set of outcomes and competencies that define a job well done
  2. Source - systematic sourcing to ensure a continuous stream of good candidates
  3. Select - running structured interviews that allow you to gather the relevant facts about a person
  4. Sell - convince your target hire to join your company

What you're aiming to do is hire A Players, who are defined as candidates who have at least 90% chance of achieving a set of outcomes that only the top 10% of possible candidates could achieve.

How to install the A method for hiring in your company

  1. Make people a top priority - it's not just a passing fad
  2. Follow the A method yourself - lead by example
  3. Build support among your executive team or peers - engage everyone
  4. Cast a clear vision for the organisation and reinforce it - communicate it and back it up with action
  5. Train your team on best practices
  6. Remove barriers that impede success
  7. Implement new policies that support the change
  8. Recognise and reward those who use the method and achieve results
  9. Remove managers who are not on board
  10. Celebrate wins and plan for more change


  • Composed of 3 parts - job's mission, outcomes and competencies
  • Provides clear link between the people you hire and the strategy
  • Mission: the executive summary of the job's core purpose, written in plain english
  • Outcomes: what a person NEEDS to accomplish in a role. Should be as objective and observable as possible
  • Competencies: define how you expect a new hire to operate in the fulfillment of the job and the achievement of the outcomes
  • Critical competencies include: efficiency, honesty / integrity, organisation / planning, aggressiveness, follow-through, intelligence, analytical skills, attention to detail, persistence, proactivity


  • The top 5 methods of sourcing talent: referrals from business network, referrals from personal network, hire external recruiter, hire a recruiting researcher, hire an internal recruiter
  • Whenever you meet someone new, ask "Who are the most talented people you know that I should hire?"
  • Ask your customers, business partners, suppliers for names, and join professional organisations and go to events
  • Hold employees accountable for sourcing people through their networks
  • Schedule in 30 minutes each week to identify and nurture A players
  • When you're done with each call, ask them "Now that you know a little about me, who are the most talented people you know might be a good fit for my company?"
  • How to source:
    1. Referrals from business and personal networks
    2. Referrals from employees
    3. Deputizing friends of the firm
    4. Hiring recruiters and researchers
    5. Create sourcing systems


  • To be a great interviewer, get out of passively witnessing how somebody acts during an interview
  • Use 4 interviews to collect facts and data about a candidate's track record: screening interview, who interview, focussed interview, reference interview
  • Screening interview: used to save time by eliminating inappropriate people as quickly as possible. Should not take longer than 30 minutes
    • Use the fear of reference checks to ensure candidates come out with the truth
    • They should really be able to give you 5-8 areas where they lack interest, ability or don't want to operate
    • End the call swiftly if they are really not right for the role
  • Who interview: in-depth chronological walkthrough of a candidates history over the last 15 years
    • Should ideally be conducted with a colleague
    • Kick off interview by setting expectations
  • Focused interview: focused on the outcomes and competencies of the scorecard
    • Assign various team members to focus on one or a few outcomes and competencies
    • They should each then take 45 mins to 1 hour to find out whether the candidate scores well on those agenda items
    • Cultural fit test should be part of this stage
  • There should then be a candidate discussion where each member of the interview panel grades the scorecard using the skill-will framework
  • Reference interview: conduct 7 reference calls with people you choose from the Who interview. Ask the candidate to set up the calls if possible. Should comprise 3 bosses, 2 peers / customers and 2 subordinates.
  • Then it's time for the final decision! You want candidates who have scored mostly A's across the board


  • The 5 areas are the five F's of selling: fit, family, freedom, fortune and fun
  • Fit - ties together company's vision, needs, and culture with the candidate's goals, values and strengths
  • Family - takes into account broader trauma of changing jobs
  • Freedom - autonomy to make own decisions
  • Fortune - reflects the stability of the company and financial upside
  • Fun - describes the work environment and personal relationships the candidate will make
  • Pay people on a performance basis (tie it to the scorecard)
  • Selling is something you should be doing throughout the entire process
  • Be persistent, don't give up!

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