10 Sep 2019
Hire The Best Remote Workers
This is an article for entrepreneurs who need to grow their team and hire the best remote workers. This is the process we’ve used to grown our teams at Dynamite Jobs, the Dynamite Circle, and Tropical MBA podcast.
What is an A-Player?
If you own a small remote business or a bootstrapped business, you know what a big deal finding and hiring the right remote employees are. Hiring the wrong employee could lead to a huge financial drain and stunt the growth of your business. In this post, I’m going to highlight some ways to distinguish “A-players” from B and C-players in the hope that it’ll help you in growing a remote team filled with A-players only.
Now before we get into this, I think it’s important to make a clear distinction between A-players and the rest of your potential hires (the ones we’re trying to avoid like the plague).
Definition of an A-Player: a team member who is a self-starter, generally enjoys being challenged, critiqued, and is competitive by nature. A-players want to see results and they’ll take ownership of your bootstrapped business’s dreams and goals as their own.
To be clear, B & C-level players are not bad employees. In fact, they’re good employees. But to them, a job is just a means to pay the bills. They do the work you ask them to, take your money, and go home to Netflix & chill. They aren’t thinking like an A-player. An A-player will create more work for themselves by identifying the things in your business that can improve, and take charge in doing so.
Now that we know the difference, let’s talk about how to attract A-players and how to purge B and C-players from your business.
How to Attract an A-Player
A-players aren’t looking for any old remote company to work for; they’re searching for the remote company that is a great fit for them. A-players are looking to be a part of a company where they can make a real difference. They want to be a part of a company that will help them to accelerate their remote career and their personal goals.
To attract an A-player, your job description should read like a sales ad. Sell your job opportunity! Describe your team, company goals, and the vibe of your company. You should be selling the position based on the attitude and aptitude of your applicants, not on their skill level, degrees, etc.. Smart people can generally learn the necessary skills quickly (isn’t that what YouTube is for?). Here’s a job description template to help you create one.
How to Avoid the Mediocre
Just as important as hiring A-players is getting rid of B and C-players (and hopefully not hiring those people in the first place). An easy way to differentiate A-player from B and C-players is to look at who they lay the blame on if/when a company goal isn’t met. The A-player says “look, it was unrealistic but we went for it and we reached 70% of the goal and this is the next goal I think we should go after, etc.”.
The goal of a bootstrapper should be to get yourself onto a metaphorical platform looking down into your business. You want to have your amazing remote team members working IN the business so you can be working ON your business. Hiring the best remote workers will allow you to truly be an entrepreneur. See the difference there?
Having A-players on your team will insulate you from a lot of the day to day issues and stressors that come with running a business. If you find yourself not feeling insulated by most of the day to day drama, you’re probably working with B-players. The feeling of working on an A-team vs. a B-team is a completely different experience.
The Interview Process
Here are some ways that can help you distinguish the A-players from mediocre candidates during the interview process.
They might be an A-player if:
- They ask you smart questions. Eg. “What is my potential with the company?” Questions this show motivation.
- They’re able to describe how they work. They can show you what they’ve done for their previous companies and how they’ve approached their work in the past.
- They talk about their track record. They’re able to explain to you precisely their role in the success of what the previous company they worked for accomplished.
Here are some red flags that may deceive you into believing someone is an A-player.
They might not be an A-Player if:
- Desire – They express a huge desire for the job position and express a passion for your company. This doesn’t actually prove anything other than they probably really need a job.
- Charisma – The fact that you can have an awesome conversation with them doesn’t mean that they’re going to be great for the job.
- “Success Halo” – They might have been working at a company that had amazing success and that can be very attractive, but what did they actually contribute there? Were they just the coffee runner or were they a mover and a shaker?
Advice for Post Interview
It can take some time to figure out if someone is an A-player. This is why it’s important to have a system in place to let them go if/when it turns out that they weren’t the best person for the job.
We suggest having a 3-month trial period. Before you bring them officially on board, you can establish an understanding that it may not work out. This will give them a chance to prove themselves for the first 90 days. It’s also an opportunity for you to see if they’re really the best fit. After the trial is up, you can re-evaluate your decision to hire them based on their performance and decide if you’d like to offer them the gig and officially add a new member to your ever-growing remote team!
The Bottom Line
Finding and hiring the best remote employees is a huge time and financial investment. You are also the only one who is ultimately responsible for cultivating a kick-ass team of A-players to grow your remote business with you.
You could pay someone a lot of money to have them do the work you give them. However, it’s very different to be paying someone money who is paying you back with their innovation and motivation to help your business grow; that’s what an A-player does.
- This article was inspired by this Tropical MBA podcast episode from the archives.
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