How to Hire A-Players

by Angela Griffiths

What are the most effective ways for hiring A-Players? Read this “How to Hire A-Players” cheat sheet to work with only the best professionals in your industry.

A company is only successful when its people are. That’s why if you want to move forward and nowhere else, you need to hire a great team that will fit the company culture you’re aiming for.

In this case, hiring A-Players is all about getting the best people that will work with you in building a successful business. When you hire the wrong employees, your company is more likely to suffer considerable losses.

However, getting the best people to work in your business means knowing very well what sets A-Players apart from the rest, vetting them properly, and preparing a job offer they can’t resist.

With that said, this How to Hire A-Players article will give you everything you need to know when hiring your employees – from spotting an A-player to making them a part of your company.

What Is an A-Player?

The A-Player is an employee, freelancer, self-employed person, or CEO who is intelligent, highly intellectual, and independent. They always finish what they started. Lastly, they enjoy job satisfaction by ensuring every job is done correctly and well.

Characteristics of an A-Player

Hundreds of applicants and plenty of resumes to look at. So, what specifics should you look for in an applicant if you want to hire the best person for a specific role?

Here are the characteristics that you should see on the right candidate during the hiring process and all the right ways how to hire A-Players.

They Are Competitive

An A-Player loves to engage in healthy competition. They don’t mind grabbing first place in a competition. They also have every strategy saved for the game because they never want to let themselves down because of their performance.

Aside from that, they are also committed to their responsibilities, and they will compete with other companies for you.

Does the applicant have awards or acknowledgments from their previous jobs? What do their references say about them? If their previous employers say that they’re dependable and always does their best to stand out among the group, you can consider them an A-Player.

They Love to Win

They don’t just like to win; it’s more than that. While they love to win, they are also eager to see themselves at the top and believe your company deserves to reach the top of the industry you are in. They are also passionate about your business and can envision themselves winning alongside you.

They Are Excellent Self-Starters

A startup company tends to undergo many adjustments to thrive because changes are always inevitable, especially when you’re still in the phase of building a foundation for your company. That’s why you need to hire an A-Player who’s self-disciplined enough to endure your startup years.

Changes and failures are inevitable during these years when you’re still testing the waters, and self-discipline makes a person recover and persevere from all the setbacks. They can motivate themselves well during challenging times at work because they are excellent self-starters.

They Got Integrity

They do their job well even when you’re not watching, and they don’t stop until they have satisfied customers with their words, wisdom, and excellent services.

However, they don’t do what they do just to impress you. They do it because they know it’s their job, and they sincerely care about what they do and how well they do.

They Always Think In Advance

They always have a backup plan for a backup plan because they think 10 steps ahead of their competitors.

So, if an applicant has a history of resolving the problem before it came, if they always think of the consequences of their actions and have a clear vision of where they and the company are going, you got the A Player to hire.

Top Reasons You Should Hire An A-Player

In this section, you’ll know more about the substantial benefits your company gets when you hire and prioritize the best applicants during the hiring process.

1.      Team Building

A-Players make a strong team, and strong team players contribute to a company’s success and growth. In contrast, most C to D players don’t give much to your company’s culture, leading to frequent replacements to keep your business operating well.

Aside from spending more money during the hiring process, replacing not so competent employees can also affect the whole team’s productivity. So, make sure you always hire the best players, so the other A-players in your group won’t suffer from burnout or unproductivity.

2.      Lower Turnover Costs

It’s no longer a secret that having the right people join your team can save you money. Hiring the right people to work for you may take a lot of time due to various assessments and interviews, but it will be worthwhile in the end.

Investing more time in the hiring process also means your company ensures that your next hires will make valuable contributions to your business.

3.      Business Growth

A-Players are the people who are genuinely interested in growing alongside your business; they will stay with you until you grow big as they too.

With them, your business becomes stable and successful as their roles mature. When you give highly competent people responsibilities, you can rest assured they will do their best to impress themselves and you.

4.      Customer Relations

A-Players have excellent communication skills, and they are also wise enough to know the needs of your consumers, clients, or customers.

They can relay the right messages at the right time in the right way and resolve customer concerns, so you won’t have to worry about retaining your customers.

You won’t only satisfy and keep them; you can also attract people to invest in you through word of mouth and personal recommendations.

5.      Time

The clock ticks so loud when you are in the business. Everything is planned out, and every milestone is to be achieved at the set time.

You can only reach your business goals when you value time, as well as when your time is being valued. The incredible thing about hiring an A-player is that your goals become more achievable because they will work smart on them quickly.

How to Hire A-Players: Effective Tips in Hiring A-Players

Sourcing Candidates

The best way to find the best person for the job is by asking for referrals from your network. There’s nothing better than asking for referrals from your best employees. Another way to see competent candidates is through LinkedIn and other professional sites.

You get to see their work experiences and portfolios with these career websites. Their qualifications will give you more confidence to invite them for a job interview.

Three Interviews to be Conducted to Get an A-Player

You already have a shortlist of candidates fit for the job. They pass all the academic standards and work experiences you require, and you are awed with their portfolio or written test results. So, what do you do next from finding them?

The vetting does not stop here because there are still three types of interviews an A-player needs to go through to prove their worth before hiring them.

With that said, here’s everything you need to know in hiring A-Players through interviews.

Phone Screening Interview

During a phone interview, the first thing you want to do is ensure that the applicant feels at ease. After all, you’ll get more satisfactory answers when they’re not nervous, so ask simple questions before diving into the more serious ones.

The Basic Questions

Here are the simplest and most essential questions to ask during the first part of the interview:

  • Can you tell me more about yourself?
  • Why do you want a new job?
  • Do you have other applications as of the moment?
  • When can you start working?

These questions might be simple, but they can help you determine if the candidate is worth pursuing.

The Expected Salary

For many candidates, their expected salary can be an awkward topic. However, it’s always worth knowing their expectations from you so that both of you will not be wasting each other’s time proceeding to the hiring process.

Here are the questions you can ask them regarding their expected compensations:

  • What is your expected salary for this position?
  • Do you have specific benefits in mind that you’d like us to offer?
  • Is your expected salary negotiable? What could be the lowest salary you can take from this position?

It’s also crucial to let your candidates know your salary price range if they are shy enough or decide not to disclose their salary expectations to you.

Then, once you have informed them of your price range, always ask them if they still want to continue their application.

How Much They Want The Job

Is the candidate you are interviewing really interested in the job? Or are they just applying for financial reasons?

One indicator that the candidate will stay with you for a more extended period or do excellent with this job is if they’re genuinely interested in this type of work. These are the questions to ask them to see if they really want the job:

  • Why did you leave your current job?
  • Why do you want to be in the position?
  • What were your job responsibilities in your previous job?
  • What motivates you into doing your job well?

Do they love a challenge? Do they like stimulating things? Aren’t they bothered with pressure at work? Make sure you learn more about how much they desire the job and if it fits them before hiring them.

What They Know About the Company

You can tell if the candidate is passionate about the position they’re applying for is if they don’t mind investing effort in reading your company website and knowing more about your products or services.

  • What do you like about our company?
  • How do you understand our products and services?
  • Would you buy our product or service?

These are some of the questions you can ask them to check if they have taken the time to do a little research about you.

The Candidate’s Resume

You can use this discussion to verify their past employment and what likely they have done during the gaps of their job. You will get to know more about the candidate’s lifestyle, skills, and interests through this.

  • What do you think are your best skills?
  • What skills of yours match this job you are applying for?
  • Why did you leave your last employer?
  • Do you have any questions for me?

When you need more clarification on their answers, don’t hesitate to ask.

Face-to-Face or Video Interview

As the old adage says, “it takes one to know one.” An A-Player will more likely appreciate and feel excited about the recruitment process if the employer is also an A-Player. So, it won’t hurt to ask them these questions to determine if they are really A-Players.

Aside from that, you will also get to show them your high standards, which increases your company’s value in their eyes. With that said, here’s what you need to consider during this part of the recruitment process.

1.      Have they been promoted before?

You will know if they were great at what they did when their previous managers had given them a more challenging role.

The promotion meant they were highly skilled and reliable to lead and hold a more serious responsibility, which gives you light that they will also be dependable with giving you high-quality outputs.

2.      Were they given a big project in their previous role?

How did they handle a role that would be out of the league for others? How did they accomplish a responsibility that’s utterly new to them?

3.      Will this be a different role from their previous one?

How do you think will they handle a new role? A-Players love challenging things, so this shouldn’t be a problem, as long as they have the skills for the position.

4.      Can they envision themselves growing along with your company on top of your industry?

A-Players aren’t afraid to step up, compete with other companies, and suggest what they can do to level up with you in this industry. Do they have projects or strategies in mind? Count them in.

5.      Are they grounded but confident at the same time?

A-Players don’t have to shout to the world that they’re excellent in their craft or made from leadership material because they know that already.

You’ll know a cocky candidate when they keep on bragging about their accomplishments, even if they’re unrelated to the current role being discussed.

Grounded and confident players do well with a team and with their managers and seniors because they are down to earth enough.

Reference Check Interviews

Last but not least, this is the interview you need to verify the candidate’s credibility through other sources. This step is vital, especially when the role you want to fill is crucial. Character references are essential to know who you are talking to is legit.


There will be tons of competent applicants out there with excellent communication skills, but it takes a lot to be an A-Player. It also takes a lot for the candidate to be a considerable asset and contributor to the business.

When you’re hiring an A-Player, you need to check if they have the characteristics, knowledge, and experiences you require because you’re making a considerable investment when hiring them.

Make sure that they undergo the interview process to properly vet and examine the candidate. Lastly, don’t forget to be competitive with your salary and compensation offered to have them join your team willingly!


Your candidate would love to grow with you more when he knows you value him. With the cheat sheet above on how to hire A-Players, hiring A-Players for you the next time becomes nothing but a win-win.

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How do you recruit an A-Player?

You can recruit an A-Player through sourcing, vetting, and offering them a competitive salary and benefits.

What does it mean to hire A-Players?

Hiring A-Players means getting only the competitive, excellent, and high performer professionals in their respective fields.

What makes someone an A-Player?

An A-Player is competitive, intelligent, advanced-thinking, dependable, and loves learning.

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