Jack Welch wrote a book called “Winning” some years ago that has always been one of my favorites. Many things have stuck with me from this book including how critical it is to develop talent in your organization, and how this should be one of the primary responsibilities of the CEO.

Kevin Ryan, CEO Gilt Group, was interviewed for the Jan/Feb 2012 issue of Harvard Business Review on how to build a team of players. It’s a great article worthy of a complete read. Here are a few highlights:

  • CEOs should spend more time recruiting and managing people than any other activity.  They need to bring in great people.
  • The person in charge of HR at your company should be one of the most important people in the company.
  • Work quickly to fix bad hires.
  • Ensure each of your key managers are building great teams of people.
  • Reference checks are a critical piece of the hiring process (don’t outsource this function!).  In the full text of the article there’s a short guide on good reference check questions.
  • And my favorite, A players hire A players because they can.  B players hire B and C players because that’s all they can do (A players are too smart to work for a B player!).

At Centric, often times we hear complaints about our expansive interview process. Each candidate usually ends up talking to 5 – 10 of our employees before they are extended a job offer. And we do check references. Good to see that we’re aligned with what other smart-hiring firms are doing.

I welcome your comments,

Mike Brannan