Founding Operational Principles: Attracting A-Players

The next principle comes down to how we find the right people. The A-players.

Take a moment to visualise a quadrant.

You want to have people that are culturally aligned on one pillar and technically competent on the other. 

Why? Because you want to work with people who are like you. Who you resonate with. That you can get along with and engage with in terms of personal growth and the environments that you work in. 

But you also want to work with people who are technically competent and have the ability (and capacity) to deliver the results that you need as a squad. 

One of the critical things when we started Teraflow was to determine how we track and measure that, because we want some form of objectivity to also understand how well we are competing within a very high-end skills market.

So how do we find and retain the right people? 

We’ve developed a framework called the Topgrader Recruitment Process, which focuses on identifying and attracting the A-player.

We understand that an A-player can produce value well in excess of what a B- or C-player can. For example, if an A-player is able to produce better work within the context of an hour, a C-player is going to turn that around in maybe 5, or 6 hours. 

This is besides the quality of the work, the ability to deliver, etc.

So we sat down and built out a framework to find A-players and map out how we approach getting them into the business. As such, we’ve got a highly thorough recruitment process that aligns our recruitment as a strategic cultural framework within the business. 

We don’t see this as simply a recruitment framework where you say, “Hey, you’re a good person. I had a great beer with you. Come and join us”. There’s a little bit more to it, because at the end of the day, everyone works as a team in a squad and needs to have the ability to work together.

How do we work and perform to a level that is actually acceptable as a squad?

We do also understand that teams are as strong as their weakest link.

If that weakest link is a C-player and you’ve got, for example, a team of 10 people that are all A-players, but one person’s a C player, that squad actually becomes a C-player squad. 

Taking this very seriously, we ensure that our thorough recruitment process is an important part of how we grow our capacity.

It does indeed put pressure on the business, because as we develop new work and bring in new people, we need to understand how to actually attract the right skills.

There’s an ongoing drive to find A-players. That’s why when we find them, we get very excited, because it also means that we can grow and develop properly as a business.

[Want more insights into our way of working? Explore our blog!]

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