Build Your Team Mr. Founder! (Week 4 How to Hire A-Players)

The question that I would like to discuss today is business founders role in building teams. As I am reading through the book How To Hire A-Players, they go into this in depth in the first chapter. I honestly agree with a large portion of it but there is one major factor that I would like to discuss in my argument for their role.

One of the questions raised in the chapter was, “Isn’t hiring HR’s job?” The book responded with essentially, yes but not really. Here is my thought with that. Does HR do the hiring in a lot of major companies? Yes. Are HR people the best at finding talent, I would hope so, but I do not believe that to be true.

Remember that we are finding A-Players not just employees. Do I think that HR workers can find employees, yes. However I strongly believe that Entrepreneurs are the ones who can find A-Players. Often times entrepreneurs understand people extremely well. They can read people and I think they can see character inside people that typical employees simply cannot.

Business owners were often outliers in society. They did not want to take the usual path to of getting a job and work 8-5. They know what kind of character and work ethic it takes to succeed in whatever scenario. I do not believe that HR reps often understand that. They are typically just looking for qualifications and don’t understand the importance of the character.

The business owner understand the overall business better and can see into the actual character of an applicant and feel it out much better. Do qualifications matter? Sure. However, in my opinion, qualifications are something any person can obtain over time and skills that anyone can technically learn. Character is a much more difficult thing to give someone. Business owners can see that much more quickly as they do not always have the “qualifications” it takes to start their company but they figured it out.

In the absence of something, entrepreneurial people find a way to get it done and innovate. That is the kind of people you want if you want your company to continue to grow. These are things that typically only business owners can see because they understand themselves well. This is why I think founders have to be involved in the hiring process of their company.

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3 thoughts on “Build Your Team Mr. Founder! (Week 4 How to Hire A-Players)

  1. Turner, I enjoyed reading your post and seeing your perspective. I agree with you to a point. I do believe the entrepreneur needs to be involved in the hiring process. They should have a large input on who ultimately ends up on the team. The challenge lies in the perceived quality of the potential candidate. In my experience, people in other roles in my company have had excellent input and were able to find things I could not ‘see’ in the interviewing process. They picked up on traits that I overlooked. And honestly, several team members are better at assessing talent than I – the owner / entrepreneur. We’ve created a system of checks and balances and it takes about 2 solid months to be hired in our company and that work typically pays off. I do like how you are challenging the book and making us think. Great blog.


  2. Hi Turner,
    I agree with your comment about not being able to teach character, so you should look for applicants with character that aligns with your brand. I think that this was described in the readings as recruiting for skills that you cannot teach and training applicants in skills you can teach after hiring. This also helps you have a more diverse team. However, I used to do recruiting and hiring for a small business and would get frustrated when the owner didn’t trust my initial feelings regarding hiring someone or not. I think having the owner/founder involved in the process is important, but I think I having a recruiting team is best to remove bias.


  3. I love this blog post. I do agree that it is not up to HR to find the A-players for your business. As a business owner, I know the job requirement and skills needed better than anyone. I think that it is important for the owner to be involved in creating their team and finding people that fit the “culture”. Great post.


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