Who Book Summary - Who Book explained in key points
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Who summary

Geoff Smart and Randy Street

The A Method for Hiring

4.2 (156 ratings)
19 mins
Table of Contents

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    Hiring mistakes can be catastrophic and many people lack the skills to make the right decisions.

    Hiring can be a nightmare. But why all the fuss about getting the right person on the first try? If a new hire doesn’t work out, you can always just replace her, right?

    Well, here’s the truth: if you think hiring is a matter of trial and error, you’re probably pretty new to the grueling initiation rite that is onboarding a new employee. Furthermore, hiring errors can cost companies a fortune and they happen far more often than they should.

    Studies done by the authors have found that a typical hiring mistake will cost a company around fifteen times the employee’s monthly salary. Some of these costs stem from poor decisions made by the employee; the rest, from the work necessary to fire and replace him.

    To put this in perspective, imagine you hire a manager who earns $100,000 a month. If your decision turns out to be a bad one, you’ll have cost the company up to $1.5 million!

    Clearly, hiring the wrong person is an expensive mistake. Yet it happens all the time. According to management guru Peter Drucker, most managers make at least 50 percent of their mistakes during hiring decisions.

    This makes sense, though. Business people often lack the skills they need to make sound hiring choices. So they end up relying not on personal expertise, but gut instinct.

    This approach can be likened to that of an amateur art critic whose repertoire of responses to a work of art is limited to “I like it” and “I don’t like it.” The problem is that art can easily be forged and first impressions are often weak guides. Like the rash and uninformed critic, people who hire based on instinct can be fooled by charismatic candidates with little true ability.

    Or, in other instances, managers act like prosecutors, trying to trick candidates into slipping up. As you’ll learn, doing this will only put a prospective hire on the defensive, preventing you from finding out whether he has the right skills for the job. Luckily, there’s a better approach, and in the next blinks you’ll learn all about it.

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    What is Who about?

    Who (2008) is your guide to the greatest problem that faces every business leader: how to hire competent staff. These blinks are chock-full of actionable tips on how to ensure your firm has a steady supply of adept candidates to choose from and that all your hires are in step with your goals.

    Who should read Who?

    • Managers, entrepreneurs and recruiters
    • Job seekers
    • Anyone with the power to hire and fire

    About the Author

    Geoff Smart runs the consulting firm ghSMART, which helps business leaders increase their impact and achieve their goals. His other book, Leadocracy, was also a New York Times bestseller.

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