How To Hire The Right A-Players For Your e-Commerce Business

Ideally, business owners should be focused on scaling and developing their businesses, however, the common challenge they are facing is failing to find great people to whom they can delegate, often referred to as A-players.

So let’s start with the meaning of “A-player” – who is that?

An A-player is an independent person who knows exactly what should be done and gets those things done.

It’s someone who exceeds your expectations.

If you are failing to find A-players for your business then don’t worry since you are not unique in that, it isn’t an easy task for any business.

Great people build great businesses. Fast-paced companies know this, so they are always competing for those great people.

So how do we find those wonderful people and build an A-players team? 

Well, here’s the list of steps to be taken! *check-list is also included at the end of this blog post.

Spoiler: each of those steps is equally important and may not be missed. 

Otherwise, you’ll just fail at hiring A-players (and that’s probably not what you want, right?). 

  • Everything starts with a clearly defined understanding of what the position is about. 

Before sitting somebody down at your company table understand where they fit in the organization, their responsibilities, and further development within the company.

Moreover, it is important to outline the skills and motives the candidate ideally brings to the table. An A-player needs to have an understanding of the position, experience of building something similar, and the necessary mindset.

Write down 5-6 bullet points of the most important things for the person to achieve, develop, and be in charge of. Quantifying that brings the best thing you can do because A-players love tangible results.

This is not something that should be taken lightly because it is one of your predictors of success. The more you define that position, the happier you will be with your recruiting process and, quite honestly, the happier your new hire will be. 

They love making things better, growing, and evaluating themselves. They truly crave challenges in their lives and whatever they do. Normally, they are excited to take challenges, run with them, and find solutions independently.

  • Having defined the scope of work, we normally ask our clients to provide us with an answer to a very simple question: why an A-player should come to work with you?

And the first thing that generally comes to every entrepreneur’s mind is:

“Well, I will pay better!”

Though, money is never the main trigger for A-players.

If this is the only reason for a person to change their job then you are not talking to an A-player.

Importantly, A-players are often looking for a company where they can be recognized, drive development, bring changes, truly stand out, but not just get something from the company.

So, answering the raised question: ‘Why should an A-player come to work with you?’ —

We suggest you read it out loud and look at the statement that you drafted. You are definitely an A-player as you were able to start your business and bring your business to a certain point so you can easily tell:

Does that statement look appealing to you?

Additionally, you need to approach the statement seriously because that’s the pitch for your company’s Employer Branding and hiring A-players.

We tend to think that we are going to the market where we choose people, leading us to realize that it is not correct because of a two-way process that should be beneficial to both.

Nowadays, people work for large companies remotely making the talent competition to be huge.

Looking at the hiring process this way, you will avoid falling into a trap of thinking:

“OK. All I need to do is to create a job posting, put it on the internet and I will be getting great people just  lining up in front of my door.” 

Reading these lines, you understand that it’s not the case assuming you’ve already experienced it differently, probably making some mistakes, and realizing that it’s not that easy to find those A-players.

  • Hiring a great A-player for your team also means finding a person that shares your core values!

According to Forbes on hiring and core values:

“When our research tracked 20,000 new hires, 46% of them failed within 18 months. But even more surprising than the failure rate was that when new hires failed, 89% of the time it was for attitudinal reasons and only 11% of the time for a lack of skill”.

When you hire people who share your values, many of your people’s problems melt away.

Teaching values is much more difficult than skills so we recommend you be clear about them.

People frequently confuse timeless core values – what you truly believe and have always believed at a deep core level – with aspirations of what you’d like to see the organization become in the future. 

Having such an ambition incentivizes you to be honest with yourself and leads to understanding whether these are the same values for the people in your team.

Practiced values are beneficial for all businesses to remain the habits, actions, and healthy culture within the company.

  • Choose the best market to hire

Certainly, selecting the right markets depends on the role, your company’s taxes liability, company culture, and position types to understand where you can get these A-players at a great value for your money.

We are highly experienced at hiring all over the world and our expertise implies finding the best talents and skilled people at very competitive rates.

For example, due to the particularities of the legislation in terms of taxes, PE tax in Ukraine is 5%. Doesn’t that sound appealing?

  • Manage your hiring process professionally and choose the right tactics to find the A players

Firstly, you should get other A-players references from actual A-players to succeed in the hiring process.

Secondly, reaching inactive job-seekers as the ones who fill a similar position at another company, generally meets all the requirements to be a perfect candidate.

Lastly, a traditional search generates traffic perfectly by making the position visible for the market you are aiming at to find prospective candidates ( e.g. Indeed, Monster, LinkedIn Jobs, etc.).

The main hindrance of this method is that around 75% of candidates that apply directly to these postings tend to be underqualified. You need to devote loads of hours sifting through unsuitable candidates until finding a real pearl that meets all the requirements.

Here are some tips and tricks on how to speed up your hiring to Pro-level:

  1. Include 3-5 questions at the first step of your application process.For example, you look for Amazon marketplace specialists then ask them a specific question to evaluate their thinking processes:“Could you please describe the tools that you were using while creating listings and how did you use them?”As well as, looking for a PPC specialist, the questions can be asked:“What was your strategy – ACOS or TACOS? Also, how did you implement it?”Asking these questions will help you simplify the hiring process by:

    – reducing time-spending on irrelevant candidates processing;

    – cutting off applicants with a lack of interests and engagements;

    – making a logical conclusion while candidates talk about the questions.

  2. Alternatively, you can either use tools for video interviews like TestGorilla and myInterview or send a link to the person with 3-5 questions so they answer the questions online on the video to cut off unengaged candidates.
  3. Implement the scoring system, tailored to each position based on the required qualifications to dominate at the interview and safeguard your time during the process of selecting the best candidate.
  4. Tip on interviewing people: Invite a couple of your team members for interviews with the candidates. This will allow you to compare your opinions on the candidate internally and be more confident that you made the right choice. 
  5. Making the final decision in the hiring process requires you to be mindful and professional about the candidates’ experiences so that you have a positive long-lasting impression.
  6. Keep in mind: Hiring the right person prevents you from crushing your business goals, powers up aspirations, and brings huge value to the company.

Oxana Alkhovska, Co-Founder, ScaleJet
Oxana Alkhovska is the Co-founder of ScaleJet, a leading HR partner agency for e-commerce businesses. She has 20 years of HR experience and 5 years of hands-on operational management in leading e-commerce startups. Oxana is super passionate about building A-player teams and helping companies reach mind-blowing results. If you're looking to hire A-players or would like to get a free consultation on how to build your team, book a call!

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