From the Desk of Brad Smart: 11 Recruitment Tips to Find the A Players You Seek

Recruitment tips are nothing if you’re not sure what makes an A Player an A Player. This blog could list 1,000 recruitment tips, and it wouldn’t help if your top team members are not on the same page regarding what, specifically, A Player competencies are. Competencies that should be spelled out in every hire’s Job Scorecard.

So before you scroll down to these 11 recruitment tips, you must create a scorecard for your ideal employee filling the vacant role. Without it, you may erroneously believe that the new hire’s goals will depend on what the new hire is good at. 

To create the perfect job scorecard, do the following:

  1. List the results you expect a high-performer to deliver, how they will be measured, and the target for each metric.
  2. List your core values.
  3. Identify your key competencies (the behaviors in which an A Player must be excellent). 
  4. List requirements (experience, education, or certifications) and technical skills.

Do this before recruiting, and you know exactly who the ideal candidate will be for this role. 

Then, you are ready to truly take advantage of the following…

11 Tips for Your Quest for the Best


1. Write SEO-Friendly Job Posts

Crafting job posts that are SEO-friendly is essential in today’s digital age. Utilize marketing expertise to structure and apply keywords to your job listings. This will ensure that potential candidates can easily find your job openings online.

2. Optimize Your Website

Your company’s website is often the first place job seekers look for career opportunities. Make sure your “Careers” or “Join Our Team” page is engaging and reflects your organization’s culture. Seek inspiration from companies you admire to create a compelling job board on your website.

3. Leverage Employee Networks

Encourage everyone in your organization to tap into their personal networks for potential candidates. The people you, your managers, and your employees know might include great candidates or valuable connections to such candidates.

4. Offer Referral Incentives

Motivate your employees to refer A-Players from their networks by providing referral bonuses when the referred person is hired. Ensure the incentive is appealing enough to encourage ongoing engagement with potential candidates.

5. Specify Job Location

Clearly state whether the job is on-site, virtual, or a hybrid arrangement in your job ads. Many applicants have strong preferences, and this information will help attract the right candidates to your organization.

6. Use Job Boards

Posting job ads on job boards can help you reach a wider audience, even though it may require a fee. Job boards can provide access to a large pool of candidates, and some can even offer resumes of active job seekers. 

LinkedIn, for example, is a great platform to use. It offers job board functionalities inside a platform with people looking to advance their careers. 

7. Competitive Compensation

Your compensation package should be competitive. Use resources like and job boards to research pay levels and ensure your offerings align with the market.

8. Always Be Recruiting

Keep an eye out for potential A Players even when you don’t have an immediate opening. Building a list of pre-screened candidates will reduce the urgency to compromise when hiring.

9. Consider Interns

Hiring interns allows you to identify and nurture talent over an extended period. This can be an effective strategy for bringing in fresh, promising individuals.

10. Engage Educators

Collaborate with teachers and professors for summer or project-based work. They can recommend students who may be a good fit for part-time, intern, or full-time positions.

11. Relocate If Necessary

If your location is a barrier to attracting A Players, consider relocating your company. Many organizations have successfully moved to more desirable areas to access better talent pools.

Recruitment Is an Ongoing Effort … 

Finding A-Players for your organization is achievable with the right strategies. Implementing these recruitment tips can help you not only find the best talent but also improve your organization’s overall performance and success. 

Remember, Topgrading is an ongoing effort, and continuously optimizing your recruitment process is key to long-term success.

Dr. Brad Smart is Founder and CEO of Topgrading, Inc. Topgrading is dedicated to helping companies of all sizes maximize the hiring of high performers. Topgrading assesses candidates for senior positions (where the costs of mis-hires are high) and trains all managers to create teams of almost all high performers.

Brad has seven published books on hiring; the most recent three (the first, second, and third editions of Topgrading) were all best sellers. Brad, and President Chris Mursau’s new book, Foolproof Hiring (Forbes Books), is available for purchase by clicking here. After just six weeks, Foolproof Hiring, has achieved Amazon Best Seller status.

Brad can be reached at

To learn more, download our free eGuide or attend our next Topgrading Webinar. Our webinar explains the most effective recruitment methods, how to immediately identify the most honest, high performing applicants, and how to (finally!) verify what candidates tell you (since reference calls are usually worthless).

Contact us to learn more.

Improve your hiring success with Topgrading. Our proven hiring process will transform your selection methodology so that you get better hiring results across all industries, including hiring HR professionals.  Our leadership and candidate assessment tools will help you assess, hire, retain, and grow outstanding team members. Contact us to learn more!

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