The LLoyd blog: hidden talent.

Making “A Players” A Hiring Priority

A Players.
Our clients tell us they want them and can’t find them.
That’s one of the reasons they reach out to us.

A Players are those illusive individuals who fall within the top 10% of talent available for any job, at a given salary level.

Here at LLoyd we follow the Topgrading method identified by Dr. Brad Smart, for our own internal hires of A Players. It’s a rigorous process, but has systematically helped us screen superior talent and by doing so, has gained the support and commitment required by senior leadership.

So, when a client cites a demand for an “A Player” when giving us a search assignment, we take it seriously and ask that our clients do the same. However, we often find that our clients are losing the opportunity to engage and hire A players and they don’t know why and that’s what I want to share with you today.

Identifying A players requires deep research in the identification and sourcing process.   If you are a hiring manager, owner, or senior leader I ask you to do a role reversal and put yourself on the other side of the job market process. Imagine you are an A player – an impact player in your field. You are not looking at job boards or posts (most A Players simply don’t), you’re not actively seeking a new position and then you get that magical call from a professional recruiter who peaks your interest. The recruiter presents to you a strong, engaging, knowledgeable pitch about the mission of a company and a role that immediately captures your attention!

The A Player’s attention is there, there is an energy, a sense of excitement, they want to learn more.   Help your search partner to help you! Don’t make the process difficult.

A Players are the Unicorns of Talent and catching one and keeping them interested requires a sense of urgency, the willingness to move quickly, and an easy process to gain engagement by getting on your calendar or the hiring manager’s without delay.

The A Player is a due diligence individual who wants to speak to the leader who knows the job, the impact, the why and the culture of the team and organization.

And – that’s where it falls apart.

It’s the scheduling and work time that nobody seems to have at the hiring company. The challenges of getting a meeting set, then having it confirmed, or the nuances of a particular calendar platform. It comes down to making this hire important. Put it at the top of your list…every leader somewhere has said the most important part of this company is its people…so make the time to spend with those A players a priority!

 Studies show that the elusive top 10% of talent disappears from the marketplace within 10 days. Work at it with your team, your staff, your business, your search partners and you will soon be spending more quality time with the right impact players.


Jason Banks, CSP, the Executive Vice President of LLoyd Staffing.  He leads LLoydIT, the Technology/Digital talent community of LLoyd.  As one of the principals of the company, he continues to handle critical high level searches in verticals such as IT, Healthcare Informatics, Digital Strategy and Cyber Security.  He is available to take on your search engagement for an A Player.

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