A’s hire A’s and B’s hire C’s


When you have really good people, you don’t have to baby them. By expecting them to do great things, you can get them to do great things. A-plus players like to work together, and they don’t like it if you tolerate B-grade work.

– Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple

Steve Jobs was known to have agreed with the famous principle “A level people hire level A people, B level people hire C level people”. So as a recruiting philosophy, Apple hires only A players. There are sound reasons why this principle is so effective:

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B players are afraid to hire people that could be better than them.  They feel threatened by anyone that could surpass them, so their thinking is better to raise themselves up by keeping other people down.

A players understand the benefits of hiring A players from the beginning, and prefer working with other A players.  They keep each other sharp, motivated, challenged and competitively engaged.

A players can better recognize other A players.  They understand how they work and how they’re motivated, making them easier to spot.

Culture Building Tip:

It is very difficult for all organizations to hire only A players, not to mention statistically impossible. So, the best way to top-grade your organization and hire more A players is to first establish your management team with all A players. Once your managers are all A’s, they will naturally start hiring other A’s. Be clear in defining the behaviors and attributes that make A players, and be relentless about upholding that standard in the selection process. Over time, you will start attracting and hiring more A’s.

That’s our spark, what’s yours?