The Abundance of Average

By Cindy Norcott, Owner of Pro Appointments & Pro Talent

“Is it really possible to hire A-players or are most of the candidates out there just average?”

I was recently asked this question at a business forum meeting with top business leaders. My response was as follows.

A-players are few and far between. In 100 people in a workplace, you are probably lucky to find 10. This means that 9 out of 10 candidates are average, or below.

What makes an A player, you might ask.

Having interviewed more than 10 000 candidates in my working career to date, I meet many an average candidate who rates themselves as an A Player. I don’t think they are deliberately lying at all. I just think they don’t have a benchmark to measure themselves against. If they did, they would realise that they do not measure up as an A-player. I also believe that many candidates would love to be better but might just not have the winning recipe.

In my opinion, as an intense, over-achiever, these are the qualities that make up an A player –

  • They volunteer!
  • They are 100% engaged. They show up and every day, they ask, How can I add value?
  • They support management and don’t have hidden agendas. They are loyal and have integrity.
  • They go the extra mile – they do things every day for which they are not paid
  • They respect and never abuse company resources, such as telephones, stationery, Facebook etc
  • They are team players and support their colleagues and offer help to those who might be having a bad day
  • They are not robotic about their jobs. They apply their hearts and minds and continually ask if there is a better way. They use their initiative and think out the box.
  • They have an absence of entitlement. Every day they earn their keep and they don’t rest on their laurels or the good month they had three months ago.
  • They are competitive and see every challenge as an opportunity to shine. The compare themselves with themselves and continuously strive to beat their previous best.
  • They have a positive attitude towards their work, believing in the purpose of what they do. They show positive body language, massive energy and they smile
  • They work hard and achieve and above all, they are consistent.

Employers – these are things to look out for when hiring new staff or when looking to promote staff.

Candidates – rate yourself on this checklist. If you don’t fare well, you are not yet an A-player BUT that doesn’t mean you cannot become one.

Choosing to be average is a choice and choosing to be an A player is a choice. Make the right choice!

In my opinion, it is easy to stand out in an average crowd as the best of the best.