Recruiting A Players - DEARE Search Partners

Talent Differentiation A, B, C’s


Two variations on the A, B and C talent ranking method familiar to many top executives are Dr. Brad Smart’s Topgrading and Jack Welch’s Vitality Curve.

  A player B player C player
Smart’s “Topgrading” Top 10% Middle 25% Below the top 35%
Welch’s “Differentiation” Top 20% The “Vital” 70% Bottom 10%

At DEARE, our efforts are focused on identifying and recruiting relevant, right-fit A players. In the course of a sales or executive search, it is not unusual for a client to request an assessment of a wider range of potential candidates including solid B and B+ performers with A potential.

Our Pinpoint Search™ process and Pinpoint Scorecard™ involves the following talent differentiation model and subdivides the B player category into B+, B and B- rankings.

  A player B player C player
Deare’s “Pinpoint Scorecard” Top 20% Middle 30%* Bottom 50%

Our “A”, “B”, “C” candidate rankings are based on an assessment involving in-depth evaluation and weighting of professional experience, knowledge, skill, aptitude, demonstrated performance, character traits and culture fit indicators. We hold strongly to the belief that character and culture-fit attributes are as important as professional competencies when selecting critical hires. 

While the definition of an A player can be different in every company culture and for every role, peak performers tend to share a common set of core competencies and attributes. Over the course of more than 18 years, we have recorded the competencies and character attributes we believe are common to top sales and executive performers.

Our proprietary Pinpoint Search™ and Pinpoint Scorecard™ search and assessment methodologies have been important parts of a broader search process and capability leading to our unrivaled consistency in landing A player sales performers. We are proud to have earned a reputation as one of the top sales recruiting and executive search firms in Minneapolis, MN.

Your success depends upon your ability to hire the right people. Simple concept. Difficult to execute. If you are in pursuit of A level performers, contact us to learn how we can help.