The Truth about Valuable Employees
Have you ever noticed that all the A-players at any organization tend to be doing different things, in different ways? These people have shared character traits, but what they do in their job could be anything.
Some top developers write more code, others design more algorithms, others lead and organize teams. In marketing, some people specialize in writing, others do art, others do quantitative studies, others do primary research, etc. They do different mixes of these things.
So who are the A-players? It's simple:
1) A-players are smart people. The best organizations will make this a pillar of their hiring.
2) A-players are interested people. A top source of value in any employee is how much they purely think about the company. When it comes time for a person to act on the company's behalf, they will make far better decisions if they are interested in their company, work, and industry.
3) A-players are active people. Hire employees who do lots of work, who have families and pets, and who pursue lots of interests and passions. And then enthuse them to take some of that energy and spend it on your business.
I think the culture at my company SureLogic embraces these ideas, Google too.