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Who [Summary & Takeaways]

by The Quick Book Summary Team
3 minutes read

Main Topic

“Who” by Geoff Smart and Randy Street is a book that focuses on the critical importance of hiring the right people for your organization.

Key Ideas or Arguments

  • The authors emphasize that a company’s success is heavily dependent on its ability to identify, attract, and retain top talent.
  • They introduce the “A Method for Hiring,” which is a systematic approach to finding and hiring the best candidates for key positions.
  • The book highlights the significance of asking the right questions during the interview process to assess a candidate’s qualifications effectively.
  • Smart and Street stress the importance of referencing and background checks to ensure the accuracy of a candidate’s claims.

Chapter Titles or Main Sections

  1. The #1 Business Problem: Discusses how hiring mistakes can be costly for organizations.
  2. The 4 Interviews: Introduces the four crucial interviews for successful hiring.
  3. The Power of Reference Checking: Emphasizes the value of thorough reference checks.
  4. The #1 Candidate Rule: Explores the idea of having a single decision-maker in the hiring process.
  5. A Players: Describes what makes top performers in an organization.
  6. A Player Metrics: Introduces ways to measure and manage A players.
  7. The A Player’s Career Plan: Discusses how to retain top talent.


by Geoff Smart and Randy Street


Key Takeaways

  • The book provides a systematic approach to hiring that can help organizations avoid costly mistakes.
  • It stresses the importance of a thorough and rigorous interview and reference check process.
  • “Who” offers insights into retaining and managing top talent within an organization.

Author’s Background and Qualifications

Geoff Smart and Randy Street are co-founders of ghSMART, a management consulting firm. They have extensive experience in executive recruiting and advising Fortune 500 companies.

Comparison to Other Books

“Who” stands out for its practical approach to hiring, focusing on a specific method rather than general principles. It complements books like “Good to Great” by Jim Collins and “Built to Last” by Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras by addressing the critical aspect of personnel selection.

Target Audience

This book is primarily aimed at business leaders, managers, and HR professionals who are involved in the hiring and talent management processes.

Reception or Critical Response

“Who” has received positive reviews for its practical advice on hiring and its impact on organizational success. It has been well-received in the business community.

Publisher and First Published Date

Publisher: Ballantine Books First Published Date: 2008


Biggest Takeaway

The most significant takeaway from “Who” is that the systematic hiring method presented in the book can be a game-changer for businesses, leading to improved organizational performance and success.

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