Warm Bodies Versus A-Players

Recently at Virtual Partner Advantage (VPA), we asked our clients, “What is the biggest challenge your business is facing today?” Honestly, the answer surprised us, because among our clients the answer was unanimous – hiring. Of course, the more we thought about it, the more it made sense. Even though hiring new personnel looks easy at first glance, with all the ways the digital age allows us to connect, it is often difficult to find the ideal candidate.  On top of that many growing companies find themselves stretched to the limit and desperate to find the employee(s) required to meet the need.

Successful and profitable companies demand A-Players, not simply warm bodies, to fill positions. A-Players are goal setters who achieve, learning from their mistakes and accepting feedback. They have both integrity and self-discipline, are forward thinkers who have an exceptional ability to collaborate. Everyone wants to work with the A-Players. Warm bodies, on the other hand, fill positions, but that is about all, as they typically only do the minimum required, and lack initiative.

An issue with this strategy is that A-Players only account for about 10 percent of the population and they are nearly always employed. Knowing this, we called on the expertise of Dr. Sabrina Starling, The Business Psychologist™, the author of How to Hire the Best and the founder of Tap the Potential, to discover how to identify the best employees – these A-Players.


Dr. Starling sat down with us and explained the process begins with clearly defined core values. For example, here at VPA, our core values are clear – we are ethical, passionately committed to service and excellence, accountable people of possibility, with a thirst for knowledge who act as selfless servants on behalf of our clients, each other and our community. Once the core values of your business are clearly articulated, you can define and search for A-Players who exhibit a similar set of values. Once you and your company know what you are looking for, according to Dr. Starling, you can use your marketing expertise and network connections to locate A-Players who can easily align with your current team members and make a positive impact in your company.

Keep in mind, A-Players are attracted to other A-Players, not warm bodies. They don’t want to work with warm bodies, which means you need to tilt your company culture toward top performers. Dr. Starling shared this statistic, which might surprise you, “a single A-Player is 9 to 12 times as productive as a warm body.” Think about it, with A-Players dominating your staff, you’ll need fewer employers (which saves your company considerably in payroll costs and helps your bottom line) but also your company will experience an upsurge in productivity and profitability.

Using this hiring insight, you don’t have to fear the search for new employees, but instead can go out and actively seek the A-Players who match your company’s core values, ultimately solving a major business challenge.

Don’t settle! The time, effort and energy in your A-Player search will be like finding the treasure at the end of a treasure hunt.

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