Great People Decisions Book Summary By Claudio Fernandez-Araoz

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Great People Decisions is a must-read for anyone looking to make the best personnel decisions for their business.

It explains how these choices can make or break an organization and provides a step-by-step guide to finding the right candidate for the right job.

In this book, author Richard Cavanagh offers practical, immediately actionable advice on many aspects of hiring and managing personnel that are applicable whether you have a small business or a large one.

It's an invaluable resource to have handy if you want to make smart decisions in your organization.

Great People Decisions Book

Book Name: Great People Decisions (Why They Matter So Much, Why They Are So Hard and How You Can Master Them)

Author(s): Claudio Fernandez-Araoz

Rating: 4.3/5

Reading Time: 18 Minutes

Categories: Corporate Culture

Author Bio

Claudio Fernández-Aráoz is one of the foremost thought leaders in the world when it comes to talent and leadership.

He is an author, speaker and very highly regarded by his peers for his expertise on a variety of topics related to identifying and hiring great people.

His book "Great People Decisions" is just the latest installment in a series of highly popular publications from him.

And it surely won't be his last!

Other works of note include "It’s Not the How or the What but the Who", which was also a modern classic.

How To Put Together The Dream Team: Strategies For Recruiting Top Talent

Dream Team

If you’re looking for ways to become a recruiting mastermind, then the Great People Decisions book is the perfect place to start.

It outlines the essential tools you need to make great hiring decisions, and provides valuable insights into how to find top candidates.

You’ll learn why procrastination can weaken your team, and why it’s important to keep thinking about making changes even if your team already seems perfect.

You’ll also gain an understanding of why getting a recommendation from someone else is usually the best way to find a top candidate.

All these tactics and more are discussed in detail in the Great People Decisions book- so if you want to become a recruitment master, this book is definitely worth picking up!

The Crucial Role Of People Decisions In Achieving Professional Success

Making great people decisions is an essential part of maximizing your career potential, no matter what stage you are in.

It’s not enough to have a good degree and even a great career path – you need to be able to identify who will be able to help you reach new heights of success.

Many people think that judging whether someone is good for a job or team relies on gut feeling,but this isn’t actually the case – it’s something that can be learned.

Having the ability to make solid decisions in terms of who best fits into which positions helps organizations as well as yourself, boosting performance and helping everyone reach their goals more efficiently.

Though we are limited by our own individual potentials and advances in our careers depend on many different factors such as attitude, qualifications and personality, having the capacity to make great decisions when it comes to other people is also an essential determiner of career successes.

In particular, if you move into management roles where overseeing other employees becomes critical, understanding how exactly to pick out talented individuals and placing them appropriately becomes vital.

Knowing how vital making good people decisions is for both yourself and workplaces should motivate us all work hard so that we can grow individually (and collectively) towards greater successes.

Companies Must Make Quality People Decisions Today To Thrive Tomorrow

If companies want to succeed in today’s competitive market, they must ensure that the right people are in the right places on their team.

Even renowned business expert Peter Drucker has argued that executive decisions related to employees are only effective 33 percent of the time.

This means that finding and placing the best-performing personnel should be essential for all companies seeking success.

A noted business thinker Jim Collins agrees, proposing that businesses should focus primarily on hiring competent staff before expanding or investing into ventures or becoming part of a bigger group.

After all, there will always be tasks which require specific skills no single individual should possess.

Furthermore, with many firms now operating in emerging sectors such as biotech and software, competency among personnel is much more critical than having access to powerful tech equipment.

Finally, success tomorrow hinges upon refining people decision-making today; as a result more and more companies must prioritize getting the best talent aboard as quickly as possible if they are looking to stay competitive and secure business growth in future.

The Challenges Of Making Great People Decisions In The Workforce


Making great people decisions is often a challenge.

One of the main reasons this is so difficult is because it’s not always easy to assess which people are right for the job.

This can be especially true when it comes to assessing candidates’ soft skills, as these attributes may not appear on a resume or CV.

Additionally, there may not be enough suitable candidates available to find an exact match for the role you need filled.

The difficulty in correctly judging what a role needs, coupled with the lack of qualified individuals, makes making great people decisions incredibly challenging – and sometimes even impossible.

For example, imagine you hire the perfect candidate for a given role only to see that role change over time.

Suddenly this perfectly-suited candidate might no longer fit the bill; they might not have the skills required for tackling new challenges.

Without a doubt, identifying capable candidates who know how to negotiate and conciliate (among many other things) and predict changing market demands becomes a huge hurdle to overcome in order to make successful people decisions.

It Takes More Than Rationality To Make Good People Decisions

Making great people decisions can be difficult when we’re hindered by politics, desperate candidates and psychological biases.

Our minds aren’t perfect and we are prone to making mistakes due to cognitive biases that affect the way we think.

In fact, two common biases playing a role in people decisions are procrastination and herding.

When it comes to people decisions, procrastination can leave us placing off difficult choices like letting a failing employee go until more damage is done.

Similarly, herding reveals that even if we think our actions individual, more often than not we find ourselves following what others are doing – this is especially true when it comes to making hiring decisions where majority verdicts may not necessarily be correct ones.

Additionally, motivations of both recruiters and candidates plays a big part in the hiring process.

As candidates can sometimes be desperate for any job opportunity which then leads them to exaggerate or lie to get the position – as seen with 95% of college-age people admitting they would do so – recruiters also have their own incentives and favoritism practices that prevent great people decisions from being made, leaving companies with employees who don’t suit their roles properly.

It’S Time To Make Tough People Decisions: How To Identify When Change Is Necessary

Making great people decisions requires knowing when to make them.

As procrastination is a psychological bias, it’s important to know when it’s time for a change and take action.

Waiting too long can leave you facing one of those disaster scenarios where the market has changed before you even had the chance to act.

It is essential to identify these times and make the necessary decisions as soon as possible.

This means being honest, even if the decision involves letting someone go, as well as assessing your current team members and any potential future needs that could arise.

Furthermore, just because your team may be performing well currently doesn’t mean they will continue to do so in the future.

It’s important to factor in those future needs, evaluating the competencies of each member of the team while considering who would make an ideal executive team in advance.

Taking this approach allows you to make better people decisions right when they are needed, instead of having them be forced on you by unforeseen circumstances later down the line.

Knowing What To Look For Is Key When Making Great People Decisions


Knowing exactly what to look for is essential if you want to make great people decisions.

You aren’t looking for the ‘perfect employee’, because no such thing exists.

The goal is to ensure that your team has the perfect balance of skills, combining both intelligence and emotional intelligence.

When it comes to finding candidates for lower management or non-management positions, ambition and their ability to learn as they go are key attributes you should prioritize.

On the other hand, when recruiting someone for an executive role, experience is likely more important than potential.

No matter what role you’re recruiting for, though, take the time to clearly define which competencies are required so that you can analyse what qualities each candidate has.

Otherwise you might find yourself making conscious or unconscious snap judgements which may not be beneficial in the long run.

High levels of emotional intelligence are a must too – without it even the most intelligent of candidates might fail in their role eventually!

Make The Most Of Professional Networks With Sourcing And Benchmarking To Find The Best Candidate For Your Role

If you’re looking for the best people to fill a role, it’s important to move past relying on online applications.

You need to take advantage of sourcing and benchmarking in order to really find the best candidates for the job.

Sourcing can be incredibly effective when it comes to finding qualified individuals.

All you have to do is contact other professionals, like executives, managers, and consultants, and ask them if they know anyone who positively fits the role you’re looking to fill.

Utilizing already established networks and connections in the professional world makes this process more fruitful than simply posting an online application.

To narrow down your role candidates even further, use benchmarking.

Establish a profile of what an ideal candidate would look like and then compare each individual’s qualifications against that profile in order to determine whether or not they make a good match.

This technique was actually used by one US company that needed a manager for their Asian market – they went from 100 potential candidates down to 12 of the best options!

Overall, sourcing and benchmarking are both incredibly useful tools when it comes time for hiring someone new.

Don’t just post an online application – use these methods instead and find the perfect candidate every time!

How To Conduct An Effective Job Interview: Ask The Right Questions And Avoid Making Unjust Judgments

The power of structured interviews cannot be overstated.

If you want to hire the right person for a job, it’s essential that you plan your interviews carefully and ask purposeful questions that relate to the core competencies of the role in question.

Start by defining what you are looking for, such as whether the candidate should have strong interpersonal skills or be particularly results focused.

From there, ask relevant questions such as how they’ve handled particular situations in their past.

For instance, if team leadership abilities are important, ask them to explain how they’ve achieved goals or made their team more effective.

Judging people in an interview is challenging, so it helps to enlist professionals who can properly train those responsible for hiring so that snap judgments won’t obscure potential candidates.

When all is said and done, by taking advantage of the power of structured interviews, you will have a much better chance of finding a great candidate with the perfect skillset and personality for your organization!

The Key To Recruitment Success Is Making Your Company An Attractive Prospect For High-Calibre Candidates And Supporting New Hires In Their Transition


If you’re looking to hire the best candidate for the job, you need to make sure that your business is attractive for high-caliber employees.

You must be willing to pay them a competitive wage and demonstrate your passion for why they should sign up to work for your company.

Going the extra mile will help you win over the best candidates; from travelling long distances like in the example given by the author, to explaining how great their role with you will be – sharing evidence of how your company is making a difference or allowing them a path for success and growth.

Finally, you have to attract these chosen candidates and create a structured support system once they join.

Once a deal is finalized, integrate them into their new team properly – apart from educating them on their roles and responsibilities right away, actively provide ongoing training so that they can make the biggest impact within your organisation.

If it turns out that they are not able to integrate correctly, don’t ignore this as then may lead to failure down the line.

Recognise if this was an incorrect people decision and pull the plug rather than continuing with an employee who’s not happy or being trusted fully into the team.

Wrap Up

The Great People Decisions book provides insightful guidance on how to make the most effective people decisions for your organization.

By placing an emphasis on the importance of people decisions, the book argues that they are the key factor in a company’s success.

The actionable advice provided in the book is to always check references when interviewing candidates.

It is important to remember that passion might not be the only thing motivating a candidate, which is why it is essential to double-check references in order to find out experience and competency levels.

In conclusion, if you want to achieve success in business, it is important that you prioritize your people decisions and always check references during interviews.

With this invaluable advice from The Great People Decisions book, you can be better positioned for success no matter which stage of development your company may be at!

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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