AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — While it’s fairly well accepted that people are the lifeblood of a company, many organizations don’t have a clear process for recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and developing team members—something that limits their growth potential.  

“I wrote this book to illustrate the need to always be looking for rock stars and have a process to attract and hire the right people for the role,” says Jerry Phillips, author of Always Be Looking for Stars: How Leaders Can Hire The Right People With The Right Process (2020,

Book Cover

Presented as a fable, the book follows the plight of newly named CEO Vincent, who’s tasked to replace three key staff positions and finds himself at his wit’s end to do so—despite the fact that his job is on the line. The quick read provides insight into how he reached out for help from a consultant whose quote had stuck with him: “A players hire additional A players. B players never hire A players. They hire lesser talent so they don’t feel threatened. If you have a B player in a lead role, you are setting your company up to fail.”

Phillips acknowledges it can challenging to find people with the right skills and values, especially if it has to be done quickly. But when the CEO is personally involved and committed to the process—to being a hands-on, active participan —he says the chances for success go up appreciably.

A recognized content expert in strategy, people performance, sales process, coaching, and defining and leveraging differentiators, Phillips is president of NineRuns, where he’s been helping clients optimize and maximize the performance of their sales and marketing teams, shorten sales cycles, and increase close rates for 14 years. His dominant focus is helping companies build exceptional organizations that produce sustainable, predictable revenue with solid profit margin —with a major key being having the right talent to execute the agreed-on strategies.

“…I found the process for finding talent to be hit or miss,” Phillips says. “The process was random, based on who was doing the hiring. Interviewing was haphazard as well. When I started working with clients on the development of their sales and marketing teams, I found these same challenges.”

In Always Be Looking For Stars, Phillips pulls in readers with a tale that’s highly relatable and full of words of wisdom along the way. He speaks to the importance of company culture in the recruiting and interviewing processes, understanding the differences between liking candidates and understanding their qualifications, and making sure to develop specific competencies and values against which potential team members can be assessed. Throughout the book, he provides suggestions to help identify and keep rock stars, including these:

1. Interviews need to identify as much about values as skills.
2. Define your interview process first, then build recruiting to find candidates, and then the steps to hire the best fit for your company.
3. Discipline around the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring process is critical to putting every candidate on even footing so you can identify strengths and weaknesses relative to your identified skills and values.
4. Debriefs of interviews should be measured in a format that allows you to compare candidates and talk about specific skills and values.
5. Defining success before you launch the project allows you to know when you reach it and celebrate it. It rewards the hard work it takes to reach your goals.
6. Investing in their development allows you to retain your stars for a longer period of time.
7. If you don’t challenge your stars, they will find challenges elsewhere.

Phillips has plenty of firsthand knowledge to draw from, including his experience helping to launch the DeWalt brand of power tools at Black and Decker.

“Our fear wasn’t whether we would grow the business. The fear was could we maximize the growth,” Phillips says. “Our challenge was not just taking share in the market we targeted, but having enough quality people to support the growth. We developed a recruiting process that produced a stellar team of sellers and marketers. Our growth was legendary.”

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SOURCE Jerry Phillips