MCP Insights

Art Miley

Art has more than 20 years of experience in Professional/Technical Recruiting and Human Resources. Art has a strong focus within human capital acquisition and management, project staffing, and managing internal/external client relationships. He is MCP's Talent Acquisition Manager.
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Recent Posts

Use the Concept of the 'Virtual Bench' to Attract A Players to your Public Safety Organization

Posted by Art Miley on Apr 30, 2019 11:00:00 AM

A popular and effective supply-chain management strategy involves “just-in-time” delivery.  This approach calls for the vendor to receive goods from suppliers only when they are needed to fulfill an order. Similarly, a manufacturer would receive raw materials only when they are needed for the manufacturing process. It is a tricky thing to balance, but when done effectively the needs of customers are met nimbly and efficiently, and the company saves significant overhead costs by avoiding the warehousing of considerable inventory.

MCP uses a similar approach to ensure that we can supply our clients with the subject-matter expertise and experience they need when they need them, which we call the “virtual bench.” It’s an approach that can be embraced by all public safety organizations who are looking to find, and eventually hire and keep, high performing leaders.

In two previous posts we explained the “Topgrading” methodology. This method, developed by Dr. Brad Smart—considered by many to be the world’s foremost expert on hiring practices—is designed to identify “A” players, those who among the top 10 percent of professionals in their chosen field. At MCP, we are constantly are on the lookout for A players. But we don’t always hire them immediately upon finding a match through the Topgrading process—instead, we assign them to the virtual bench.

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Topics: Life at MCP, Staffing

'A' Player Traits and How to Spot Them Using a Prescreen Interview

Posted by Art Miley on Sep 19, 2017 3:00:00 PM

A previous post presented, on a high-level, the approach we take to finding the A players for our public safety communications careers, known as “Topgrading,” a methodology developed by Dr. Brad Smart, who is considered by many to be the world’s foremost expert on hiring practices. This article will explore some of the nuances of Topgrading, and contains tips for public safety leaders looking to find A players to add to their organization.

Unlike the yeti, the A player is no mythical creature. Indeed, the A player—who is defined as a person among the top 10 percent of professionals in his or her chosen field—has numerous discernible traits such as:

  • Best-in-class achievements—A players are results driven, exhibit consistently excellent performance, and often are award winners
  • Superior problem-solving abilities—A players are quick studies and able to perform complex analysis
  • Outstanding leadership skills—A players not only are self-starters, but also self-leaders; typically, you give them a direction, and then get out of their way; they are highly adaptive, they execute needed change, and they inspire others to higher levels of performance
  • High passion and energy—A players are driven to succeed and work at a fast pace; they will do whatever it takes—within the bounds of ethics—to get the job done.

Having a roster of A players is vitally important to every organization, but none more so than public safety agencies, which every day encounter situations where lives are on the line and every second counts. So, how does one identify the A players in the public safety sector? It all starts with the Topgrading prescreen interview.

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Topics: Life at MCP, Operations, Staffing

How to Find ‘A’ Players: An Intro to ‘Topgrading’ for Public Safety Leaders

Posted by Art Miley on Mar 31, 2017 1:30:28 PM

It is essential that MCP’s subject-matter experts (SMEs) provide exemplary service, expertise and advice to our public safety clients, because when lives are on the line and seconds count, their mission truly matters. A key element in assuring that we serve our clients at the highest levels is to hire “A” players, i.e., the top 10 percent of talent in the public safety sector. While such a determination might seem subjective, it really isn’t. In fact, we use an objective approach known as “topgrading” to accomplish this goal. It is an approach that every public safety answering point (PSAP) manager can leverage to attract the most knowledgeable and passionate talent available.

Topgrading Basics

Topgrading is a methodology that was developed by Dr. Brad Smart, who widely is considered the world’s top hiring expert. We describe topgrading as a structural approach to interviewing candidates, and we use it to fill every position. Here's a quick overview of how the topgrading process works for us.

Tip 1: Don't underestimate the importance of a pre-screen.

We start with a pre-screen interview to initially identify candidates who possess “A player” characteristics and eliminate those who do not.  Candidates generally will meet with us by phone or in a live environment.  The pre-screen interview generally will run up to 90 minutes.  During the interview we ask each candidate to state their career goals, identify their best professional attributes, and acknowledge their weaknesses.  We discuss the individual’s work history, the core values at MCP—persistence, integrity, trust, accountability and prudence—and team-oriented characteristics the individual can bring to our company.

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Topics: Life at MCP, Operations, Staffing

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MCP Insights by Mission Critical Partners is the online destination for public safety leaders to expand their knowledge, stay abreast of trends, and discover innovative ideas to help implement change that will advance the industry... Because the mission matters.

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