Topgrading 3rd Ed.

The Proven Hiring and Promoting Method That Turbocharges Company Performance

Bradford D. Smart

Publisher: Penguin, 2012, 350 pages

ISBN: 978-1-59184-526-3

Keywords: Human Resources

Last modified: Feb. 25, 2018, 7:30 p.m.

Great companies. large and small, rise or fall because of their talent; the more high performers on your team, the more successful your organization will be. Of course, that's easier said than done. Research shows that only about 25% of all new hires turn out to be high performers.

But companies that have used Brad Smart's Topgrading system over the past two decades have boosted their hiring success rates dramatically — sometimes even 90%.

Three huge problems account for the typical poor results in hiring: dishonesty (via deceptive résumés), incomplete information (via shallow interviews), and lack of verifiability (via biased references). Topgrading shows how to solve all three problems. Instead of hiring by your gut reactions to résumés and interviews, you can start using a scientifically honed process that compels candidates to be totally honest.

Smart, one of the world's foremost experts on hiring, has personally helped hundreds of companies double, triple, or even quadruple their hiring sucess rates. His clients have ranged from global giants such as General Electric and Honeywell to midsize and small businesses in every field imaginable, and not-for-profits such as American Heart Association. And hundred of thousands of readers have applied the lessons and tools of the first two editions of Topgrading.

The Topgrading system makes hiring easier, faster, and more successful than any other process. And it works at every level, from the front lines to senior management.

For the first time in seven years, Smart has fully revised and updated Topgrading with many new tools, techniques, and case studies. This edition now features 40 companies of all sizes, across a wide range of industries and home countries. It's the most advanced and useful version of Topgrading ever. The third edition includes:

  • The new Topgrading Snapshot, which screens out weak candidates in just 15 seconds.
  • Simplified Topgrading methods for entry-level jobs.
  • The latest version of the acclaimed Topgrading Interview script.
  • Case studies from 35 companies not featured in any previous edition.
  • Many additional innovations created by Topgraders.

Topgrading isn't just about hiring and promoting — it's also about developing talent. It enables leaders to reward their A Players, coach their Bs to become As, and weed out the Cs who are beyond improvement.

Many great leaders know that Topgrading works. Find out how it can help your company gain a big competitive advantage.

  • Introduction: Topgrading Will Make Your Company More Successful
  1. Topgrading Basics
  2. All About A Players
  3. 12 Topgrading Steps To Hiring 90% High Performers
    • Hiring Step #1: Measure Your Baseline Success Hiring and Promoting People and Your Costs of Mis-Hires
    • Hiring Step #2: Create a Clear Job Scorecard (Not a Vague Job Description)
    • Hiring Step #3: Recruit from Your Network
    • Hiring Step #4: Screen Candidates with the Topgrading Career History Form and Topgrading Snapshot
    • Hiring Step #5: Conduct Telephone Screening Interviews
    • Hiring Step #6: Conduct Competency Interviews
    • Hiring Step #7: Conduct Tandem Topgrading Interviews
    • Hiring Step #8: Interviewers Give Each Other Feedback
    • Hiring Step #9: Write a (Draft) Executive Summary
    • Hiring Step #10: Conduct Candidate-Arranged Reference Calls
    • Hiring Step #11: Coach Your Newly Hired A Player
    • Hiring Step #12: Annually Measure Your Topgrading Success
  4. Advanced Interviewing Skills
  5. Topgrading Innovations: Case Studies
  6. The Art Of Topgrading
  • Epilogue
  • Appendix A: Sample Job Scorecard
  • Appendix B: Topgrading Snapshots
  • Appendix C: Topgrading Vision
  • Appendix D: Topgrading Cost of Mis-Hires Form
  • Appendix E: Starter Topgrading Interview Guide
  • Appendix F: Short Case Studies
  • Appendix G: Sample Executive Summary and Individual Development Plan
  • Appendix H: Topgrading Resources