Features The Topgrading interview process starts with a detailed job description that accurately portrays the skills, experience and personal qualities a candidate needs to be successful in the vacant position. Some companies choose to start with a preliminary introductory meeting to ensure that that the applicants are generally compatible with the company. Then, each viable candidate fills out a comprehensive career history form that describes his professional journey from high school to the present. The leading candidates then must arrange phone calls between the hiring company and bosses from all of the jobs they have held in the past 10 years. Interview Questions Questions for a Topgrading interview are designed to draw the candidate out on past personal and professional experiences to help the interviewers understand how the candidate thinks, what she values and how she interacts with others. Examples include the following: "Describe the most influential experiences that shaped your values and personality.

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Topgrading Professionals also coach senior managers and our software integrates with ATSs. Q: What is the Topgrading Vision? Our goal is for Topgrading to be the accepted Best Practice for hiring and promoting people throughout the world. Part of that vision is to see you, assuming you are a hiring manager, improve your success picking talent so that your career, your organization, your balance in life, will all be better.

Q: How do you define success by hiring using Topgrading methods? The key benefit to CEOs is to improve performance of the company, to sales, profits, and market share. CEOs say that Topgrading is a major reason why their company as a whole is actually achieving more profits.

As for hiring managers, the benefit of having almost all high performers reporting to them is their better performance, leading to faster promotions. Topgrading managers also enjoy a lot better balance in life. Because they can delegate to high performers. And Human Resources benefits by saving a LOT of time screening people and gains respect of their hiring managers who thank them for sending much better candidates to interview.

Q: What is the evidence that Topgrading hiring methods truly are the best? At www. Topgrading case study CEOs say in their own words that Topgrading made their company more successful. We can also train you; tens of thousands of managers have more than tripled their success hiring after attending our public or on-site Topgrading Workshops.

With only honest, high producers left in the candidate pool, the famous Topgrading Interview is conducted, revealing times more than so-called behavioral or competency interviews.

Brad Smart met with just the 1 Human Resources professionals from just the biggest companies in the world. Topgrading replaces those characteristics with honesty, thoroughness, and solid verification.

A: Definitely. Topgrading is in a sense more important for small companies than large ones. Most startups fail in the first year, and one bad hire can kill a company. All the Topgrading methods work well or better in all size companies, in all industries. Cashier candidates complete a shorter Career History Form, the Topgrading Interview might last 45 minutes, and there might be only two reference calls, lasting only five minutes each.

My thanks to Topgrading, Inc. Some companies try out our Topgrading Snapshot —free. Others want a Topgrading Professional to interview finalists for a key job. A: The single biggest impediment is a boss who lets people compromise on the high performer standard.

Another roadblock is C Players, who will quietly try to undermine Topgrading. C Players who never exhibit much creativity on the job for some reason sense that Topgrading could be a threat to them and so they huddle together and find all sorts of creative ways interfere with the implementation of Topgrading.

Of course, we have some ways that we recommend that you use in order to combat the C Players. Hint: train and get the solid support of opinion leaders, A Players, so peer pressure will quiet the nay sayers. And Topgrading assures new hires do embrace the values. As you create job scorecards, just include competencies representing your core values. Good ironically is not good enough — a disappointment if you wanted a high performer. A third indicator is if the person is tops on key competencies.

For example, the following chart separates A, B, and C Players. When leaders progress from mediocre to very good listeners, their team considers them much improved as leaders overall, and specifically as motivators, team players, coaches, developers of talent, and yes — better Topgraders!

Listening is just grasping what the other person said. No process measures culture fit better than Topgrading.

In Topgrading you learn why people left jobs, why they took the next job, what they like and disliked in every job, and how they have succeeded or failed. All of this information will tell you whether a candidate will fit with your company, in a specific role.

A: Topgraders have quite a high standard — a successful hire or promotion is someone who, after a year or so, is deemed to be an A Player, a high performer. Topgrading includes hiring and promoting with a Job Scorecard, with all the work accountabilities and minimum ratings expected on competencies, so if someone is falling short, normal feedback processes will assure that they know it.

Then they should be given a chance to succeed. But if they fail most chronic low performers find another job before they are fired.

The right language is this: With Topgrading, under-performers fire themselves. Measure Hiring Success Q: Are companies good at measuring the quality of the people they hire? Most companies measure speed and cost to fill jobs, but that only means they mostly mis-hire people … but they do it fast and cheap.

Q: What are ways to measure quality of hires and promotions? Exercise 2: Estimate the costs of a typical mis-hire. This is the most widely referenced cost-of- mis-hire form, and in only 15 or 20 minutes the high costs of mis-hires become clear. Assemble a quartet — boss, someone else at that level familiar with the person measured, and two HR people familiar with the person. Pull out all measures of job performance and demonstration of competencies competency surveys, for example and in an hour decide if the person is an A Player, A Potential, or Non-A the Bs and Cs without A Potential.

Job Scorecards include both the measurable accountabilities and the minimum acceptable ratings on competencies in order for someone to be deemed an A player on the job. For example, suppose the job is Vice President Sales with a different company than the previous example. The job description might be four pages long, but essentially says the job is to boost global and domestic sales, launch some new products, and achieve profitability goals.

A year later the new VP of Sales felt quite frustrated, having been jerked in many different directions and at best ended up satisfying one of the executives who had a real stake in the job. And it would have stated the minimum ratings in surveys on key competencies so, for example, someone cannot produce the numbers and destroy teamwork and be considered an A Player.

But without measurable accountabilities, the executive team and the new hire were all confused as to what the job really was, and the chances of a costly mis-hire are very high! Using recruiters, posting jobs, using executive search firms, and running ads all have their place.

But the advantage of recruiting from your networks is that it is faster, better, and cheaper than running ads or using recruiters.

Exactly what are the networks you should be tapping? Suppose you have a job opening for a software programmer; you pick up the phone and call three A Player software programmers you worked with at other companies, and you hire a terrific person in a couple of weeks.

If you really are confident someone is an A Player, you probably worked closely with them. Two dozen billionaires interviewed by Topgraders said this was their favorite and most successful way to recruit, too. Q: What are the best methods to pre-screen people before interviewing them in person? All of this truthful information is shown in the Topgrading Snapshot.

The Mini Snapshot is a revolutionary candidates screening tool — an easy form that takes candidates a couple of minutes to fill out so they will yet provides a Snapshot of the most recent 2 jobs with the MOST important information — boss ratings and reasons for leaving jobs.

Good for them! Why do you suggest including them? What are competency interviews? They are interviews in which different interviewers spend one hour with a candidate, asking questions about one or more of the key competencies that were identified and listed in the Job Scorecard. Why include competency interviews?

Topgrading methods are to create a competency interview guide and conduct the interview allowing 15 minutes for candidates to ask questions about the job, the organizational culture, how decisions are made, what the manager is like as a boss — whatever. Topgrading thoroughly vets candidates, and A Players expect to be thorough in their due diligence on the job. Strong candidates demand to have their questions answered and we totally respect that. This is one step that helps meet that need.

The process is a chronological interview starting with education years and then asking up to 16 questions about every full-time job, plus follow up questions, starting with the first full-time job and coming forward to the present job.

Then there are questions about goals and a self-appraisal. Interviewers conduct a two-hour Topgrading Interview for individual performers, or a four-hour interview for managers. Q: How important is the Topgrading Interview?

A: Whether you use it for an entry-level job in a one-hour interview, or use a Tandem Topgrading Interview for a manager, this is the one most important Topgrading step — the one that truly reveals what a candidate is like on as many as 50 different competencies.

Q: How does the Topgrading Interview reveal so much accurate information? No one hypes accomplishments in a job knowing they will have to arrange a reference call with that boss. Then during the Topgrading Interview the interviewer s see patterns of how the candidate evolved over the years. Every time a candidate shares a success, failure, or key decision the interviewers get deeper and deeper insights into what the person is like today. And finally, reference checks arranged by the candidate confirm the interviewer conclusions.

Q: Is the Topgrading Interview too time-consuming? Topgraders all say Topgrading saves them hundreds of hours of time each year that otherwise would be spent preventing and correcting problems low performers cause.

The vast majority of interviewers have never taken an interviewing course, but Topgraders typically attend a two-day Topgrading Workshop, the second day of which they spend interviewing and getting feedback and coaching from Topgrading Professionals and their tandem interview partners, using the Topgrading Interviewer Feedback Form. And when asked if they have ever given feedback or constructive suggestions to poor interviewers, the answer is no.

And finally, here is the Topgrading innovation: After every Topgrading Interview the tandem partners simply pull out the Topgrading Interviewer Feedback Form and give each other a couple of minutes of feedback and suggestions.

Do I really have to write reports on candidates? But with Topgrading, you get such clear insights into candidates that reports write themselves! Simply put, you have a Job Scorecard with Competencies, and after each Topgrading step you write in pencil your best guess rating of the candidate.

Q: How can reference checks be made useful? At each step in the hiring process candidates are told that to get a job offer they must arrange personal reference calls with former bosses. Q: What if a candidate refuses to let you talk with prior bosses? Why wait, when A Players are eager for feedback, want to be productive as soon as possible, and want to develop themselves for promotion.


Topgrading Interview Guide

Her opinions are her own. As a recruiter or hiring manager, your mission is to place the best-fitting candidates. You might rely on the same recruiting process every time, or you may change up your methods. When you need to fill a senior-level role, you might consider using the topgrading interview process. Topgrading is a step process for building a quality workforce within a business. The topgrading interview process is a detailed strategy that puts candidates through various rounds of interviews.


How to Integrate a 12 Step Topgrading Interview Process Into Your Hiring Strategy

Smart, Ph. This Guide seeks to provide you with the most accurate, most valid, insights when assessing internal talent and candidates to hire. Bradford D. It is a comprehensive, chronological guide, providing plenty of space to record responses. Experience has shown the following guidelines to be helpful when interviewing selection candidates: 1. Be sure that the Job Description, Competencies, and first year Accountabilities are clear to you and the team the successful candidate will work with. Circle the most important competencies in the list of 50 at the end of this Guide.


Frequently Asked Questions

Interview Questions Interviewing share As a recruiter, your job is always going to be sourcing top quality candidates for open positions at your company. Every new hire made should be the best you can possibly find. Successful recruiters employ a veritable arsenal of advanced recruiting and sourcing techniques. What is Topgrading? Authored by Dr. Bradford D.


What Is a Topgrading Interview?


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