Consulting

Topgrading, Inc., ‘second opinion’ interviews have helped us avoid costly mis-hires.”

— Tom Tayor, Senior Principal, JLL Partners

“Second Opinion” Topgrading Interviews of Candidates for Hire or Promotion (and Sample Report)

Topgrading, Inc., literally “wrote the book” on the most accurate, valid assessment approach. For more than 30 years we have helped CEOs and other hiring managers pick almost all high performers.  Every client knows our reports have enabled them to avoid very costly mis-hires.

Our in-depth, “second opinion” assessments begin with a discussion of exactly what accountabilities are required for a person to perform at the A Player level. Our interviews last 3 – 5 hours, and follow the famous Topgrading Interview Guide, with 16 basic questions about every job, with follow-up questions. There are no written tests.

We encourage the hiring manager, frequently the CEO, to be our tandem interviewer — to ask some great questions and ”connect some dots” we would not think of; to observe us to learn better interviewing skills; and to gain deep insights into not only candidates’ strengths and weaker points today, but how they evolved and developed throughout their career.  There is no additional charge when the hiring manager participates in the interview.

High performers thoroughly enjoy this “walk down memory lane,” though C Players, who almost always have been screened out before our interview, are not comfortable being “found out.”  Typical search reports highlight candidate strengths and Topgrading Professional reports include candidate strengths, but also alert clients to every potential weaker point we discover — and we typically discover at least eight.

You receive a thorough report, written in business English, not “psychologese.”  Click (here) to download a sample report. Your report has a recommendation to hire/promote (or not), executive summary, identification of dozens of primary strengths and weaker areas, and an interpretive career overview which explains how successful they have been and how they work with different kinds of people.  After you receive the report we talk on the phone, so you receive the “color commentary,” and all your questions can be answered.

Our Topgrading Interview is designed to be a thorough and enjoyable process for senior executive candidates, and our report is a powerful tool for helping you improve your company’s performance by picking the right people. To discuss our “second opinion” assessments with a Topgrading Professional, contact us by completing the form on the right..

Assessing and Coaching Current Managers (and Sample Report)

“The Topgrading method of coaching managers is very thorough, practical, and effective.”

— Ron Hackney, SVP Human Resources, Smurfit Stone

CEOs typically can identify their A Players and C Players, but oftentimes they don’t know:

  • Whether an A Player in the current job will perform as an A Player if promoted; and/or
  • Which of the B Players are A Potentials, and for those who are, what developmental plan would most develop their potential.

Topgrading Professionals answer those questions.  Internal executives are assessed and coached using the Topgrading Interview followed by one-hour interviews with subordinates, peers, and higher-level managers.  Then the executives receive the most thorough, hard-hitting, constructive, and credible coaching of their career.

To elaborate, the internal assessment/coaching process consists of:

  1. Discussion with senior management regarding desired outcomes.
  2. Discussion with the manager to be coached, and to clarify goals and process.
  3. Topgrading Interview, the same as the “second opinion” interview described above.
  4. Email survey and confidential one-hour conversations with higher-level managers/peers/subordinates to clarify issues.
  5. Thorough assessment report, with suggested developmental activities goes to senior management (typically CEO). Click (here) for a sample report.
  6. Half-day coaching and feedback meeting with the manager, to discuss all the data and the Topgrading Professional’s opinion, leading to an extensive draft Individual Developmental Plan.
  7. Manager refines the Plan, gets approval by his/her manager and HR, and begins implementation.
  8. Quarterly meetings of the manager and his/her manager for “status reports” and modifications to the Plan.
  9. As-needed phone calls and meetings of the Topgrading Professional and manager. Almost always there is an repeat email survey after 6 months and one year, to measure and reinforce progress.

The manager and Topgrading Professional develop a solid bond of trust, as though they are next-door neighbors and the Topgrading Professional is totally devoted to helping the manager maximize their growth and happiness.

It is common for participants to say that they found our assessment and coaching process the most useful professional development activity in their career. To talk with a Topgrading Professional about this process, contact us by completing the form on the right.

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