Having assessed or coached more than 600 CEOs and as many heads of HR, plus another 6,000 hiring managers, I have amassed incredible intel on hiring best practices. The most successful heads of HR and CEOs I’ve interviewed cite eight success steps in helping their teams hire almost all high performers.
You won’t be surprised – they all embraced Topgrading. If you’re having some difficulty getting top executives at your company to consider Topgrading, you might ask them to take the following test to assess their knowledge of these best practices to hiring top-notch, A Players:
DOES YOUR COMPANY …
1. … Honestly and accurately measure the percent of hires that turn out to be high performers? (Every executive knows, “what gets measured, gets done,” so measuring your hiring success is vital…but most companies don’t honestly measure hiring success.) Y ____ N ____
2. … Have job descriptions that spell out exactly what numbers the candidate must achieve to be rated Meets Performance Expectations? (The “numbers” could be operational performance such as sales revenue, profitability, time to hire, etc., as well as survey measurements of competencies such as honesty, team player, etc.) Y ____ N ____
3. … Motivate candidates to tell the truth by informing them that a final step in hiring is for THEM to arrange reference calls with former bosses and others YOU want to talk with? Y ____ N ____
4. … Rely on competency (behavioral) interviews as the main interviewing method, despite the fact that there is no credible research that shows that they produce even 50% high performers hired? Y ____ N ____
5. … Include a chronological interview that asks the candidate to describe all major successes, failures, key decisions, and boss ratings for Job 1, then Job 2, and all jobs, etc.? Y ____ N ____
6. … Conduct reference calls arranged by the candidate with former managers and others the interviewers want to talk with? Y ____ N ____
7. … Achieve better than 75% success hiring, meaning more than 75% of those hired turn out to be the high performers (not just good performers) you expected and feel you paid for? Y ____ N ____
8. … Have a CEO who praises Human Resources, saying that excellent hiring has improved talent so much that the company is more successful?
Y ____ N ____
I met with just the #1 Human Resources executives of the largest 100 companies in the world, and get this — the average successful hiring of high performers was only 20%. And these executives flunked the eight-item test! The eight Topgraders in the room all gave the right answers of course, averaging 75%+ hiring success, almost four times what the rest of the group of top HR executives achieved.
1. … Measure the quality of hires honestly and accurately, so they hold every manager accountable for achieving at least 75% success hiring.
2. … Use job scorecards that spell out accountabilities so clearly that they become the basis of the candidate’s performance appraisal.
3. … Motivate candidates to tell the complete truth in interviews by informing them that a final step in hiring is for them to arrange reference calls with former managers and others the interviewers want. This “truth serum” has worked for decades. C Players, who write fiction in their resumes and who ordinarily fake interviews, drop out, realizing they will not get former bosses to talk. Good!
4. … Conduct competency (behavioral) interviews that produce 75% mis-hires. Forrest Gump can fake these interviews. Then why conduct them? Mostly to allow A Player candidates to ask the interviewers questions about the culture, etc.
5. … Conduct a through Topgrading Interview, the only interview in which all successes, failures, key decisions, key relationships, and boss ratings are discussed, missing nothing important and revealing how the candidate evolved over time across literally dozens of competencies.
6. … Conduct reference calls arranged by the candidate with former managers and others the interviewers want to talk with, to provide extremely thorough verification of what the candidate shared.
7. … Achieve better than 75% high performers hired, so that few B and C Players drag down company performance and chew up the time of A Players who have to sweep up after them.
8. … Know that the CEO praises Human Resources, saying that excellent hiring has improved talent so much that the company is more successful.
Summary: Obviously the test was biased in favor of Topgrading, but aren’t the questions legitimate? You can read dozens of named case studies in which hiring success more than tripled, and indeed, the CEO says the company is more successful because of Topgrading. No other hiring method has such impressive results.
Published September 24, 2013