Our Story

Way back in the 1970s Brad Smart was eager to master interviewing and testing in order to help companies hire and promote high performers. Consultancies advised Brad to get a Ph.D. in Psychology, and he did. But he was disappointed that no studies in business showed impressive methods that identified high performers. After taking 11 courses in tests and measurements there were hundreds of studies on hiring tests, many of which were "valid" but weak at identifying high performers.

Brad joined a consultancy of management psychologists that assessed candidates for executive jobs. Their success was 33% -- enough to satisfy clients who achieved 20% without professional assessments. But Brad went home and told his wife, "If I were a medical doctor and two-thirds of my patients left the hospital in body bags, I'd feel like a failure."

So Brad’s passion was to identify WHY hiring was so poor and found the main causes to be:

  1. Candidates, especially low performers, exaggerated strengths and hid weaker points.
  2. Interviews, though structured and with the same questions for all candidates (then for KPIs, now called competencies) were too short and too shallow to reveal nearly enough.
  3. Verification of what candidates said was weak.

Brad’s passion became, and is, to find solutions that screen applicants with a tool that identifies the best performers, use interviews that reveal all the important strengths and weaker points, and rock-solid verification of what candidates said.

Right from the start we carved out our niche - focusing on hiring not just "okay" performers, but HIGH performers, A Players.

Unfortunately, despite new approaches to hiring, the same problems exist today and most managers are disappointed in half the people they hire. But not for Topgraders. The hiring solutions are documented in dozens of unequalled case studies in which companies tripled their success hiring high performers. What is also unprecedented is the testimonials in which CEOs say in their own words that Topgrading has made their company more successful.

Our goal has always been to have the most proven, most successful hiring method.

Our Topgrading Professionals assess candidates for hire to executive positions, where the costs of a bad hire are astronomical. But we are the only firm that trains all managers, at all levels, in Topgrading methods. Tens of thousands of managers have packed their teams with mostly high performers, enabling them to enjoy more successful careers. Can you believe that you and other managers could possibly hire mostly A Players? Clients say that our professional interviewers achieve 90%+ success. But you might be surprised to learn that almost all ordinary managers, in all functions, trained in Topgrading methods, do hire 75%+ high performers. Topgrading at all levels of a company produces the best business results.

Topgrading Executive Biographies

Dr Brad Smart
Founder and CEO
Topgrading, Inc.

Brad is widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost experts on hiring. He completed Master of Science and Doctor of Science degrees at Purdue University, worked at two consultancies, and then founded Smart & Associates, Inc., later changed to Topgrading, Inc.

Brad is the most prolific author of hiring books with six released and a seventh on the way. Brad and President Chris Mursau just finished writing Foolproof Hiring: Powerful Topgrading Keys to Hiring High Performers which is being published by ForbesBooks.

Chris Mursau
Topgrading, Inc.

Chris has been consulting and teaching organizations how to use Topgrading since 2000.

As President, Chris leads a team of Topgrading Professionals, all of whom are the only certified Topgrading trainers. Chris has conducted over 2,500 in-depth Topgrading assessments for internal and external candidates and helped a vast array of organizations pack their teams with A Players. Dozens of case study companies (see Client Results) transformed their teams from 26% to 85% high performers hired, enabling team members to enjoy more successful careers and bolstering company growth and profitability. Chris’ client list is broad and diverse, including some Fortune 500 companies, small to medium-sized businesses, and non-profit organizations.>In this time of unprecedented upheaval in the talent environment, Topgrading’s approach has never been more business critical.

The Topgrading Team

Our Topgrading team of professionals assess and coach leaders and advise CEOs and HR as Topgrading is rolled out, organizing two-day on site or remote workshops, integrating Topgrading software in ATSs, installing the PreScreen Snapshot applicant screening tool, and organizing communications to assure as seamless transition to elevated goals, achieved with steadily increasing numbers of high performers.

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