How to Topgrade Your Department Even If the Company Isn’t Topgrading

Of course, we’re all for CEOs driving Topgrading throughout the whole company. For example, Jack Welch Topgraded General Electric and made it the most valuable company in the world. And Aaron Patzer started using Topgrading and sold the company for $170 million.

But what if your company is not embracing Topgrading? Can you Topgrade? Maybe, and this blog shows what forces might stop you, and how managers have overcome those forces.

To begin, the main force that could prevent your Topgrading could be Human Resources. HR does not want “loose cannons,” or mavericks doing their own thing in hiring for fear that neglecting important policies could put the company at risk. On the other hand, many HR professionals WANT the company to Topgrade and will support a “beta test.” So, here is what has worked for some individual managers:

  1. Ask HR to approve a super light version of Topgrading just using the important disciplines that are consistent with Topgrading:
  • Tell candidates a final step is for them to arrange reference calls with bosses
  • Conduct interviews
  • Add to your standard hiring methods a thorough, chronological interview (like the Topgrading Interview)

Even without a license to use the Topgrading software (which makes the methods easier and is necessary for companies with 150 or more employees), you just solved three big hiring problems: candidates hyping the truth, unrevealing interviews, and worthless reference checks.

  1. Use the Prescreen Snapshot:

“The Prescreen Snapshot is amazing. Before even talking to candidates you know how bosses would rate them and the low performers drop out.” – Scott Clawson, CEO, Culligan

The Prescreen Snapshot is a simple software tool that we believe is the best screening tool, far better than personality tests. At you’ll find our offer for a free trial which covers 10 candidates. Candidates fill out the form in only 7 minutes and you’ll be able to quickly identify the best candidates to phone screen.

  1. Ask HR if you can be a real beta test.
  • Attend a Topgrading workshop and use the Topgrading software (with a free trial)
  • Read Topgrading: 3rd edition and you’ll find evidence to show HR that Topgrading is legally defensible
  • Let us know that HR wants to ask questions and of course we will be happy to answer

Who are examples of department managers Topgrading?

Check out our case studies and read how Bruce Leidl Topgraded the IT department at Carestream, and how Greg Alexander Topgraded his new region and took it from #12 to #1 at EMC in just one year.

Improve your hiring success with Topgrading. Our proven hiring process will transform your selection methodology so that you get better hiring results.  Our leadership and candidate assessment tools will help you assess, hire, retain, and grow outstanding team members. Contact us to learn more!

Scroll to Top