How to Shorten the Time Hiring A Players: Method #3


Whether you are a Topgrader or not, these proven methods can save you a lot of time, while maintaining the standard of hiring all high performers for ALL jobs.  We keep learning from clients the time saving methods that they have discovered, so this is a series of blogs and might go on and on indefinitely!

Before explaining time saving methods, please take a couple minutes or more to learn the basics of Topgrading. Why? I want you to hire better, NOT just save time mis-hiring people! If you aren’t familiar with Topgrading, I want to get your attention: Topgrading is the best, most effective, most proven method to hire. Check out our free eGuide, multiple blogs or dozens of documented case studies and you will see that our hiring method is tried, true and proven. The average improvement in hiring HIGH performers across all companies we have worked with is 26% to 85%. Did I mention that 85% were HIGH performers and that is just the average improvement?! Okay, good… Just checking to see if you were paying attention. We are proud to say CEOs credit Topgrading’s methods for making the company more profitable. No other approach that we are aware of (and we have seen them all) have multiple case study backups, a fraction of the results Topgrading does, or CEOs saying it improved profits of the company.

Key Topgrading Steps.

1.      Job Scorecard. Topgraders convert a vague job description (which is confusing and leads to mis-hires) into a Job Scorecard with clear, measurable accountabilities (and that assures better hires).

2.      Recruitment. Just about everyone uses job boards; however Topgraders say their best hires come from referrals from their existing A Players.

3.      Candidate Screening. In Topgrading, candidates complete your application form infused with Topgrading IP including a “truth serum” that really works. The candidate completes the application and you receive the Topgrading Snapshot, the best candidate screening tool ever created. Even before talking with candidates, Topgraders know a) the low performers have dropped out, b) the liars with fictitious resumes have dropped out, c) the full salary history of the applicants, and d) how all bosses would rate their performance. Amazing but true!

4.      Phone Screen. After screening candidates with the Topgrading Snapshot, the next step is to talk to candidates for the first time in a phone screen interview to determine if it’s worth the time to bring the candidate in for a day of interviews. Phone interviews cover what the candidate is looking for and delves into the most recent two jobs.

5.      Visit to the company. Topgraders typically use Competency Interviews and the Tandem (2 interviewers) Topgrading Interview during that day. The Topgrading Interview is the most revealing interview, producing accurate, verifiable insights into every competency important for the job.

6.      Candidate-arranged reference calls. There is no phone tag because finalist candidates do arrange the calls. These calls are with managers YOU want to talk with who will a provide solid verification of everything the candidate said.

Here are the most important hiring truths: More than half the people hired every day turn out to be disappointments because of rampant dishonesty (C Players lie and get away with it), shallow interviews, and weak verification (reference checks are almost worthless and everyone knows it so C players can get away with fudging the truth). Topgrading assures total honesty, the most revealing Topgrading Interview, and solid verification (in reference checks millions of A Players have arranged with former managers).

But, the biggest criticism of Topgrading is the time it takes. “It’s very time consuming to bring a candidate in for a full day to conduct maybe four 1-hour competency interviews plus a 4-hour Topgrading Interview. Is the 4-hour Topgrading Interview of a manager worth the time?” Yes, because that Topgrading Interview enables you to hire 75%, 80%, or even 90% high performers! Non-Topgraders mis-hire at least half the people they hire, and each managerial mis-hires costs them $500k+ plus 200 wasted hours. 

Although it will take up more time on the front end, Topgrading SAVES TIME overall because mis-hires are avoided.

Now that you are familiar with us, let’s talk about saving time and money!

Time-Saving Method #3: In the Topgrading Interview Probe Deeply Only During Questions About Jobs in the Second Half of the Candidate’s Career.

The Topgrading Interview creates the magic of Topgrading and is the biggest reason for companies achieving 90% A Players hired. It’s a chronological interview with questions going all the way back to their education years (high and low points, degrees, work, etc.) and then digging into the first full time job and coming forward to the present. During this interview the candidate is asked 15 questions about each job (successes, mistakes, key decisions, key relationships, performance ratings by managers, etc.). Then it is concluded with their plans for the future.

If the candidate has 15 years of experience with six jobs it might require a 4-hour interview. Incredible insights are achieved into dozens of important competencies. How? Because when a candidate is explaining a success (took over a project, worked with five departments, launched new software, saved the company $5 million) she would reveal at least 20 competencies (analytic ability, judgment, working with teams, creativity, passion, etc.). Over the course of her career, the PATTERNS of strengths and weaker points become clearer and clearer. In just a 1-hour competency or behavioral interview the interviewer might get insights from 25 data points total. In the Topgrading Interview there are likely more than 1,000 data points.

Here’s the thing: Having trained tens of thousands of managers, we know that they are very conscientious, and want to dig in with follow up questions … in too much detail initially. Suppose the first job out of college was Accountant, and the candidate held it 6 months and then was promoted to Accounting Manager. Instead of asking all 15 questions, save time by saying, “You were in the Accountant job only 6 months and then were promoted to Accounting Manager. Please explain very briefly.”

CONCLUSION: Asking fewer questions, and probing less when discussing early career history will save you time and, by asking ALL the questions and probing with LOTS of follow up questions for recent jobs, you’ll learn everything you need to know about candidates.

Even on the first try Topgrading Interviewers learn more about a candidate than ever before. A Players love the Topgrading Interview – the walk down memory lane through success after success, and learning from mistakes.

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