The Truth Motivator, a Powerful, Free, Hiring Method

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The Topgrading “truth serum” scares away low performers and liars — those who lie on their resume and those who would lie in interviews. It’s called the Truth Motivator, and it has worked for more than 3 decades. the Truth Motivator has helped General Electric become the most valuable company in the world (under Jack Welch). It also helped a start up succeed:’s creator, Aaron Patzer, says that without Topgrading, his little company would have failed. But, with 90% A Players (36 out of 40) it succeeded, and he sold it to Intuit for $170 million! 

What is the Truth Motivator?

You tell candidates, at the first opportunity, that in order to get a job they will, at a mutually agreed-upon time, arrange for the reference calls with former bosses (and possibly peers, subordinates, or customers). At the end of the tandem Topgrading Interview, you and your partner will have heard descriptions of all bosses, plus others. At that point, you (not the candidate) will choose which people you want to talk with. And the candidate (not you!) arranges all the calls. No phone tag.

C players stay away because they want you to only call the references they submit — their next-door neighbor, insurance agent, and priest. Players want to arrange the reference calls, because they know their former coworkers will sing their praises, making them a more attractive candidate.

BS-ers, with fictitious resumes and an inclination to lie in interviews, drop out too. Which is good because they know they’ll be “busted”.

Why is the Truth Motivator needed?

It has become socially acceptable for people to fudge the truth to get a job. Go to Books and check out the selection on how to get a job. They explicitly or implicitly teach you how to fudge the truth. Studies have shown 1/3 of resumes contain deliberate falsehoods — omitting short term jobs that resulted in being fired, exaggerating accomplishments, etc, you get the picture. Low performers read how to answer interview questions in ways that hide failures, mistakes, and weaknesses.  

Most companies screen from resumes (too many of which are deceptive), conduct “behavioral” or competency interviews that are easy to fake, and have no way of verifying the truth of what candidates told them because they find reference checks almost worthless. Topgrading uses the Truth Motivator “truth serum”, conducts a thorough interview, the tandem Topgrading Interview, and of course, assures solid verification in the reference calls arranged by candidates.

Mis-hires are costly — costing 1 X salary for entry jobs, 5 x salary for managers and experienced sales reps, and 15 x salary for top executives.  MORE than half of all people hired are later judged to be mis-hires.  The costs to business and to our economy are massive.  And C Players who get jobs they fail in tend to fail again, leaving vast humanity costs. In an honest hiring society, low performers would have to take jobs they perform well in…and gradually move into more challenging jobs.

But many companies prohibit managers from taking reference calls, right?

Right! managers are supposed to say, “Contact Human Resources”. Companies do not want managers to say negative things about former employees for fear that someone will sue: ” I didn’t get a job I applied for because my former employer told lies about me”. But get this: former managers of high performers ALMOST ALWAYS take their calls. Think of it this way- a former A Player calls and asks you to talk to her prospective employer. Are you more inclined to take the call? Of course!  Are you worried that she’ll sue you and your company if she doesn’t get the job? Of course not — because your reference will be positive.  

Since the 1990s, hundreds of thousands of candidates have asked former bosses to accept the calls and we have not heard of a single problem — no managers criticized for taking the reference call, no legal problems, nothing. Bottom line: high performers ask former bosses and others to take the calls – and they do!

If a candidate is uncomfortable asking former associates to violate their company policy they can ask them to arrange NOT a business reference call, but a PERSONAL reference call.  OK, I don’t know the difference either, but it might make candidates more comfortable asking people to take their calls.

Conclusion:  Mis-hires are costly and one way to avoid them is with the TORC Technique. It’s sort of like Angie’s list. You don’t want to mis-hire a nanny, right? So, it’s comforting to see high ratings of a nanny candidate on Angie’s List. However, you cannot actually talk to the nanny’s customers on Angie’s List – the Truth Motivator is better because you DO talk with former co-workers.

Topgrading literally “wrote the book” (Topgrading, 3rd edition) on the most proven, most effective hiring methods. Our Topgrading Professionals conduct final interviews when a mis-hire would be extremely costly. We have taught thousands of managers to conduct the most revealing interview, the tandem Topgrading Interview. The Topgrading world-class software makes hiring easier, better, and cheaper. Call us (847-244-5544) to learn how we can help you avoid almost all of those costly mis-hires!

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