From the Desk of Brad Smart: Where Your Talent Methods Rank (Take the Quiz)

Take the Quiz: Where Your Talent Methods Rank

As the year progresses, it’s time to assess what shape you are in with the #1 factor that will account for how successful you’ll be … your talent!

Not only should you assess your talent, but you should also take a look at the hiring methods that produce that level of talent. Your score on this short quiz will let you know.

Please keep in mind how expensive it is to mis-hire someone.

The cost of mis-hiring a senior executive is approximately:

  • 1 – 5 X base salary
  • 6 – 10 X base salary
  • 11 – 15 X base salary
  • More than 15 X base salary

To complete the questions here are the definitions to keep in mind:

A Player: a high performer, an A Player

B Player: a good performers, but not nearly as good as an A Player

C Player: an under-performer, a low performer


Provide your “best guess” when answering

1. The percent of mis-hires in recent years has been:

a. 0-20%

b. 21%-40%

c. 41%-60

d. 61%-80%

e. More than 80%

2. Separate from hiring results, the percent high performers (A Players) in your management jobs is:

a. 0 – 20%

b. 21% – 40%

c. 41% – 60%

d. 61% – 80%

e. Over 80%

3. The percent of workers (employees, not managers) who are high performers (A Players) is:

a. 0 – 20%

b. 21% – 40%

c. 41% – 60%

d. 61% – 80%

e. Over 80%

4. The percent of time high performers (A Players) spend preventing and fixing mistakes by weak performers is:

a. 0-25%

b. 26% – 50%

c. 51% – 75%

d. More than 75%

5. When there is a mis-hire the chances that a candidate “fooled” us, hyping strengths and hiding weaker points, is:

a. Virtually certain

b. Very likely

c. Not very likely

d. Not at all likely

6. When we’ve mis-hired someone the chances that we had had reference calls with the candidate’s managers is:

a. Virtually certain

b. Very likely

c. Very unlikely

d. Not at all likely

7. Our performance accountabilities for distinguishing high performers from lesser performers are:

a. Extremely clear

b. Very clear

c. Vague

d. Non-existent


  1. a=10, b=5, cde = 0
  2. abc=0, d=5, e=10
  3. abc=0, d=5, e=10
  4. a=10, b=5, cd=0
  5. ab=0, c=5, d=10
  6. a=10, b=5, cd=0
  7. a=10, b=5, cd=0


65+: Excellent

45-64: Very Good

35-44: Good

34 or less: Poor


Experienced Topgraders typically score Excellent.

New Topgraders score Very Good and always want to improve.

Former Topgraders in need of a refresher course score Good.

Those scoring less than 35 are partial Topgraders at best.

Dr. Brad Smart is Founder and CEO of Topgrading, Inc. Topgrading is dedicated to helping companies of all sizes maximize the hiring of high performers. Topgrading assesses candidates for senior positions (where the costs of mis-hires are high) and trains all managers to create teams of almost all high performers.

Brad has seven published books on hiring; the most recent three (the first, second, and third editions of Topgrading) were all best sellers. On April 25, 2023 Brad, and President Chris Mursau’s new book, Foolproof Hiring (Forbes Books), will be released. Pre-order Foolproof Hiring on Amazon by clicking here.

Brad can be reached at

To learn more, download our free eGuide or attend our next Topgrading Webinar. Our webinar explains the most effective recruitment methods, how to immediately identify the most honest, high performing applicants, and how to (finally!) verify what candidates tell you (since reference calls are usually worthless).

Contact us to learn more.

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

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