ConnXus Case Study

Venture Capital Firm Topgrades to Turn Portfolio Companies Around

"All my turnarounds have been very successful, in part because I Topgraded every team and the high performing teams achieved excellent results."

- Jim Kanir, CRO

Industry: Diverse - Many portfolio company turnarounds for venture capital companies


  • Using Topgrading methods to assess top teams achieves excellent business results


ConnXus's Chief Revenue Officer, Jim Kanir, began his relationship with Topgrading as a candidate in a Topgrading interview. Says Kanir, "During the interview, I saw patterns emerge – patterns of successes and learnings that helped me succeed in my future jobs. Some patterns helped me see my blind spots – areas for improvement that if I didn’t fix, my career would not be as successful."

After his Topgrading Interview, Kanir attended a Topgrading Workshop and has used Topgrading methods to successfully turn around all of his portfolio companies.

Solutions & Insights

Before taking over a company, Kanir conducts Topgrading Interviews of the top team. "I've found my Topgrading Interview assessments to be so accurate that I'm able to make the right changes in the team very fast."

When replacing executives, Kanir uses the Topgrading Truth Motivator - he screens resumes and then tells the top ten candidates that a final step in hiring is for them to arrange reference calls with their bosses from the past decade. According to Kanir, about a quarter of the candidates - the low performers - remove themselves from the process, allowing him to only spend time interviewing the best candidates.

Next, Kanir performs an hour-long phone screen interview - an abbreviated Topgrading Interview. These are thorough enough to identify the best 2 or 3 candidates to invite in for the full Topgrading Interview and other interviews.

The "other interviews" include a team interview (questions from 3 or 4 interviewers to see if candidates can handle group meetings), a pressure interview in which the interviewer pushes back hard, and a background check interview in which the interviewer questions any discrepancies between the candidate's resume and LinkedIn and Facebook information.

Finally, Kanir uses the Topgrading method of performing reference calls with the candidates' bosses, which the candidate arranges. Says Kanir, "Speaking with candidates' managers, I get the most accurate verification of what candidates have said, and there is no phone tag."

Talk to an expert to see how the Topgrading process can help your organization.

Improve your hiring success with Topgrading. The Topgrading methodology will transform your hiring process by increasing the number of A player hires and decreasing the number of mis-hires. Our leadership and candidate assessment tools will help you assess, hire, retain, and grow high performing teams. Contact us to learn more about the Topgrading approach to hiring and start achieving better hiring results now!

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