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Topgrading is Even More Important When Hiring Has Slowed

In the midst of this unprecedented challenge to our personal lives, families, jobs, and businesses, we at Topgrading offer our understanding and support. We are available to answer your questions about hiring, coaching, and using Topgrading during these times of uncertainty and change. Please feel free to reach out to us at or 847-244-5544.

Downsizing is an unfortunate, painful reality for many businesses during times of crisis. Afterward, hiring may be slow, but there will be some turnover, some replacements, and even some new jobs to cope with new organizational needs. Now is the time to reestablish and reinforce hiring disciplines that will assure almost all high performers hired and minimize the risk of costly bad hires. Your next few hires must be high performers: A Players who are energized, resilient, and creative in the face of challenges.

Have Your Topgrading Disciplines Slipped a Bit?

Our Topgrading clients are usually very disciplined in hiring, but in up markets some clients admit to becoming a little less rigorous. When profits are up, hiring mistakes are easier to miss. But in down markets, competition is fiercer, highest performers may be pirated away, and just “okay” performers don’t anticipate or fix problems as well as high performers.  Now is not the time to cut corners by:

  • Hiring against vague job descriptions rather than clear job scorecards with measurable accountabilities
  • Conducting solo rather than Tandem Topgrading Interviews
  • Conducting fewer reference calls (“the first call was positive, so...”).

Reinvigorate Your Hiring Methods to Survive the Present and Thrive in the Future

  • Recommit to Topgrading methods. Let all hiring managers know that Topgrading disciplines must be adhered to. Maybe in the good times your hiring success declined from 85% high performers to less. Recommit to 85%.
  • Measure Topgrading methods. Keep records of the estimated costs of a bad hire, whether Job Scorecards are done (and done well), if Tandem Topgrading Interviews are conducted (have hiring managers provide their completed Topgrading Interview Guides), and that all candidate-arranged reference calls are conducted.
  • Broadcast the results. Every time new hires achieve spectacular results, shower the new A Player with praise, but also shower the tandem interviewers with praise for sticking with the hiring best practices.
  • Broadcast the savings. Let the whole team know what the cost of a bad hire would have been – a reminder to continue Topgrading conscientiously. For four decades clients have calculated the costs of bad hires – those who are NOT high performers – and a conservative cost estimate for a manager earning $75,000 is $150,000 to $300,000. That’s $300,000 of profit the company would have never seen. Costing the company $300k to save a little time cutting corners is unacceptable. Saving the company $300k by consciously using Topgrading methods is smart.

As always, if you have any questions about hiring, coaching, or using Topgrading, please reach out by emailing or calling 847-244-5544.

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