Topgrading: Hiring the Right Person

Sean-Evans_head-shot-200x300Sean Evans is the founder of STEP Consulting in Toronto. He is a Certified Gazelles International Coach, a Certified Topgrading Coach, and holds an MBA from London Business School in the United Kingdom. Sean helps companies get out of the weeds and assists them to focus more on building their businesses. 

What is Topgrading? 

Topgrading is a methodology created by Bradford Smart. It is the standard of hiring, coaching, and retaining top talent. You want to fill every position within your company with ‘A’ players. Companies need to know what a candidate is about, so they need to dive deep into their history. 

What’s the process in recruiting talent?

The number one thing a company wants to do is create a specific job description; this is a typical hiring problem in most companies. There are four areas of a job scorecard: describing the company with excitement, creating a job mission, accurate accountability that can be measured, and a list of key competencies. The best way to find the best people is to recruit from your networks. 

What can managers do on their own to find the best candidates for the job?

You need to read Topgrading: How to Hire, Coach and Keep A Players by Brad & Geoff Smart and Who: The A Method of Hiring by Geoff and Randy Street.

What is a higher level step in the hiring practices?

Companies shouldn’t rely on behavioral-based interviews, which is a hypothetical situational analysis. Businesses should rely on evidence-based interviewing. Topgrading is hiring based on the fact that someone’s past behavior is going to be highly indicative of their future conduct. 

What is TORC? 

TORC stands for Threat of a Reference Check. Companies should not rely on the references the candidate provides. You need to pick out a manager on their resume, ask them if it would be ok to speak to that manager and if they say yes, great. If they say no, then that is a red flag. The candidate will know that you are going to be fact checking everything they are saying about that position. They have to tell the truth because you are going to check on it. 


Topgrading: How to Hire, Coach and Keep A Players by Brad & Geoff Smart

Who: The A Method of Hiring by Geoff and Randy Street

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Scaling Up is a bestselling book by Verne Harnish and the team at Gazelles, on how the fastest growing companies succeed where so many others fail. My name is Bill Gallagher, I’m one of the Gazelles business coaches. 

We help leadership teams to get the 4 Decisions around People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash right so that they can Scale Up successfully and beat the odds of business growth success. Our 4 Decisions are all part of the Rockefeller Habits 2.0 (from the original bestselling business book, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits). 


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