Topgrading is an interviewing method used by corporations to identify the right candidate for a particular position. With this process, employees go through a 12 step review. Depending on the needs of company, some of these steps may be simplified or eliminated.
1. Measure and Improve the Current Hiring Process– It all starts with an evaluation of the current hiring process. Identify the number of high performers who are employed in your organization and how many bad hires have been made. Identify correlations between high turnovers and flaws in the current interviewing methodology and adjust accordingly.
2. Create a Job Scoreboard– Next, think about the candidate you need for a position. Write down what the perfect candidate would look like on paper. This might take research in order to get a full list of details. But you need the overall picture of a suitable candidate before you contact candidates.
Make a list that has up to 20 criteria points for candidates. You will use this to score each candidate based on how their answers to your questions match up to your criteria. This should help you highlight your candidate's strengths and weaknesses.
3. Start Recruiting– Start advertising the job. List the skills, personality type, and experience you need for the position. Your description must be detailed. Advertise wherever potential candidates can be found, including social media, job board sites, etc.
4. Filter Candidates Using a Work History Form– Give candidates an in-depth work history questionnaire. This will make it easier to filter out weak candidates and get rid of the need to decipher cryptic resumes.
5. Conduct Phone Interviews– Initial conversations about job history and job satisfaction can be done remotely. This will save time and resources.
6. Perform Competency Interviews– These interviews give you quick insights on candidates. They should take about one hour and cover general topics about behavior, proficiency, etc. Candidates should be able to use this time to open up and discuss their opinions on positions and a desired work environment.
7. Conduct the Topgrading Interview– This is a conversation with the candidate about how they got to where they are right now. This interview is chronological, starting with high school and ending with future goals. During the interview, the candidate should be asked a lot of questions about every job they have held. The goal is to draw the candidate out. This can be a time-consuming interview.
8. Give Feedback To Interviewers- The goal is rapid improvement. Every interviewer should be critiqued, given tips, and provided additional training as needed following each interview conducted.
9. Create a Summary– The summary should outline the pattern in the candidate’s work history and experiences. The data collected about the candidate should be compiled in a logical summary.
10. Candidates Should Arrange Reference Calls– This is a unique twist on references. Here it is the candidate who is setting up references and interviews. Top performers usually find it easy to contact previous employers. They typically leave jobs on good terms and are happy to catch up with old bosses.
Once this is done, divide candidates in to percentiles. You should hire only the top 10 percent of candidates. These are the most qualified and will probably be high performers.
11. Coaching the New Hire– Topgrading doesn’t stop with the interview. Immediate work should be done with the new employee to promote improvement and growth. This allows new employees to quickly understand what is expected of them.
12. Annually Evaluate Hiring Success– Evaluate employee performance and turnover rates annually. Find flaws in your hiring system and address them accordingly.