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Topgrading, 3rd Edition: The Proven Hiring and Promoting Method That Turbocharges Company Performance Hardcover – August 16, 2012

3.7 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

 “Stated simply, the best talent wins and Topgrading helps identify and hire the best talent. This is true for internal promotions and external hires.”
—KEN CAMP, CEO, Hillenbrand

“The Topgrading interview process is one of the best tools in our arsenal for getting an in-depth understanding of high-potential managers. It probably improved our success promoting high-potential managers from maybe 50% to over 80%.”
—BILL CONATY, former Senior Vice President of Human Resources, General Electric

“The most valuable management skill a person can have is the ability to produce high-talent teams. Nothing else even comes close. That’s why Brad Smart’s Topgrading approach should be a top priority process in your organization.”
—PRICE PRITCHETT, Ph.D., Chairman and CEO, PRITCHETT LP

“Topgrading is the best practice I know of for hiring and promoting people who turn out to be A Players. In a not-for-profit, that can translate into raising more money to educate the public, and that can save lives . . . Having the best talent at every salary level is crucial.”
—CASS WHEELER, former CEO, American Heart Association

“Turnover came down, and sales and profits skyrocketed. With 98% hiring success due to Topgrading, the business took off.”
—JACK HARRINGTON, then CEO, Virtual Technology, now CEO, Thales Raytheon Systems

“When I look back at the dramatic success of our company, I can clearly point to the implementation of Topgrading as the pivotal moment that made our success pos­sible. I implore every business owner to make Topgrading mandatory. A Topgraded team is the ultimate secret weapon to crush the competition.”
—RICHARD ROSSI, Co-Founder, EnvisionEMI

“We’ve Topgraded the entire company and our sales and profits have soared.”
—ORRIN KLOPPER, CEO, Netsurit

About the Author

BRADFORD D. SMART, PH.D., is the president of Smart & Associates, Inc., a group of professionals who assess candidates for executive positions and train managers to implement Topgrading. A well-known industrial psychologist and consultant, he has personally helped hundreds of companies of all sizes dramatically improve their talent. His other books include Topgrading for Sales. Brad lives in a suburb of Chicago.

Visit www.Topgrading.com

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio; 3 Rev Upd edition (August 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591845262
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591845263
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Topgrading is a 12-Step program for increasing the percentage of "A Players" you hire from an average of 25% to some remarkable number--70%, 80% or even 90%. I found the parts of the book that I read repetitive and a bit breezy. There's a free 80-page e-book on the author's web site for those who value their time and money.

The impressive 65,000 number that appears in the book refers to Dr. Smart's interviews with "...6,500 managers, with an average of 10 jobs each...". These managers report a 25% success rate in hiring high performers.

The amazing 70-90+% post-Topgrading success ratios seem to come from Topgrading Step 12--"ANNUALLY MEASURE YOUR TOPGRADING SUCCESS". Every new hire is graded at their first anniversary by a committee of four "...in relation to the stated accountabilities" (page 177.) At this one-year point, employees are either considered an "A Player" or they are put on a performance improvement plan. So I have to ask, isn't just meeting expectations the very definition of a "B Player?" Can someone who's been through Topgrading tell me if managers typically set unrealistic goals to replace borderline performers or do they dumb down the goals to avoid the consequences?

So lets talk about the Topgrading TORC--the Threat of the Reference Check. With Topgrading, your candidates will be asked to arrange a "personal reference" call with every prior supervisor. The author thinks it will only drive away C Players--30 candidates, 20 complete applications--the TORC flushed out 10 problems, simple as that. Might it also repel the very best candidates as well?
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Format: Hardcover
The short version is that if a candidate has been through this process once and didn't get the job, regardless of reason, they're not likely to go through it again. That has unaddressed implications for the process.

The emphasis here is on interviewing and the candidate. It seems like the purpose of the methodology is to weed out the slick con-artist candidates and that's fair enough. That leaves a lot of assumptions about identifying good candidates, and it assumes a competent hiring manager/team. The passionate testimonials are intriguing, but in reality, at best, they stand against the usual hiring process which has no clear structure or consistency, starting with validated job "requirements."

The way the process is being implemented shows no respect for a candidate or candidate's time. The candidate, prior to any introductory screen or filter, is expected to spend hours preparing what's now an on-line submission. The candidate is also required to arrange interviews with all their prior supervisors, something that's loaded with assumptions about the supervisors (four of mine are dead, two don't speak English, and if a smart candidate left a company because of bad management....). In practice, candidates are often asked to prepare a job plan or roadmap, or some type of presentation. If a candidate is passionate enough to spend the time to jump through those hoops, it's their decision but if you talk to a candidate who HAS jumped through all those hoops and didn't get the job, they'll consistently tell you they wouldn't do it again.
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Format: Audible Audio Edition
The first hour of the book simply is the author repeating himself on how wonderful the topgrading method is without ever talking about what it actually is.

The simple breakdown of the book is to hire the best people and your business will win.

Use this link to download the ebook from his site free. He offers it for free...
[...]
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The entire book was an advertisement for more Topgrading software and products. The writing was put together in a very disorganized way. Buy a different hiring for success book!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author spends a lot of time trying to keep on selling his book...which i already purchased. Book would be better if the author stops "patting himself on the back" and restating how great the process is and just get to details on what the process actually is, and allow the reader to decide if the process is worthy of praise.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It was way too promotional for my tastes. The beginning of the book set the tone for me when the author said Ford's Nasser got his hiring practices wrong and as a result was not successful at managing the business. The author specifically said he was asked to help Ford but had to decline because he was way too busy.

The book may have merit, however, good luck to the reader trying to identify it through the infomercial.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author has developed a method for screening candidates which is probably worthwhile. The book (and especially, the Kindle version) have serious problems that reduce its value considerably. The first 3 chapters are relentless, relentless, relentless self-promotion of his method and his according-to-him spectacular results and fabulous relationships with famous people. Good for you, but you've wasted hours of my life getting to the meat of your book. In the Kindle version the diagrams and illustrations are not scalable graphics, so they are worthless, because they cannot be expanded to a size where anything is visible. Large chunks of the content are thereby rendered completely useless. I sought out the referenced diagrams on the (heavily promoted) website, to find that yes they are available -- for a price. Sorry I spent money on this Kindle edition.
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