Assessing your most important candidates

Looking for an expert to ensure you get the next big hire right? We literally “wrote the book” on how to conduct accurate, valid assessments.

Our team routinely interviews high-impact candidates for senior positions—the kinds of positions where a mis-hire would seriously hurt the company.

Topgrading interview process for hiring executives.

Unparalleled process

Our in-depth assessments begin by establishing exactly what accountabilities are required for a candidate to perform at the A Player level. Then we conduct 4-hour Topgrading interviews with finalist candidates, and ask those candidates to personally arrange reference calls with their previous managers.

There are three primary problems every hiring manager faces, in every search: dishonesty, shallow interviews and weak verification. We solve each of those problems, with what we call our “truth serum.” The formula is simple—we inform candidates that they will be required to arrange their own reference calls with past managers.

Overcoming dishonesty.

When faced with the prospect of having to arrange their own reference calls, weak candidates drop As for everyone else, their stories get a lot straighter. In the hiring game, there need to be checks and balances.

Enhancing interviews.

Our interviews are searching and disciplined. We cover everything—all education, jobs, decisions, relationships and performance ratings from previous bosses. And when candidates know they will be fact-checked, they usually stick to the facts.

Transforming verification.

Simply put, we give you more access to information about your candidates than you’ve ever had before. And we do it by identifying the candidates who are more than happy to provide you that access.

Collaboration is key

To further avoid a costly mis-hire, we encourage managers we’ve trained to embrace our tandem approach, utilizing two interviewers at a time. And when we conduct “second opinion” interviews of C-suite candidates, we encourage the CEO to be our interview partner and get involved with the process. Such people then have the opportunity to observe our work and improve their own interviewing skills, while gaining first-hand insights into candidates’ strengths and weaknesses.

We also find that hiring managers ask valuable and penetrating follow-up questions, based on keen insights about their industry, their company, their leadership style and the job.

Our unique formula

High performers—A Players as we call them—tend to genuinely enjoy being interviewed. They liken the experience to a pleasant “walk down memory lane.” On the other hand, B and C Players, who are almost always screened out before we become involved with extensive in-person interviews, are not comfortable being interviewed. They worry they’ll be found out. And if Topgrading is involved, they’re absolutely right. Our clients cut 25% of their hiring expenses by screening out B and C players early.

Typical executive search reports highlight candidate strengths, but they’re viewed by most CEOs as unreliable. The executive search firm approach is compromised because firms are highly invested in producing a slate of attractive candidates, and therefore less inclined to hone in on weaknesses.

Topgrading reports are more objective and unflinchingly honest. They reflect both strengths and shortcomings. Make no mistake, A Players have weak points. But by asking the right questions, Topgrading professionals identify those weak points, make clients aware of them, and suggest steps the hiring manager and new hire can take to minimize weaknesses.

Final candidate assessments

Our reports assess candidates in direct relation to the “job scorecard” we develop with you, and include the following elements:

  • Primary recommendation to hire or not hire the candidate
  • Executive summary
  • List of strengths and weak points
  • Interpretive career summary
  • Developmental recommendations

After you review the report we schedule a phone consultation, so you can receive our “color commentary,” and any of your questions can be answered.

Topgrading interviews are thorough, challenging and often enjoyable experiences for senior candidates, and the subsequent reports are powerful tools designed to help you improve your company’s performance.