HOW TO SHORTEN THE TIME HIRING A PLAYERS: METHOD # 5

Whether you are a Topgrader or not, these proven methods can save you a lot a time but maintain the standard of hiring all high performers, for ALL jobs.   We keep learning from clients the time-saving methods that they have discovered, so this is a series of blogs and might go on and on indefinitely!

Before explaining time saving methods, please take a couple of minutes to learn the basics of Topgrading.  Why? I want you to hire better, NOT just save time by mis-hiring people!  If you aren’t familiar with Topgrading I want to get your attention: Topgrading for sure is the best, most effective, most proven method to hire.  Learn by reading the couple of paragraphs below (one minute), go to www.Topgrading.com and download the free eGuide, which will take 15 minutes to read.  Or be very impressed with the documented dozens of case studies at www.TopgradingCaseStudies.com.   The first page is a Master Chart with all the results by company and that will take you one minute to skim through; or click on any company and read the details.

The average improvement hiring HIGH performers across all the companies is from 26% to 85% — that’s HIGH performers — and all the CEOs say Topgrading made the company more profitable.  No other hiring approach we are aware of has even one case study with a fraction of those results, and not one has a CEO saying it improved profits of the company.   Sorry for the sales pitch but if you haven’t heard of Topgrading, I wanted to let you know these tips will help you hire better AND save time.

Key Topgrading Steps:

  1. Job Scorecard. Topgraders convert a vague job description (which is confusing and leads to mis-hires) into a Job Scorecard with clear, measurable accountabilities (and that assures better hires).
  2. Recruitment. Everyone knows this, and Topgraders use job boards, but they say their best hires come from referrals a Player made – they recommend A Players they’ve worked with.
  3. Candidate Screening. In Topgrading candidates complete your application form infused with Topgrading IP including a “truth serum” that really works.  The candidate presses Send and you get the Topgrading Snapshot, the best candidate screening tool ever created.  Even before talking with candidate’s Topgraders know a) low performers have dropped out, b) liars with fictitious resumes have dropped out, c) full salary history, and d) how all bosses would rate their performance.  Amazing but true!
  4. Phone Screen. After screening candidates with the Topgrading Snapshot, talk to candidates for the first time in a phone screen interview, to determine if it’s worth the time to bring the candidate in for a day of interviews.  Phone interviews cover what the candidate is looking for and delves into the most recent two jobs.
  5. Visit to the company. Topgraders typically use competency Interviews and the Tandem (2 interviewers) Topgrading Interview during that day.
  6. Candidate-arranged reference calls. There is no phone tag because finalist candidates do arrange the calls, and these calls with managers and others YOU want to talk with provide solid verification of everything the candidate said.

 Here are the most important hiring truths:  More than half the people hired every day turn out to be disappointments because of rampant dishonesty (C Players lie and get away with it), shallow interviews, and weak verification (reference checks are almost worthless and everyone knows it so C players can get away with fudging the truth).  Topgrading assures total honesty, the most revealing Topgrading Interview, and solid verification (in reference checks millions of A Players have arranged with former managers).

 But, the biggest criticism of Topgrading is the time it takes.  It’s very time consuming to bring a candidate in for a full day to conduct maybe four 1-hour competency interviews plus a long, chronological Topgrading Interview; is a long Topgrading Interview of a manager worth the time?”  Yes; of course, it is because that Topgrading Interview enables you to hire 75%, 80%, or even 90% high performers.  Non-Topgraders mis-hire at least half the people they hire, and each managerial mis-hires cost them $500k+ plus 200 wasted hours. 

Although Topgrading SAVES TIME, because mis-hires are avoided, clients have discovered many ways to save even more time.

TIME-SAVING METHOD #5:  USE 2 INTERVIEWERS – THE TANDEM TOPGRADING INTERVIEW.

Huh?  Won’t two interviewers ask more questions than one?  Yes, but that’s the point –  with different perspectives the interviewers will ask good questions the other didn’t think of. Solo interviewers tend to ask a question, hear responses, and then there is a long pause as the interviewer takes notes, so the second interviewer will move the interview along by asking questions.

Here is the BIG time saver with the tandem approach: it avoids more mis-hires!  I’ll explain.  When consulting with General Electric, CEO Jack Welch embraced the Topgrading Interview (solo), and GE went from 25% A Players hired to 50%.  Not bad, right? Topgrading professionals were achieving almost perfect results:  just about everyone we recommended for hire turned out to be A Players.   Jack asked, “Brad, how can our managers do better?”  I said, “In all the Topgrading workshops we use two interviewers and the tag team is better and quicker than solo interviews.”  Done!  He rolled out the tandem method, GE improved from 50% to over 90% hiring success and GE became the most valuable company in the world, and the most respected.  Jack says Topgrading contributed to that success.

How to Shorten the Time Hiring an A Player: Method #4

Whether you are a Topgrader or not, these proven methods can save you a lot a time but maintain the standard of hiring all high performers, for ALL jobs.   We keep learning from clients the methods that they have discovered, so this is a series of blogs and might go on and on indefinitely!

Before explaining time saving methods, please take one minute or more to learn the basics of Topgrading.  Or, because this is an ongoing series of time saving blogs, if you’ve already read About Topgrading and Topgrading Steps, just skip down to Time Saving Method #4.

About Topgrading

Why learn about Topgrading?  I want you to hire better, NOT just save time mis-hiring people!  If you aren’t familiar with Topgrading I want to get your attention: Topgrading truly is the best, most effective, most proven method to hire.  Learn by reading the couple of paragraphs below (one minute) , go to www.Topgrading.com and download the free eGuide, which will take 15 minutes to read.  Or be very impressed with the dozens of case studies at www.TopgradingCaseStudies.com.   The first page is a Master Chart with all the results by company and that will take you one minute to skim through; or click on any company and read the details.

The average improvement hiring HIGH performers across all the companies is from 26% to 85% — that’s HIGH performers — and all the CEOs say Topgrading made the company more profitable.  No other hiring approach we are aware of has even one case study with a fraction of the results, and not one has a CEO saying it improved profits of the company.   Sorry for the sales pitch but if you haven’t heard of Topgrading, I wanted to let you know these tips will help you hire better AND save time.

Key Topgrading Steps.

  1. Job Scorecard. Topgraders convert a vague job description (which is confusing and leads to mis-hires) into a Job Scorecard with clear, measurable accountabilities (and that assures better hires).
  2. Everyone knows this, and Topgraders use job boards, but they say their best hires come from referrals a Player made – they recommend A Players they’ve worked with.
  3. Candidate Screening. In Topgrading candidates complete your application form infused with Topgrading IP including with a “truth serum” that really works.  The candidate presses Send and you get the Topgrading Snapshot, the best candidate screening tool ever created.

Even before talking with candidate’s Topgraders know a) low performers have dropped out, b) liars with fictitious resumes have dropped out, c) full salary history, and d) how all bosses would rate their performance.  Amazing but true!

  1. Phone Screen. After screening candidates with the Topgrading Snapshot, talk to candidates for the first time in a phone screen interview, to determine if it’s worth the time to bring the candidate in for a day of interviews.  Phone interviews cover what the candidate is looking for and delves into the most recent two jobs.
  2. Visit to the company. Topgraders typically use competency Interviews and the Tandem (2 interviewers) Topgrading Interview during that day.
  3. Candidate-arranged reference calls. There is no phone tag because finalist candidates do arrange the calls, and these calls with managers and others YOU want to talk with provide solid verification of everything the candidate said.

 Here are the most important hiring truths:  More than half the people hired every day turn out to be disappointments because of rampant dishonesty (C Players lie and get away with it), shallow interviews, and weak verification (reference checks are almost worthless and everyone knows it so C players can get away with fudging the truth).  Topgrading assures total honesty, the most revealing Topgrading Interview, and solid verification (in reference checks millions of A Players have arranged with former managers).

 But, the biggest criticism of Topgrading is the time it takes.  “It’s very time consuming to bring a candidate in for a full day to conduct maybe four 1-hour competency interviews plus a 4-hour Topgrading Interview; is the 4-hour Topgrading Interview of a manager worth the time?”  Yes; of course, it is because that Topgrading Interview enables you to hire 75%, 80%, or even 90% high performers.  Non-Topgraders mis-hire at least half the people they hire, and each mid-management mis-hire cost them $250k+ plus 200 wasted hours.

Although Topgrading SAVES TIME, because mis-hires are avoided, clients have discovered many ways to save even more time.

Time-Saving Method #4:  Spend less time on lower level candidates.

The Topgrading Interview is a chronological interview covering high and low points of all jobs.  How long do the interviews take?  Our experience suggests:

  • Manager – 4-hour Topgrading Interview; 2 hours on most recent decade
  • Sales Rep – 2 hour Topgrading Interview; 1 hour on most recent 5 years
  • Cashier – 40-minute Topgrading Interview; 20 minutes on most recent 2 years

I’m suggesting spending half the interview time on the most recent jobs because managers we’ve trained are usually too conscientious.  Seriously – … the thousands of managers who have attended our Topgrading Workshop are sooooo conscientious they not only ask all the questions about the early jobs, they ask follow up questions, and more follow up questions, and too often … run out of time.  If 4 hours were scheduled for the interview, they might find they have only ½ hour to cover the most recent 5 years and that’s not enough.

So in our workshops, just before they conduct their first Topgrading Interview we say, “This interview will be the most revealing of your career, and our experience suggests that you will want to ask too many questions about the early career, so:

  • For the early jobs try to ask no more than one or two follow up questions after the main questions. For example, you’ll ask about successes and accomplishments for every job and it’s appropriate and necessary to ask maybe 10 or 15 follow up questions about successes in the current job.  However, try to ask only 1 or 2 questions about successes in the first full time job.

After ½ hour we take a short break to say:  “You’ll need to move the interview along with fewer follow up questions.  When covering the early work history you are just getting your antennae focused and you do not need to know all the specifics; sure it might be interesting to ask Chris, “How did you go about organizing that Christmas party in that first job out of college, when you were an Executive Assistant,” but now the candidate is Executive Office Manager for the C Suite of a billion dollar company.  Get through the early jobs so you have time to explore the details of much bigger projects in her current job.”

If you have run out of time – perhaps because the candidate is scheduled to go to lunch with the President, no problem – just schedule a phone call or GoToMeeting extension of the interview when mutually convenient.

MOST Candidates Lie on Their Resume

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Good grief, more than half of all candidates LIE on their resume! A Fortune article reports a study that out of 2,000 people, 58% of the candidates lied on their resume. And over 70% in the financial services industry, by the way. The rather obvious advice by the author of this article is to read resumes carefully. The study showed that prior to the recession only 33% of interviewers took more than 2 minutes to read resumes, and because of rampant lying the figure rose to 42%.

Huh? Less than half of interviewers take more than 2 minutes to read resumes. Additional advice is to compare the resume to LinkedIn profiles. That advice is time consuming if you try to do it internally, and using a resume research company gets expensive and just verifies company names and universities.

The author misses a huge fact: It’s easy for C Players and BSers to write A Player resumes! They know they can get away with fudging the truth because reference checks are perfunctory. Carefully reading resumes of true A Players and true fakers is not much of a solution!

Blogs aren’t supposed to sell but sorry, Topgrading has the best way to smoke out the BSers and low performers. It is the obvious solution to this problem. It’s been proven at leading companies for more than 3 decades. The Topgrading IP is inserted in company application forms and tells candidates that a final step in hiring is for THEM (not you) to arrange reference calls with bosses and others. This “truth serum” has worked to scare away undesirable candidates over a million times. And the Topgrading IP asks for salary history and boss ratings and both turn out to be amazingly accurate BECAUSE candidates know they will have to arrange reference calls.

If you need Topgrading to help weed out the liars, learn more here or just give us a call. We are happy to help.

How to Shorten the Time Hiring A Players: Method #3

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Whether you are a Topgrader or not, these proven methods can save you a lot of time, while maintaining the standard of hiring all high performers for ALL jobs.  We keep learning from clients the time saving methods that they have discovered, so this is a series of blogs and might go on and on indefinitely!

Before explaining time saving methods, please take a couple minutes or more to learn the basics of Topgrading. Why? I want you to hire better, NOT just save time mis-hiring people! If you aren’t familiar with Topgrading, I want to get your attention: Topgrading is the best, most effective, most proven method to hire. Check out our free eGuide, multiple blogs or dozens of documented case studies and you will see that our hiring method is tried, true and proven. The average improvement in hiring HIGH performers across all companies we have worked with is 26% to 85%. Did I mention that 85% were HIGH performers and that is just the average improvement?! Okay, good… Just checking to see if you were paying attention. We are proud to say CEOs credit Topgrading’s methods for making the company more profitable. No other approach that we are aware of (and we have seen them all) have multiple case study backups, a fraction of the results Topgrading does, or CEOs saying it improved profits of the company.

Key Topgrading Steps.

1.      Job Scorecard. Topgraders convert a vague job description (which is confusing and leads to mis-hires) into a Job Scorecard with clear, measurable accountabilities (and that assures better hires).

2.      Recruitment. Just about everyone uses job boards; however Topgraders say their best hires come from referrals from their existing A Players.

3.      Candidate Screening. In Topgrading, candidates complete your application form infused with Topgrading IP including a “truth serum” that really works. The candidate completes the application and you receive the Topgrading Snapshot, the best candidate screening tool ever created. Even before talking with candidates, Topgraders know a) the low performers have dropped out, b) the liars with fictitious resumes have dropped out, c) the full salary history of the applicants, and d) how all bosses would rate their performance. Amazing but true!

4.      Phone Screen. After screening candidates with the Topgrading Snapshot, the next step is to talk to candidates for the first time in a phone screen interview to determine if it’s worth the time to bring the candidate in for a day of interviews. Phone interviews cover what the candidate is looking for and delves into the most recent two jobs.

5.      Visit to the company. Topgraders typically use Competency Interviews and the Tandem (2 interviewers) Topgrading Interview during that day. The Topgrading Interview is the most revealing interview, producing accurate, verifiable insights into every competency important for the job.

6.      Candidate-arranged reference calls. There is no phone tag because finalist candidates do arrange the calls. These calls are with managers YOU want to talk with who will a provide solid verification of everything the candidate said.

Here are the most important hiring truths: More than half the people hired every day turn out to be disappointments because of rampant dishonesty (C Players lie and get away with it), shallow interviews, and weak verification (reference checks are almost worthless and everyone knows it so C players can get away with fudging the truth). Topgrading assures total honesty, the most revealing Topgrading Interview, and solid verification (in reference checks millions of A Players have arranged with former managers).

But, the biggest criticism of Topgrading is the time it takes. “It’s very time consuming to bring a candidate in for a full day to conduct maybe four 1-hour competency interviews plus a 4-hour Topgrading Interview. Is the 4-hour Topgrading Interview of a manager worth the time?” Yes, because that Topgrading Interview enables you to hire 75%, 80%, or even 90% high performers! Non-Topgraders mis-hire at least half the people they hire, and each managerial mis-hires costs them $500k+ plus 200 wasted hours. 

Although it will take up more time on the front end, Topgrading SAVES TIME overall because mis-hires are avoided.

Now that you are familiar with us, let’s talk about saving time and money!

Time-Saving Method #3: In the Topgrading Interview Probe Deeply Only During Questions About Jobs in the Second Half of the Candidate’s Career.

The Topgrading Interview creates the magic of Topgrading and is the biggest reason for companies achieving 90% A Players hired. It’s a chronological interview with questions going all the way back to their education years (high and low points, degrees, work, etc.) and then digging into the first full time job and coming forward to the present. During this interview the candidate is asked 15 questions about each job (successes, mistakes, key decisions, key relationships, performance ratings by managers, etc.). Then it is concluded with their plans for the future.

If the candidate has 15 years of experience with six jobs it might require a 4-hour interview. Incredible insights are achieved into dozens of important competencies. How? Because when a candidate is explaining a success (took over a project, worked with five departments, launched new software, saved the company $5 million) she would reveal at least 20 competencies (analytic ability, judgment, working with teams, creativity, passion, etc.). Over the course of her career, the PATTERNS of strengths and weaker points become clearer and clearer. In just a 1-hour competency or behavioral interview the interviewer might get insights from 25 data points total. In the Topgrading Interview there are likely more than 1,000 data points.

Here’s the thing: Having trained tens of thousands of managers, we know that they are very conscientious, and want to dig in with follow up questions … in too much detail initially. Suppose the first job out of college was Accountant, and the candidate held it 6 months and then was promoted to Accounting Manager. Instead of asking all 15 questions, save time by saying, “You were in the Accountant job only 6 months and then were promoted to Accounting Manager. Please explain very briefly.”

CONCLUSION: Asking fewer questions, and probing less when discussing early career history will save you time and, by asking ALL the questions and probing with LOTS of follow up questions for recent jobs, you’ll learn everything you need to know about candidates.

Even on the first try Topgrading Interviewers learn more about a candidate than ever before. A Players love the Topgrading Interview – the walk down memory lane through success after success, and learning from mistakes.

Topgrading Helps Save E*Trade

Topgrading has tremendously helped and even saved many companies all around the world. Read our case study on how Topgrading helped E*Trade.

“I came in as CEO in 2013, and E*Trade was struggling. Topgrading helped us survive and flourish.” – Paul Idzik, CEO

The Company:

E*TRADE Financial Corporation is a leading technology-enabled company and a well-recognized digital disruptor within the financial services sector. It operates in both the B2C and B2B spaces via award-winning online platforms, and a large network of licensed representatives and financial consultants who handle phone and in-person interactions with its customers.

The Challenge: 

When Idzik took over as CEO toxic investments in the mortgage business dating back to the 2008 financial crisis were dragging the company down. He said, “I had very few A Players in the top 2 levels. A couple of key mis-hires could have caused the demise of the company.”

The Results:

  • From 25% to 75% A Players hired in upper management ranks
  • From 10-year performance of -20% to 3-year performance (since Idzik became CEO) of +150%
  • 6 out of 7 of the top team were replaced, 100% with A Players…

Click here to read the entire E*Trade case study.