Welcome to Topgrading Calculators

These calculators have been provided to allow you to calculate the staggering financial burden that mis-hiring places on your organization. Each one allows you to input the data necessary to calculate the “REAL” costs that mis-hiring actually creates.

  1. Current Hiring Success allows you to input your current success rate in hiring or promoting people for your organization. A successful hire is a high performer – what you expected and what you paid for. Anything less than a high performer is a mis-hire. This information is used in the remaining calculation steps.
  2. Talent Projection Calculator allows you to input the number of current employees that you would classify as mis-hires – the number that will ultimately need to be replaced to achieve the Topgrading goal of 90% high performers.
  3. The Cost of Mis-Hire Calculator enables you to put a realistic cost on both the money and time wasted with a typical mis-hire.
  4. Your Organization’s Cost of Mis-Hires Calculator uses the results from the previous steps to show you how much money and time (in total) you are likely to be wasting annually on mis-hires, given your current hiring success rate.

You may choose to skip directly to Step #3, the Cost of Mis-Hire Calculator,
and quickly calculate the cost of an average mis-hire by clicking on the link below:

Or you may continue below to enter your estimates in each of the three input steps to see the eye-opening results in Step 4.

Step One – Percentage of Candidates Hired Who Turned out to be A Players

In the field below, enter the percentage (without the percent sign) of the candidates that your company has hired recently who actually met your expectations and turned out to be A Players.


Step Two – Topgrading Talent Projection Calculator

Input the number of currently employed mis-hires (underperformers) that you would need to replace to achieve 90% A Players. For example, if your organization has 100 underperformers, you would need to replace 90 of them with A Players.


Step Three – Cost of Mis-Hire Calculator

The calculator below is designed to help you understand how incredibly expensive hiring mistakes can be. If you realize how costly these mistakes are, then you can better appreciate what minimizing them by implementing Topgrading can mean to your organization’s success.


To make this process more meaningful for you, rather than trying to compute averages to answer some of these questions below, base your responses on a specific mis-hired individual (not the costliest and not the least costly) with whom you are familiar and who represents a somewhat typical employee in your organization.

  1. Enter whole numbers only since the calculator rounds the results to the nearest dollar.
  2. To complete the calculation, fill in each of the boxes below and click the big, red button at the bottom of the page.
  3. All fields are required so if you have no estimates for a field (ex: the “other” field), just input a zero in that field.
Total Hiring Cost

  • Recruitment/search fees (Was there a guarantee and if so, was money recovered?)
  • Outside testing, interviewing, record checking, physical exam
  • HR department time and administrative costs (for all candidates)
  • Travel costs (for all candidates, spouses, other executives traveling to meet candidate)
  • Time/expenses of non HR people (all candidates)
  • Relocation (moving household goods, purchasing house for candidate)

  • Base Salary Multiplied By The Number of Years Employed
  • Bonuses (“signing,” performance, etc.) for all years
  • Stock options (realized for all years), benefits (insurance, 401k, etc.), car, clubs
Maintaining Person In the Job

  • Administrative assistant for all years
  • Office “rental” (incl. electricity, etc.) for all years
  • Furniture, computer, equipment, travel for all years
  • Training
  • Other “maintaining” costs
Total Severance

  • Severance fee (salary, benefits, use of office), lawyer fees
  • Outplacement counseling fee
  • Costs in lawsuits caused by the person (EEOC, harassment, EPA, OSHA, etc.)
  • Administrative costs in separation, wasted time of people in separation
Mistakes, Failures and Missed Opportunities
Examples: Value of a key customer who was lost or driven away, value of impaired customer loyalty, the launch of three “dog” products
Costs of inefficiency in the organization, lower morale, lower productivity, impaired teamwork
Anything else that is unique to your company or organization that represents a cost associated with mishiring
Estimated value of Contributions
Even if a $50,000 per year store manager drove away customers and stole $1M, perhaps he or she contributed something. For example: Possibly the person hired five excellent employees or came up with a merchandising idea worth $500K per year to the organization’s bottom line.
Wasted Hours
Number of additional hours you and others spent dealing with mis-hire’s weak points — patching things up with customers, etc.
Percent of People Hired Who Turned out to be A Players %
Percent of People Hired Who Turned out to be Less Than A Players %


Step Four – Number of Mis-hires You Need To Replace

Input the number of currently employed mis-hires (underperformers) that you would need to replace to achieve 90% A Players. For example, if your organization has 100 underperformers, you would need to replace 90 of them with A Players.



Based on the data entered above (at your current rate of hiring success), your organization would typically incur a cost of $ and waste hours to successfully hire the A Players you need to maximize your success.

By implementing Topgrading in your organization, you can immediately reduce the most important number above – the number of people you have to hire to find the A Players you need for success.

In the 3rd edition of Topgrading, over 40 case studies of top companies show that they increased their percent high performers hired from 26% to 85%. To learn how you can dramatically reduce costly mis-hires by embracing the commonsense Topgrading methods, visit our Getting Started” page to learn about some immediate and easy steps to get you started in the right direction.