K&N Management

I consider Topgrading to be the key driver in our impressive sales growth, since achieving our mission and vision is 100% linked to having a team of A Players. While Topgrading does require an upfront investment, the return on that investment is the difference between world class results and mediocrity.  

- Ken Shiller, CEO

The Company: K&N Management

No. of Employees: 600

Industry: Restaurant chains a notch above fast food


  • We improved from 25% to 89% A Players hired throughout the entire company.
  • Sales growth has been from $60 million to $80 million since Topgrading.
  • With Topgrading there are fewer employees achieving more so Topgrading boosts profits.
  • K&N Management was a recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

Quotes from Ken Shiller, CEO:

  • Using the Topgrading Cost of Mis-Hires Form showed the costs to be sky high -- the average cost of mis-hiring an entry-level employee was estimated to be $28,000, and for a store manager, $320,000.  It motivated us to Topgrade.
  • I believe that having A Players visible to the public in industries where C Players are the norm – like fast food -- is good for business.
  • Topgrading is the turnkey hiring process that guarantees we are using the very best methods to select the right people that will follow our processes, embrace our culture, and delight our guests.

Quotes from Danielle Robinson, Topgrading Director at K&N:

  • The Topgrading method of hiring gives you peace of mind that you are hiring a solid candidate because no stone is left unturned in the interview process. It is definitely worth the upfront investment of time and resources.
  • Since we started using Topgrading, we have decreased the number of involuntary terminations within our company from 37% in 2009 to 14% in 2010. We have been able to do this as a result of hiring A Player team members and implementing an effective coaching process.
  • Topgrading works, in part because A Players attract other A Players and C Players cause A Players to leave.  The solution: almost all A Players.
  • The Topgrading Snapshot is an invaluable tool when it comes to screening candidates. It drastically cuts down on the amount of time spent on screening because it enables you to identify the best performers – something no other screening tool I’ve seen can do.
  • My #1 advice to would-be Topgraders is: No matter what, stick with the process because there have been a handful of times that I could have mis-hired someone had I not followed the process completely. 

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