June 24


Book: TopGrading, Bradford Smart, 2005

Topgrading is a concept that was created as businesses were looking to hire “A-Players” (top talent) to join their team. Essentially, why settle for more substandard performers if you don’t need to? Why, it’s a great deal easier during the interviewing process (and yet, that’s the only time it may appear to be a better choice!)

The premise of the book, which is scientifically driven with some great statistics, is that every mis-hire is costing your business dearly. So why not create an hiring process (which is provided in the back of the book) that is so thorough it only leaves room for marginal errors in hiring.

The book also explains the concept of how the interviewing process is the first impression that the company has to attract the correct (best possible) talent in the marketplace. So, always have your best folks interviewing the candidates so the best candidates have some relevant experience as they are deciding if they would like to join your team. If they see their peers working there, they will be more inclined to say YES!

Even though this book’s premise has been proven by some of the strongest team building in Corporate America and is shares data to confirm this premise, it is the furthest thing from being a scientific book. Actually is it written so it is a easier read and is quite applicable!

Make sure you read this if you have to hire someone as soon as in a couple of weeks 🙂

Suggested by The Business Rescue Coach, Maggie Mongan
Brilliant Breakthroughs, Inc.


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  1. Good blog! I read this book several years ago. One of the points that Dr. Smart makes which is very poignant in today’s economy is the cost of employee turnover and hiring the wrong person (based upon his analysis, this can be in the millions of dollars range). This can be a staggering amount that is often “hidden” in a the firm’s balance sheets and P & L’s in terms of waste, inefficiency, and unnecessary redundancy in resource allocations. He makes a persuasive argument that failure to retain and attract top talent can overwhelm and dominate a firm’s bottom line.

  2. Thanks for the kudos 🙂 Your point regarding the significant hidden costs of mis-hiring an employee is what opened my eye when this book first came out. Most people haven’t known these staggering statistics and if they did, oh my, they would change their hiring process immediately! Let’s remember that mis-hiring also impacts the top line just as much the bottom line, if not more. Producing the best products and services are typically not the norm when a business isn’t able to attract and hire the top talent in the marketplace. Last: I appreciated how eloquently Dr. Smart states that everyone likes to join a winning team, so make sure your A-Team is the interviewing team. When I read this I laughed at the simplistic brilliance we all know, but tend not to apply to the hiring process. Hope you keep coming back to share your wisdom!

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