How to Make the Most of Topgrading

//How to Make the Most of Topgrading

How to Make the Most of Topgrading

Putting together a team of talented professionals is a lot like putting together a sports team. You want high-performing players who work well together and make each other stronger. Topgrading can help your construction company build a dream team. Topgrading is a hiring philosophy and methodology developed by Brad Smart. The goal of topgrading is to fill empty positions with the best talent and to replace low-performers with top players. This strategy also helps to create a high-quality team for your company by only focusing on the best candidates during the hiring process, particularly during the interview phase.

Types of Performers

There are three types of performers. “A” talent can be considered your best employees. These employees are competent, well-rounded, and highly adaptable. They often have natural leadership abilities and are eager to learn. “B” players are considered your steady performing employee. They know what they’re doing and get the job done, but they’re not the all-stars that the “A” players are. They might not be as creative when it comes to problem-solving. Maybe they take less initiative. These are most of the candidates you will encounter. “C” players are your problem employees. These are the employees that don’t finish their work on time, consistently show up late, and always seem to have an excuse. “C” players bring the whole team down and may even make the other employers perform worse than they would otherwise.

Topgrading Interviews

Topgrading helps make sure you hire the best talent. The goal is to fill your team with as many “A” performers as possible. Much of this comes down to the quality of interviews. Many interviews focus on competency or on behavior. While employers of course want employees who are competent, these types of interviews don’t tell you as much as you think they do. Most interviews are very standard, so if candidates go on enough of them, they will know what to expect and will present themselves accordingly (which may not be authentic). A topgrading interview is different. This methodology uses a chronological approach, systematically going through the candidate’s education and work history to identify patterns. The interview focuses on successes, failures, decision-making, employer-employee relationships, and other important factors that give insight in the competency level of a candidate.

Evidence-based Hiring Decisions

Many hiring managers rely on first impressions or intuition when making hiring decisions. During the topgrading interview, you end up with a thorough profile of the candidate’s employment history, which allows you to make a more evidenced-based hiring decision. Still, first impressions can be very telling. They’re a great way to narrow the field. Topgrades often involves a pre-interview round where the manager assesses whether candidates appear to be a good fit for the company. During the main interview round, you want to rely more on facts.

In the construction industry, having the best talent can make all the difference. You need the best talent to stay competitive. Implementing some aspects of the topgrading interview methodology, along with behavioral-based interview strategies can help you weed out low-performers so that when it comes time to make a hiring decision, you’re choosing from a pool of high-quality candidates.

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By | 2019-03-28T17:00:02-04:00 April 4th, 2019|Construction Blog|

About the Author:

The Birmingham Group has been serving the construction industry since 1967. Brian Binke took over the firm in 1995 and since that time, he has personally placed over 1200 construction managers and senior leaders, with company revenues ranging from $10 million dollars to the largest ENR 400 companies in the industry. Brian is an industry innovator, with a specialized skillset in construction. His keen understanding of business, the construction industry, and ability to effectively match and recruit top leaders has led to many accolades. He was ranked the #1 International Billing Owner in the construction industry for his own personal production and has been consistently recognized as one of the Top 10 International Billing Owners out of 800 owners worldwide. This includes owners across every industry. In 2013, Brian was awarded the #1 International Billing Owner within the entire network. For over two decades, Brian has been considered one of the most influential thought leaders in the construction industry. His business and construction knowledge are used as a resource for some of the nation’s most prominent publications. In the past year alone, Brian has been quoted in or authored articles for The Wall Street Journal, CBS News, MoneyWatch, Construction Today, ConstructionDive, United Rentals, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine, American Express, Builder Magazine, and Human Resource Executive, among others. "I believe companies are a lot like sports teams. The team with the best players usually wins. It is my passion to deliver the absolute best talent to my client companies – the market’s top performers, the talent that every company wants to hire but which seldom seems available. To put it simply, I thrive on helping my clients build their Dream Team." - Brian Binke, The Birmingham Group
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