The human system that my organization created was based on our Core Ideologies and Topgrading. Geoff Smart, the author of the book Topgrading created this system, which outlines a very specific interview process. It takes practice to learn and you have to be patient with it, but once you have the hang of it, you’ll hire the right person nine times out of ten. That fact doesn’t just come from my experience; it’s what the creators of this methodology found as well.
The Topgrading process dives deep into experience. You begin by weeding out C players before you move to the long interview. Then, in the long interview, you ask questions that go all the way back to high school. You talk about every job the person has held up to that point. I’ve done this with people who have twenty or thirty years’ worth of experience, and it can take a while. But what is revealed are key themes about who that person is.
The Topgrading process is so prescriptive that all you have to do is follow it and not waiver. If candidates don’t want to invest five hours in an interview, you know they’re not a good fit for your organization. You’re investing all this time to get the right candidate, so wouldn’t you want to know something like that up front rather than learning six months down the line that you hired the wrong person?
It is a good idea to use the same process to continue to assess team members. We worked these assessments into our quarterly rhythm, whereby, every ninety days, we would assess our team members based on whether they were A, B, or C players. In the simplest terms, C players are people you wouldn’t hire in the first place, or if they are already part of your team, you wouldn’t rehire them. They do not support the company’s core values. Making this a part of your regular rhythm ensures you always have A and B players on your team. An A player is the best person you can have on your team within the range of what you can afford. That’s important to understand. A lot of A players are very expensive. There are some A players who are just out of reach. B players are people who are the right fit for your team, meaning they share the company’s core values but are working on improving their skills and have the potential to become A players.
Please visit http://acetech.org/events/topgrading/ to attend the upcoming ACETECH Topgrading Workshop.