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Topgrading: Proven Method for Hiring and Firing Teams [Hardcover]

4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Hardcover £17.22  
Hardcover, 25 Nov 1998 --  
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Topgrading: How Leading Companies Win by Hiring, Coaching and Keeping the Best People Topgrading: How Leading Companies Win by Hiring, Coaching and Keeping the Best People 4.4 out of 5 stars (13)
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Book Description

25 Nov 1998 0735200491 978-0735200494 1
World renowned consultant and industrial psychologist shares his proven strategy for hiring "A" players, building dream teams, and achieving excellence--a fool-proof system now in place at today's leading companies.

Great companies are made, not born. The secret is hiring the right people--the "A" players. This is, of course, easier said than done. Statistically, half of all employment situations result in a mis-hire; the wrong person for the wrong job. And with the cost of a mis-hire at twenty-four times salary, the financial drain can be staggering! Compare that with Brad Smart's 90% success rate and understand why topgraded organizations such as General Electric and Allied Signal consistently beat the competition.

In this unparalleled work, Dr. Smart introduces readers to the tograding concept--how and why it works. The author sets forth principles which hold true for Fortune 500 companies as well as small emerging companies. Topgrading is a silver bullet--the corporate initiative that empowers all other corporate initiatives. The author spells out his practical hands-on approach and provides intriguing case studies culled from his file of more than 4,000 in-depth interviews.

Topgrading's expert coaching techniques are also revealed and readers learn how managers who topgrade become leaders, achieving success and excellence not only for their companies, but also for themselves.

This book is not without controversy, however, as Brad discusses how those who don't pull their own weight, the chronic "C" players, must step aside, be redeployed, or terminated.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1 edition (25 Nov 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735200491
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735200494
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.2 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,563,356 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

The key to building a superior company, an increasing number of observers now agree, is the ongoing ability to recruit and retain superior personnel. In Topgrading, industrial psychologist and global consultant Bradford Smart expands upon this idea by examining in great detail exactly how today's premier organisations have assembled such top-level employees, and then showing precisely how others can do it, too. "Simply put, topgrading is the practice of packing the team with A players and clearing out the C players," Smart writes. "A players is defined as the top 10 percent of talent available at all salary levels--best of class. With this radical definition, you are not a topgrader until your team consists of all A players. Period." Essentially a best-practices manual for developing this outstanding personnel pool, the book is based on more than 4,000 interviews and case studies conducted by Smart at major corporations like General Electric as well as fast-growing high-tech companies and small family-owned firms. He further bolsters its effectiveness by including his extensive "Chronological In-Depth Structured Interview Guide," along with other assessment tools and hands-on strategies for assembling an ideal work team. --Howard Rothman, Amazon.com

About the Author

Brad Smart is a world renowned industrial psychologist and consultant with nearly 30 years in practice, and whose clients include several Fortune 500 companies, including General Electric, Allied Signal and CompUSA. He is the author of two previous books and has been featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. Brad is also a world class diving champion. He lives in Wadsworth, IL.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I have read this book and conclude that most of the information is accurate in my experience. I think that Brad could TOPGRADE his style, however. The chest puffing gets tiring, his arrogance makes me gag and in general detracts from the potency of the book. This method is "no silver bullet" it works and can be difficult to implement. I also didn't care to read about Brad's property investment property and how he has Topgraded his help. .....Please lighten up Brad.
Woody Daroca Denver, Co.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I was hopeless at recruiting until I read this 14 April 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Until I read this book, I was hopeless at recruiting. I would ask the usual interview questions - where do you see yourself in five years time etc. All the things that any potential candidate was expecting, and could bluff their way through.

This book has really turned things round for me. Even if you don't use all the questions in the first interview, just going through the work history questions can be a real eye opener. For example, finding out what the candidate thought previous employers strengths and weaknesses were can really tell you a lot about whether they'll be suitable for your business.

I used the book yesterday, and it prevented me from making a huge recruitment mistake. Had I stuck to my old interview technique I would have hire a completely unsuitable candidate.

If you have struggled to recruit the right staff in the past, do try this book, you won't be disappointed.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Based on solid research, this book introduces the concept of topgrading-filling every position in the organization with a top candidate at the appropriate pay level. Topgrading is a process involving: seeking out, hiring and retaining top people; using the best assessment methods to make less than 10% mistakes in hiring and promoting; improving current staff through coaching; redeploying employees who are not performing at highest level to a position in which they can excel; and achieving inclusivity goals without lower performance standards. A chapter devoted to self development focuses on fifty management competencies and is of particular usefulness. Other guides and aids are presented for interviewing and self appraisal. This is an extremely useful volume.
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By A Customer
This book not only teaches managers how to hire, but also teaches them how to coach and to improve their own performance.
The book is appropriate for managers in big companies, and also for owners and managers of small businesses.
How much time did you spend deciding which model to buy of that $25,000 piece of capital equipment... a week or two? How much time did you spend interviewing your most recent hire? Probably a lot less for the latter. But why? Probably because we managers have such poor interviewing skills. This book will give you the process to follow, ideas and even some specific questions to ask.
No excuses that the labor market is so tight. We all know that. What we need to do is get the best person available for the job. This is the book to help you do that.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but 24 Dec 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The title says it all. A useful beginners guide, or a refresher course in people management, but if you are already successful as a manager it may not have much to offer.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars " 24 Feb 1999
By A Customer
"Topgrading is based on the author's experience assessing and coaching over 4,000 managers. Although half of the book talks about corporate topgrading programs, that's not for me. I was interested in the half of the book devoted to managers. I'm a newly promoted manager, and I learned how to hire the best people. Topgrading also showed me how to develop myself to be an 'A player'. The author helped me identify my developmental needs. Topgrading gives 3 or 4 suggestions for improving each of 50 different competencies. AWESOME!"
Chris Mursau
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT PROCESS AND REASONS TO HIRE THE BEST 6 July 1999
By A Customer
Computers and equipment are wonderful tools, but people make the difference. TOPGRADING makes it clear just how valuable it is to hire and work with the best. The mistakes you will avoid make the investment very valuable. Early in our company's history, we did a statistical analysis of how many candidates we had to seriously consider before we could assume that we had seen an outstanding one. It was over 140. TOPGRADING provides you with a process that reduces that number a lot, but still ensures that you will be able to hire the best. I was very impressed with this book. I think it is one of the few books that goes beyond the current best practice to establish a new and higher standard. You would be very foolish if you did not read and apply the messages of this book. When the history of many companies is written in the future, a key turning point will be the day that TOPGRADING was first applied. I wish that I had had this book available 22 years ago when I established my consulting firm! I have recently discussed this book with a number of business executives, and they each found the book to be as valuable as I did. THIS BOOK WILL INCREASE THE CHANCES THAT YOU AND YOUR COLLEAGUES WILL BE BIGGER WINNERS THAN EVER BEFORE! Banish stalled thinking about hiring, and use this process.
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