Identifying High Performers Before Hiring

“A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player.” – John Wooden, record-breaking wins basketball coach

In high-level sports it is very obvious who are the highest performers. Not only are they physically talented, the best of the best hold themselves (and their teammates) to a higher standard. They know how to deal with pressure and deliver under tight deadlines. They are committed to excellence and visualize success and peak performance. They develop pre-performance routines to stay focused and increase perceived self-control. They learn from mistakes and apply the lessons quickly. They are the ultimate team player.

Athletes receive mentorship and direction from coaches, but the highest performers capitalize on the opportunities to have a competitive advantage. They pay attention to every little detail to perform at a higher level. This isn’t exactly rocket science but, when you add in 10 things that make a 1% difference, there’s a noticeable difference in patterns of performance.

In business, high-performing A Players are essentially the same: They consistently deliver results, are incredibly well prepared, intelligent, resourceful, ask the tough questions, and are diligent in improving their game. They go above and beyond expectations, always put the team first, have a very high standard of excellence and are a true pleasure to work with.

These are the people you want to recruit for your team. The challenge is knowing how to identify these high performers before you make a hiring decision.

I recently conducted a Topgrading™ interview, for one of our clients, of an extremely personable candidate who had already been screened using traditional methods. The candidate had made a great first impression and had already met some of the members of the team. Although an offer of employment was being drafted, the COO wanted to conduct a Topgrading interview, just to be sure. As we dug deeper, it became clear that the candidate did not have the performance patterns nor the skill sets required to perform well in the role – the rigor, discipline or drive. If the offer had been presented and accepted, it would have resulted in a costly mis-hire.

Traditional hiring interview methodologies – with only a 25% success rate of hiring high performers – are simply not designed to reveal the patterns of performance that distinguish a true high performer from the rest of the pack, and their fit with your culture.

That’s why Topgrading is so powerful. This tried-and-tested methodology gets you into the locker room – or boardroom, pre- and post-game – to excavate not just the facts, but to reveal how a candidate really thinks, acts and performs in real-world scenarios – not just how they say they perform.

It’s how you build the MVP A-Team your business deserves.

The Challenge

  • Measure how successful you are at identifying A Players in your job interviews
  • Use the Topgrading methodology to dig deep, and to ensure greater hiring success building your A-Team.

If we can help you to make better hiring decisions by teaching you Topgrading skills – or do it for you – please let us know.

Kristin Hazzard, an Executive & Leadership Coach at Lawrence & Co. Growth Advisors, was an elite hockey player who competed at the national championship level and in the semi-professional Women’s Hockey League.