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Topgrading, 3rd Edition: The Proven Hiring and Promoting Method That Turbocharges Company Performance

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“BRAD HELPED US DEVELOP THE TOOLS TO PICK A-PLAYER LEADERS AT GE.” —JACK WELCH


Great companies, large and small, rise or fall because of their talent; the more high performers on your team, the more successful your organization will be. Of course, that’s easier said than done. Research shows that only about 25% of all new hires turn out to be high performers.

But companies that have used Brad Smart’s Topgrading system over the past two decades have boosted their hiring success rates dramatically—sometimes even to 90%.

Three huge problems account for the typical poor results in hiring: dishonesty (via deceptive résumés), incomplete information (via shallow interviews), and lack of verifiability (via biased references). Topgrading shows how to solve all three problems. Instead of hir­ing by your gut reactions to résumés and interviews, you can start using a scientifically honed process that compels candidates to be totally honest.


Smart, one of the world’s foremost experts on hiring, has personally helped hundreds of compa­nies double, triple, or even quadruple their hiring success rates. His clients have ranged from global giants such as General Electric and Honeywell to midsize and small businesses in every field imagin­able, and to not-for-profits such as the American Heart Association. And hundreds of thousands of readers have applied the lessons and tools of the first two editions of Topgrading.


The Topgrading system makes hiring easier, faster, and more successful than any other process. And it works at every level, from the front lines to senior management.

For the first time in seven years, Smart has fully revised and updated Topgrading with many new tools, techniques, and case studies. This edition now features 40 companies of all sizes, across a wide range of industries and home countries. It’s the most advanced and useful version of Topgrading ever. The third edition includes:
  • Simplified Topgrading methods for entry-level jobs.
  • The new Topgrading Snapshot, which screens out weak candidates in just 15 seconds.
  • The latest version of the acclaimed Topgrading Interview script.
  • Case studies from 35 companies not featured in any previous edition.
  • Many additional innovations created by Topgraders.


Topgrading isn’t just about hiring and promot­ing—it’s also about developing talent. It enables leaders to reward their A Players, coach their Bs to become As, and weed out the Cs who are beyond improvement.


Many great leaders know that Topgrading works. Find out how it can help your company gain a big competitive advantage.
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