Find a player fast with Topgrading

Find a player fast with Topgrading

What is Topgrading?

Topgrading is a process to ensure that only the best candidates are hired as part of the application process. It involves dividing candidates into different categories and picking out only the A players. These candidates have the greatest fit in terms of skills, soft skills and experience. The motto in topgrading: hire less - pay more.

Topgrading for recruiters

The recruiter’s job: to ensure that their clients find the best candidates for their open positions. Topgrading can help achieve this goal by finding and introducing the best of the best. At the end of the day, the right application process is key. Now this is no surprise. Nevertheless, how this can be designed matters.

The 4 steps of the topgrading process

1. scorecard instead of job posting: Get specific, leave out the 0815 job posting that candidates only take a rudimentary look at, if at all. Get specific by defining concrete goals to be achieved. Give clear requirements to the job and what the candidate can achieve or move.

2. bench pushers: Top grading recommends creating a pipeline of more than 20 candidates per position. These can then be compared based on the scorecard. We have already written several blogposts on candidate sourcing, including Active Sourcing. You can read through these again at your leisure if necessary.

3. sifting candidates: In order not to inflate the application process, the candidates should be reduced to a maximum of 10 in this step. Review the resume first, then qualify by phone to reduce the number of candidates to about 3.

4.The interviews: Now it’s down to the nitty gritty. The interviews are conducted. Away from the gut feeling, to the fact-based interview. Depending on the position, the Topgrading method considers a duration of 1-2 (young professionals) or 3-4 (middle to high management) hours to be appropriate. Nevertheless, the duration should not be set in stone and should be adjusted according to the situation.

The analysis and evaluation

After the interviews, all the necessary information is available and, ideally, has already been added to the scorecard. The next step is to discuss this information with the customer and select the best candidate. This way the way to find the A-Player for your customer can be simplified respectively structured.


In summary, Topgrading is an effective way to ensure that only the best candidates are selected for a position. By categorizing candidates into A, B, and C candidates and focusing on the A candidates, companies can ensure that they are hiring candidates who have the necessary skills and experience to be successful in the position.

Topgrading also involves conducting interviews, reference checks, and competency tests to ensure that candidates do indeed have the required skills and experience. This process can help prevent poor hiring decisions and minimize the risk of bad hires.

As a recruiter, using the topgrading method can help improve the quality of your services and set you apart from the competition. Likewise, customers can be made even more satisfied in order to establish strategic business relationships.