Cover image for 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
Smart, Bradford D., 1944-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Paramus, NJ : Prentice Hall Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xi, 403 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HD31 .S5776 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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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.

Author Notes

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.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

The author, an industrial psychologist and consultant, shows why human capital counts more than any other corporate resource in determining a company's excellence or mediocrity. Topgrading is the practice developed by Smart of packing a company with A players (which he defines as the top 10 percent of talent at all salary levels) and clearing out the Cs. The author offers case studies and examples from corporate experiences, which provide insight and tools to assess talent and hire the best person for every job in a company--with, he claims, a 90 percent success rate. The author covers such topics as key competencies to determine A players, assessment techniques, an interview format, how to help B players become A players, and the ethics of firing C players. It would be difficult to argue with Smart's observation that "talent wins," yet many would challenge the practical application of all his ideas. Nevertheless, useful lessons can be learned from this approach to developing corporate talent. --Mary Whaley