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What Is Topgrading Reference Checking?

What is Topgrading Reference Checking?

The Topgrading interview process is designed to get a full picture of a candidate’s personality and work history, and have them back it up with evidence—or withdraw from the hiring process. Developed in the 1990’s and used by companies both big and small, we feel that Topgradings’ secret sauce is the Threat of a Reference Check (TORC). Here you would get specific about who managed a candidate at every one of their past jobs, what is their managers’ contact information, and what the candidate feels their manager would say about them in a reference check.

The Topgrading reference form and entire process is more intensive than a behavioral interview, which explores examples of past work challenges. Starting with getting candidates to complete a comprehensive work history form that includes their managers’ contact information for each past role. This, combined with an interview that concentrates on past success and challenges, results in a comprehensive picture of the applicants’ personality, strengths, and weaknesses.

For managers that have 20+ years of experience through multiple jobs, this process can be long and seem arduous. But consider the alternative. Working with a mediocre or bad hire? Topgrading is also a process that some companies use to evaluate and rank employees internally, but today we wanted to highlight its usefulness in screening candidates for management roles.

Topgrading interviews can also be used for technical and engineering roles, and although it’s not easily implemented company-wide, it can really have a significant impact on the quality of hire. From personality to skills testing, there are a ton of different ways to help predict a successful hire and one we always recommend is TORC, or threat of a reference check. What do you think?

Kael Campbell is President and Lead Recruiter of Red Seal Recruiting Solutions, a company providing recruitment services in mining, equipment and plant maintenance, utilities, manufacturing, construction, and transportation. When he is not recruiting, Kael spends as much time as possible with family in the great outdoors and on the water. He volunteers his time as a Board Member of the Entrepreneurs Organization of Vancouver Island. We have a wide variety of services to help you find the best employees. See how we can help on our Recruiting Solutions page.