Learn how to hire and retain more “A” players

Are you hiring the right people to grow your business?


The closest thing to a person’s perfection is their resume. This Topgrading 12 week online course will help businesses implement Topgrading at all hiring levels of an organization –no matter the size and industry–  to avoid dishonesty, lack of information, and verifiability with every candidate.

What experts are saying about Topgrading

William H. McGill
William H. McGillChairman & CEO, MarineMax Inc.

There’s nothing that has done more for our company than Topgrading. It will be our culture as long as we have our company.

Aaron Patzer
Aaron PatzerFounder,

At, we have very rigorous hiring. We use a technique called Topgrading, which reveals patterns in behavior. In the history of Mint, I’ve only fired two people and one left voluntarily.

Earl Powell
Earl PowellFounding Partner and Chairman Emeritus, Trivest Partners, L.P

Brad’s second opinion interviews and Topgrading methodology have helped us pick the right executives, which is key to making money in private equity.

PPR Talent Management Group

Topgrade your organization with the Hybrid Education Model

This program adjusts to your schedule, NOT the other way around Invest 20 hours of your time and earn your certification.


Watch 6+ hours of video to learn the Topgrading methodology.


Learn the tools in a live workshop environment taught by a certified coach.


Implement the 12-steps of hiring through 1-on-1 coaching calls with and expert.

Protect your brand promise

Protecting your brand promise means having the right people in the right positions. Topgrading guarantees outstanding employees in both frontline and management level positions.

We’ve grown from 1 to more than 50 locations and have experienced 50% to 100% growth in revenues annually since Topgrading 5 years ago. 

Ken Sim, Founder, Nurse Next Door

The 12 Steps

By implementing Topgrading you will be able to increase your hiring success from 25% high performers to up to 90% high performers

Step 1

Measure Hiring Success

Step 2

Create a Job Scorecard

Step 3

Recruit From Networks

Step 4

Use The Career History Form

Step 5

Conduct Telephone Screening Interviews

Step 6

Conduct Competency Interviews

Step 7

Conduct Tandem Topgrading Interviews

Step 8

Advanced Interviewing Techniques

Step 9

Write Draft Executive Summary

Step 10

Arrange Reference Calls

Step 11


Step 12

Measure Your Hiring Success

Course Modules

Session 1:

Step's 1 & 2

Step 1 – Measure Hiring Success (Quality of Hire) (Pre-Topgrading) Calculate percent A Players; Calculate Cost of Mis-hires Step 2 – Create Job Scorecard “Nail down” A Player performance accountabilities

Session 2:

Step's 3 & 4

Step 3 – Recruiting from Networks Build and maintain list of 20 A’s, 15 “Connectors” Step 4 – Use Topgrading Career History Form Analyze “Truth” document (Topgrading Career History Form)

Session 3:

Step's 5 & 6

Step 5 – Conduct Telephone Screening Interviews Use Topgrading Career History Form to Pre-Screen candidates in 45- min phone interviews Step 6 – Conduct Competency (Behavioral) Interviews Create Competency Interview Guides; candidates ask questions about the organization

ONE-ON-ONE Meetings on Job Score Card & Phone Interview

Session 4:

Step's 7 & 8

Step 7- Conduct Tandem Topgrading Interview Using Topgrading Interview Guide Attain correct insights into (50) competencies Step 8 – Master Advanced Interviewing Techniques Improve interviewing techniques and style

Session 5:

Step's 9 & 10

Step 9 – Analyze All Data: Write Draft Executive Summary Write draft of Executive Summary after analyzing all data and arriving at valid conclusions Step 10 – Candidate Arranges Reference Calls with bosses; finalize Executive Summary Get former bosses to tell you the truth

Session 6:

Step's 11 & 12

Step 11 – Coach Your New Hire in First Few Weeks Convert through insights into practical development plan, well received Step 12 – Measure Hiring Success Annually (Pre-Topgrading vs. Post-Topgrading) Calculate pre and post Topgrading Hiring Success and costs of mis-hires

ONE-ON-ONE Meetings on Tandem Interview & Implementation Plan

Bradford D. Smart, Ph.D. Founder and CEO, Topgrading, Inc. Brad completed his doctorate in Industrial Psychology at Purdue University, entered consulting, and since the 1970s has been in private practice as President and CEO of his own company, now called Topgrading, Inc., based in the Chicago area. Brad is frequently acknowledged to be the world’s foremost expert on hiring.

The company consults with many leading companies and hundreds of small and growth companies. Brad has conducted in-depth interviews with over 6,500 executives. He is author of seven books and videos, including Topgrading 3rd Edition: The Proven Hiring And Promoting Method That Turbocharges Company Performance; The Smart Interviewer: Tools and Techniques for Hiring the Best; and the training series Topgrading Toolkit, featuring the 12 Topgrading hiring steps and demos of all the interviews.

In addition, he has co-authored the following books: Topgrading for Sales: World-Class Methods to Interview, Hire, and Coach Top Sales Representatives, with Greg Alexander; and Smart Parenting: How to Raise Happy, Can-Do Kids, with Dr. Kate Mursau.

Companies already implementing Topgrading


Frequently Asked Questions


You have unlimited access to the Master Business Courses upon purchase.

The course is $1997 / seat. If you are looking to enroll multiple people or have a team looking to participate, all additional students can join at 50% off.

For the Master Business Courses: We will refund 100% up to 60 days after purchase, or until the 3rd Live Session if no session has happened within the first 60 days of your enrollment.

Yes! If you are enrolled in any previous Master Courses they will count towards your MBD as credit.

If you are ready to sign up, click here and fill out the application.

All our live sessions with authors and coaches are recorded and available on your learning platform. You will find them following the same steps mentioned in the reminder you receive a few days before the live classes.

No this is a different program. However, all active Scaling Up Club Members will receive a 20% discount on any Master Course they enroll in.

The Master Course is an accredited certificate program. It is not the equivalent of a University’s Degree. The acceptance of Master Courses as university credit would fully depend on the institution granting your degree.


The Gazelles Growth Institute is a Corporate and Digital Learning Institution. We are regulated and accredited by an AdvancED. This means that we are audited by strict guidelines that ensure quality of learning.

We are an official Corporate and Digital Learning Institution but not technically a university.