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Efficient - Fast, Fast, Fast Talent Acquisition Using Topgrading

Updated: Jan 18


OnSpot focused on building a system that not only delivers efficiency but also the highest quality using the least possible resources.
Efficient - Fast, Fast, Fast Hiring Process

Reflecting over morning coffee, I thought about at how our small team has notably enhanced our hiring processes in a short span, adeptly meeting client needs with timely, high-quality, and cost-effective solutions. Though not perfect, our daily progress is noteworthy, and I'm eager to share these insights and developments with you today.


Leveraging insights from Verne Harnish's "Scaling Up" course and key learnings from Geoff Smartt, Randy Street, and Patrick Bet-David on hiring "A Players", our company, OnSpot built a meticulous hiring process despite the traditional challenges BPO companies face with the Topgrading methodology.


Recognizing the indispensable value of securing top-tier talent, we integrated a refined selection procedure tailored to our organizational needs and challenges.


When the complex process feel simple, you know you have a win!
The key is to make it feel simple

For most BPOs, this will not make sense at all. You see, Topgrading is difficult and time consuming. It is a renowned hiring methodology developed by Dr. Brad Smart, aimed at helping organizations to identify, hire, and retain the top 10% of talent available in the market.


The process places a significant emphasis on thorough candidate assessment to ensure they possess the requisite skills, experiences, and competencies to excel in a given role.


Topgrading involves a series of rigorous interview techniques, such as the chronological in-depth structured (CIDS) interview, to gain a comprehensive understanding of a candidate's career history and performance.


This methodology also incorporates detailed reference checks, comprehensive job scorecards, and coaching for both hiring managers and candidates. The objective is to minimize hiring mistakes and enhance the probability of securing A Players – those individuals who are proven high performers in their respective fields or roles.


While Topgrading is a valuable and comprehensive hiring methodology, BPO companies almost always opt for alternative recruitment strategies due to various reasons:

Challenges and Critiques of Topgrading in BPO


  1. Volume of Hiring: BPO companies often hire in large volumes, which may make the detailed and time-consuming Topgrading process challenging to implement efficiently. The intensive interviews and meticulous screening process are less practical for high-volume recruitment.

  2. Role Requirements: Topgrading is particularly beneficial for roles where hiring A Players dramatically impacts the organization. While BPOs do have critical roles, a significant portion of hires may be for entry-level positions where the exhaustive depth of Topgrading may not be as crucial.

  3. Turnover Rate: BPO industries often experience higher employee turnover rates. Investing in an extensive Topgrading process for roles where tenure might be short may not be seen as cost-effective or efficient.

  4. Speed of Hiring: BPOs might prioritize a swift hiring process to meet client demands and operational needs in a timely manner. The detailed Topgrading approach can be time-consuming, which might delay filling necessary positions.

  5. Resource Intensive: Implementing Topgrading requires a substantial investment in training hiring managers and restructuring recruitment processes. BPOs may prioritize other operational areas for investment.

  6. Cultural and Strategic Fit: BPOs may find that other hiring methodologies or modified versions of several strategies better align with their organizational culture and strategic objectives.

  7. Skill Level: Some BPO positions may not require the high level of skill and expertise that Topgrading is designed to identify. Therefore, simpler and more straightforward hiring processes might be deemed sufficient.

  8. Geographical and Scalability Issues: BPOs often have operations across various geographical locations, making a consistent implementation of a detailed methodology like Topgrading challenging.

  9. Diversity and Inclusion: There may also be concerns that a strict adherence to Topgrading could unintentionally sideline diversity and inclusion efforts by too narrowly defining what an "A Player" looks like, potentially excluding viable candidates.

While Topgrading has proven effective for various organizations and roles, its applicability and effectiveness can depend on numerous factors including the industry, the roles being hired for, and the specific challenges faced by the hiring organization. Different sectors and companies often find that tweaking or combining aspects of various hiring methodologies best serves their unique needs.


But for us, there is no compromise in hiring. “A PLAYERS ONLY”.

OnSpot’s Unwavering Doctrine: A Players Only


Despite the aforementioned challenges and critiques, OnSpot has adhered to a doctrine of hiring solely “A Players”. This strategy, while seemingly rigid, has improved our capabilities to over-deliver on quality, even within stringent timelines, establishing a pool of exceptional talent that we continually engage with and can swiftly mobilize in alignment with client requisites.


Making the complex feel simple is the key.
OnSpot Talent Acquisition Process

This journey, while full of complexities, has underscored the indispensable value of intertwining recruitment, marketing, psychology, and process development acumen, carving a pathway that enables us to perpetually elevate our hiring standards, and by extension, the services we render to our esteemed clientele.


In summary, the intrinsic value of prioritizing quality in hiring, for us, has not merely been a strategic choice but a fundamental principle that ensures our operational excellence and client satisfaction, affirming that our investment in securing “A Players” will continuously be at the forefront of our organizational principles.


The integration of such insights started with a bespoke hiring process, This is the first stage of the OnSpot Experience. The process may look complex, but when systematically organized, it actually is very simple and operates on a flow. I will not go into the details of our processes but here it is in a nutshell.


  1. Initial Screening: Potential candidates undergo a written psychological test, masquerading as an optional questionnaire. This phase immediately removes 80% of the applicants and save our team time and effort, ensuring only the right applicants progress. From hereon, the success rate for hiring is very high.

  2. Personality and Typing Test: Basic skill sets are assessed, ensuring foundational competencies are met.

  3. Initial Interview: Video submissions present an authentic platform for candidates to articulate responses to key questions, assisting in evaluating cultural fit and alignment with OnSpot core values and our clientele.

  4. Problem Processing Assessment: Candidates, especially those eying managerial roles, are tasked with crafting presentations, simulating problem-solving scenarios pertinent to their prospective roles.

  5. Panel/Final Interview: The process culminates in a final interaction, which strays from conventional interviews and ventures into a real meaningful conversations about motivations and aspirations. We get deep into the applicant. This also gives the candidate opportunity to assess OnSpot if we are the right company for them. It is a TWO-WAY street conversation.

  6. Detailed Reference Check: Only upon clearing these stages does the candidate proceed to the final hurdle of reference checks before an offer is extended.

All these go into a database that gets processed over and over again for us to find the right candidate for our clients as the need arises. While we are not hiring, our Talent Marketing makes sure that profiles in our database are engaged and updated with the latest in the company. Because of this system, we are able to hire exceptional candidates at very short period.


As simple as the above may look like, the implementation is very difficult and requires exceptionally great process builders with very high-level knowledge about recruitment, marketing, psychology and process developments.


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