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Revamping Talent Evaluation: Building Consistency in Hiring Decisions

Adam Ward

With a general slowing of hiring across the industry, recruiting leaders and teams are re-evaluating their hiring processes from top to bottom. One area we see getting a lot of attention is the consistency of hiring decisions. Bar raisers, hiring committees and similar types of programs have been around seemingly since the early days of Silicon Valley.  With the emergence of more tools and systems to better collect candidate assessment and performance data, the opportunity is there to modernize these programs. 

Over the last month, we've spent significant time digging into this topic from panels we attended and hosted to our own market research with talent leaders from the most respected talent brands. Here’s what we’ve learned: 

  • Acknowledging the Lack of Consistency and Equity:

No organization has completely mastered talent evaluation. Even those with formal programs in place admitted to inconsistencies and modifications across different business groups. We learned that companies often fail to assess candidates and employees based on the same skills and characteristics, leading to incongruent measurement systems and informal quality-of-hire measures. The impact on equitable hiring has also been largely overlooked, presenting an opportunity for improvement.

  • Job Analysis and Structured Interviewing:

The most advanced companies follow two paths to enhance talent evaluation. First, they conduct thorough job analyses to identify the necessary skills and characteristics for each role, which are then mapped to a structured interview process. This approach ensures consistency and reduces bias by removing the hiring manager's subjective judgment. Alternatively, some companies leverage core values or operating principles as universally understood expectations, translating them into competencies that guide the structured interview process. Both paths result in role related focused interview areas, comprehensive question banks, and answer rubrics.

  • The Investment Required:

Successful programs require significant investment in on-going training, centralized program management, and data tracking with feedback mechanisms. Additionally, best in class companies have also leveraged a tech stack that eases much of the administrative burden. Despite the resource-intensive nature, organizations recognize these investments as critical. Aligning the program with core values, while not solely relying on bar raisers, and employing data-driven decision-making have proven to be effective strategies. On average, program development spans around 18 months, emphasizing the dedication and commitment necessary for success.

Whether you are looking to implement a bar raiser, hiring committee or similar type of program for the first time or considering changes to your existing one, keeping these findings in mind will help you develop a program that gives the business the confidence that decisions are being made in a consistent manner. If you are looking for a partner, Growth by Design has helped several companies through this process from design, development and implementation. Let us know if you’d like to learn more!

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