Talent Benchmarking

If your organization is like most, your employees fall into one of three categories:

·         High performers

·         Average employees

·         Workers who are barely hanging onto their jobs


If you needed to hire a new staff member, which category would you want him to fall into?


The answer is obvious.  Still, it can be difficult to know, upon hiring, if a new employee is going to suit the job, the culture and the manager’s style of leadership.


That’s where talent benchmarking comes in.  This process can greatly increase hiring effectiveness, by using the factors that make your high performers (in similar positions) successful as a “roadmap” for hiring.  Benchmarking moves beyond the skills and experience required to do a job, to define the behaviors, values and other factors needed to thrive in your available position.


Sound interesting?  Below, PrideStaff covers the basics to help you determine the success profile of a star employee for a specific position in your company:

·         Plan to conduct the benchmark study on an entire department (excellent, average and poor performers).  To hire the best, you must know what to look for in your next employee – as well as “red flags” to avoid.

·         Prepare a list of criteria (called Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs) that define what makes an employee excellent, average or poor in the position. 

o        Be sure to involve the direct manager in this process, so the indicators will take his management style into consideration.

o        Include internal data like training test scores, performance appraisals and managerial ratings to round out the success profile.

·         Use objective tools, such as validated behavioral assessments, to identify the personality style and other soft skills associated with both success and failure in the position and your company.

·         Evaluate current employees, and then combine all of this information to develop your benchmark.  This profile will clearly outline what success in this position looks like and dramatically improve your chances of hiring the right employee.


Benchmarking your organization’s talent also has applications beyond making better hiring decisions.  Having identified the key attributes as predictors of success, talent benchmarking can:

·         Help you better understand your job requirements.

·         Improve interview quality by highlighting areas that need additional probing.

·         Reduce interviewer bias by increasing objectivity.

·         Identify high performers.

·         Target internal training needs by highlighting deficiencies.


But no matter how you plan to use talent benchmarking, be advised that the process takes substantial time and effort.  So if you plan to hire within the next six to nine months, now is the time to get started on the process!