Benchmarking Basics: Build An Economy-Proof Team

Team meeting

Hire For Longevity


Your company now has access to a higher-quality talent pool than ever before due to the job market being gradually reshaped by the pandemic. You are in a unique position to find the perfect fit for your next open role, and using a benchmarking process will ensure you build an economy-proof team.

Consider benchmarking for longevity—now is the opportune time to polish up your hiring process and ensure you’re finding the ideal candidate.


Begin Building Your Team With Benchmarking

Below are some answers to questions you might have about benchmarking: what it is, why the process works so well, and how to move forward right now.

  • What is Benchmarking?

Benchmarking is used during the interview process to find your ideal candidate. It begins with creating a profile of your ideal candidate for the position then measuring all candidates against that talent profile. It can also be used to measure an existing employee in their current role.

  • How Do You Use a Benchmark?

The ideal candidate can be a lot of different things—this diversity is a good thing until it becomes a cumbersome hindrance to your hiring process. Benchmarking helps you focus on the multiple perspectives you need during a hiring process while saving resources and time by putting together a team of Subject Matter Experts, or SMEs.

Each SMEs builds out the results of an assessment as if they were their ideal candidate. Then, the average is found from those ‘ideal’ profiles. This average is now your benchmark!

Working in a collaborative setting with multiple stakeholders gets you a rich variety of opinions and removes personal agendas and internal biases. Your benchmark can also include past employees who previously held the role, the candidate’s future direct report, and/or their future co-workers.

After your benchmark is created, introduce it several steps into the interview process, after the initial rounds. Most organizations use a benchmark with their top 3 to 5 candidates.

This way, the standard screening process isn’t disrupted; it just gives a more profound insight into each candidate and a professional approach to measuring that insight at the end of the hiring process.

  • Why Should You Benchmark?

The benefits of benchmarking are clear. Here’s what happens when you find the ideal fit for a position, backed up by proven data.

  1. Enjoy Higher Adaptability And Efficiency

If someone’s motivations, behavioral style, and skills are matched up to a position, they’ll have a higher level of engagement with their team. This engagement increases profits, productivity, and satisfaction. Customer retention rates are about 18% higher when you have highly engaged and well-informed employees, according to Haiilo.

  1. Build An Economy-Proof Team

Just trying to ‘fill a seat’ is a huge mistake—80% of turnover is due to bad hires, according to SHRM. Calculate the cost of a bad hire and see if you can afford the potential loss.

  1. Develop Your Talent Pipeline For Longevity

Benchmarking isn’t just for candidates. If you’re not hiring soon, you can also use benchmarking to create internal development plans.


What Makes XQ Innovation Different?

XQ Innovation has a patented Benchmarking Process that leverages data to make the best decisions about ideal candidates. Also, as an outcome of the process, roles have concisely defined responsibilities. Our benchmarking process establishes the role instead of the individual.

The innovative thing about benchmarking is that it’s not focusing ultimately on qualifying or disqualifying a candidate. It’s about discovering what your business needs. It efficiently removes bias and relies on logic.


Isn’t This a Biased Process?


If you are not familiar with the concept, it might seem like benchmarking is a way to discriminate in the hiring process. However, it’s the opposite; benchmarking a job minimizes bias and provides a clear objective and collective voice to what motivators, behaviors, and skills the job needs.

For instance, people tend to like and relate to others like them, but similarities are often not what the position needs. The benchmark process can be used for as much as 30% of your hiring decision, but the remaining 70% should be made based on resume, skills, validation of those skills, experience, and personal fit.

You can clear up any uncertainty by building a scoring method into the interview process. It can look like the following:

  1. Resume — Determine the minimal qualifications for the position
  2. Interview — Hold several rounds of interviews over the phone, and one or two in-person as your company sees fit
  3. Shared work — Analyze shared work from each of the candidates (this can be samples of writing, completion of a project, etc.)
  4. Benchmark — Measure your top candidates against the benchmark and decide after the final round of interviews


By using the benchmarking process, you get to make a conscious decision about the individual you’re choosing to join your organization. Developing leaders within your organization boosts productivity and engagement while saving you time, money, and resources.

Also, something important to remember is that you don’t have to pick the candidate with the closest score to the benchmark. By using the benchmark process, you get to make a clear and conscious decision about the individual you have chosen to join your organization.

Organizations do not miss out on the right candidate because they don’t fit the benchmark. Even if you hire against your benchmark, you now have valuable insight about your hire’s behavior that you can use during their onboarding period and beyond. As the adage goes, you can’t manage what you can’t measure.

Some might want to use benchmarking as a justification for terminating a position. However, you’re better off using benchmarking to get a snapshot on where to develop an employee. And, remember, only 30% of your decisions can be determined by benchmarking.


How Do I Get Started?


XQ Innovation is here to help you start harnessing the power of benchmarking for your company. Benchmarking is an upfront investment that saves you resources, money, and frustration in the long run.

We know business leaders, especially during this time, have a challenging role. Benchmarking gives you deeper levels of insight before your candidate even walks through the door. Contact us to learn more about how you can best utilize this process.

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