Talent calibration is the process of allowing candidates to demonstrate their skills and abilities in the form of projects and presentations. This format allows a company to see not only how talented an individual is but also what he or she has accomplished over the course of his/her career. It offers transparency for recruiters and applicants alike, so both parties know exactly what they will be getting with each other.

Recruiters can see the specific examples of work that a candidate is capable of producing and evaluate him or her on the basis of that work. By doing so, it allows recruiters to actually see if a candidate has the skills they are looking for rather than just hear them talk about their abilities. It also allows companies to look at candidates with less experience who are still able to complete tasks effectively.


Candidates can show not only what they know but how well they know it by providing actual examples of their work.

Talent calibration is a powerful tool for companies as it can be used to replace or augment traditional recruitment processes.

According to research by the Institute for Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Engineering at the University of Hertfordshire, "talent calibration may have been around as a concept for as long as human resources management." There is evidence that talent calibration has been used in organizations such as McKinsey & Company, AT&T, Nasdaq, and NASA. The application of this model can be found in specific industries such as engineering, finance, sales, customer service, among others.


According to Gartner, "talent calibration is a professional service that gives managers the ability to objectively measure human talent using an analytics-driven approach."

Talent Calibration process

The Talent Calibration process is designed for the following situations:

For recruiters, talent calibration sessions are an opportunity to see exactly what a candidate can do and to find candidates who show talent with less work experience. For candidates, talent calibration is a way to showcase their work in detail and to make a personal connection with a recruiter.

A common misconception about Talent Calibration is that it's only for entry-level candidates, but that's not true.

To illustrate talent calibration with a couple of examples, let's pretend that we are recruiting for an SDR (sales development representative). This is a sales job and we assume that candidates have a few years of past experience. Candidates will be asked to complete a Talent Calibration activity that consists of completing at least one call with one of our hiring managers and then "selling" the hiring manager on the value they bring to the role.


How should leaders prepare for Talent Calibration Sessions?

Leaders need to be ready for the Talent Calibration Sessions. One way is by being prepared for the sessions and understanding what it takes to go through a Talent Calibration Session.

The Talent Qualification Interview is part of the talent calibration process. It gives candidates an opportunity to showcase their strongest talents and skills against explicit criteria, demonstrating how they can help your organization succeed.

The talent calibration process encourages both recruiters and candidates to really understand each other's expectations and work together towards a successful relationship in the future.