All blog articles

Rethinking the Bell Curve

In Hiring Strategy — by Vinod Kumaar

Graphs and curves are plotted to get a visualization of the data we collect. Ideally, we use these strictly for representational purposes. Too often, though, we attempt to reverse engineer and force fit people’s performance into it. Such efforts gave rise to forced ranking, a performance management practice that’s become increasingly unpopular in recent years. By measuring employees based on the bell curve, we’re resigning ourselves to accept that the majority of our workforce will be average performers. With this system of measurement, there just isn’t very much room at the top. It’s time we start rethinking the bell curve.

The human brain continues to develop long after we’ve stopped growing physically. Constructive Development Theory (CDT) suggests that over time, our brain evolves from a self-centered mindset to a self-authoring and self-transforming mindset. When we force-fit people to a curve, we deny them the opportunity to move to more mature levels of mindset. Forced ranking promotes an independent mindset, when in actuality the highest mindset – and the one that promotes the highest quality of work – is an interdependent mindset.

constructive development theory

At Recruiterbox, when we form teams, individual members are assigned grades. These grades reflect the influence individuals can bring through their work. It starts at being able to exert influence on small requirements, and progresses to creating an impact at an organizational level. There are no restrictions for us on how many people’s actions can have impact at any level. We also allow employees to choose their projects according to their strengths. People grow steadily under these conditions, improving the overall capability of the workplace.

By ditching the bell curve, no one is branded as an underperformer or an overachiever. People have breathing room and can avoid the race to the top or the descent to the bottom. Instead, they can take to time to observe and cultivate their strengths, and choose their sphere of influence accordingly.

Recruiterbox is considered the most user friendly hiring software on the market. If you’re ready to take your recruiting and hiring to the next level, request a Recruiterbox demo today.