A business process for hiring top talent


What is

Performance-based Hiring is an end-to-end, four-step process for hiring top talent.

It is the only validated methodology that integrates sourcing, screening, interviewing, and recruiting into a seamless approach based on how top people look for, compare, and accept one position over another.

  • The Job

    Hiring the best starts by defining the real work involved, not skills or experiences, but the challenges and critical deliverables expected of a top performer. This is called a performance-based job description.
  • Sourcing

    Identifying the best people available requires a multi-channel approach combining proactive networking, advanced Boolean search techniques, compelling recruiting messages and leveraging a company’s employee referral program.
  • Interviewing

    The performance-based interviewing process involves digging deep into a prospect’s past performance, looking for comparable accomplishments as well as career gaps and learning opportunities. This approach opens the candidate pool to a broader group of diverse candidates.
  • Recruiting

    Recruiting is an integral step in the entire process – presenting the job as a career opportunity, not a lateral transfer. This way the focus is on long-term growth and job satisfaction, not maximizing short-term compensation.

Top people are looking for growth, challenge, and learning opportunities, not another job. Since most are fully-employed, they are unwilling to fill out long applications or wade through job board postings to find something better than they already have. While they will explore new opportunities, their process for doing so is far different than that of the typical candidate. It’s more measured, based on an open exchange of information and an evaluation of their long-term and short-term situations in balance.

In order to attract and hire top talent, a company’s sourcing, interviewing, and recruiting processes must be modified to meet their unique needs. This is what Performance-based Hiring is about. Even more important, this is accomplished without compromising assessment accuracy or paying unnecessary salary premiums.

“Most hiring problems can be eliminated by making one fundamental and simple change: replacing job descriptions with a list of performance objectives the new hire is expected to achieve.”

Lou Adler in The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired

Implementing Performance-based Hiring


Hiring the best is a team sport.

Recruiters believe that more than 65% of the problems associated with hiring top people are directly attributed to the hiring manager. Hiring managers believe that recruiters don’t understand real job needs and send them too many unqualified candidates. Both groups are right.

Recruiter Training

The challenges facing recruiters are increasing at a rapid pace. Our recruiter courses will help you meet these new challenges head-on by providing the latest tools, techniques, and ideas on what it takes to hire top people.

Hiring Manager Training

This course includes advanced fundamentals that hiring managers need to know how to assess, recruit, and hire top talent. It’s available as an on-site training program or a live online workshop, taught by Adler Group master trainers, in full and half day versions.


Certified trainers are licensed to teach entire departments and teams using Performance-based Hiring materials and techniques.

License Forms & Materials

Performance-based Hiring documents and forms are available to license for duplication and use across the enterprise.

“Performance-based Hiring is now used today around the world by companies and third-party recruiting firms. In the past 10 years we've trained over 10,000 hiring managers and 2,500 recruiters.”

Lou Adler in The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired

Deep Understanding


Measuring and Maximizing Quality of Hire

Talent Acquisition Strategy

If your organization is confronting the reality of doing business in a talent-scarce environment, this will shift the paradigm under which you're operating. Talent is scarce, unless you know where and how to look...and what to say.

Operational Review

Partner with us to review your complete organizational process for sourcing, hiring and on-boarding top talent. We'll identify the weaknesses and show you how to rethink the problem.

Executive Search

Blend your recruiters with our team and work in parallel on key searches for critical positions, leveling-up team capabilities while acheiving real-world goals.

Custom Interview Guides

Get interview teams in sync and get your most important searches off to the right start by creating Custom Interview Guides with Performance-based Hiring baked in from the beginning.

For Your Company or Organization


Inspiration to focus your team on the most important asset: people.

  • Kathleen V. Barton
  • Carl Bradford
  • Jennifer “JJ” Jacobs
  • Bryan Johanson

Lou Adler and the Adler Group team are available to speak to your audience of key decision makers, business leaders, and recruiting and hiring staff almost anywhere on the globe. Lou’s talks are always highly interactive, game-changing, and thought-provoking, and range from one hour to half-day hands-on workshops. Click below for more information on Lou and other speakers in the Adler Group.

“If you want to improve your ability to hire stronger people, the collective conclusion is obvious: define the performance required for success, use this for recruitment advertising and screening, and then find people who have done something comparable.”

Lou Adler in The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired

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