The Week in Review #30: Death to the Performance Review

Nearly 5 years ago I started my business IDENTIFI. The goal was to build software that helped companies attract, recruit and retain their best people. In the earlier part of our journey we focused on the top end of the funnel, dealing with recruitment and employer branding. This is a space with lots of competition. Within the first year we started focusing more on helping employers retain their key employees. At a time when loyalty to employers is at record lows, every company is figuring out ways to keep their best people. One of our solutions that caught on with many employers was assistance with their performance review process. We would help them conduct these annual or bi-annual reviews and build development plans for their staff. We managed to close very large clients and do this day still provide this service to employers all across APAC.

However the winds are changing. With the influx of Gen Y and more importantly millenials into the workforce, the age old performance review process doesn’t work. Employees want feedback immediately and  a need for immediate recognition. Most of our large customers are now debating how to change a process that has been embedded in their culture for a very long time. Large companies are the ones that are struggling with this change the most. Many of them have built compensation, development and growth opportunities into their review processes.

For us as a company this requires us to also fundamentally change the service we provide to our customers. The one constant that remains is the need for feedback and building of development plans for your staff. The variable that changes is how this process is conducted moving forward. Several of our forward thinking customers have moved away from the annual review to quarterly and some with monthly check-in’s with their staff. This requires a new set of software that is light weight, mobile friendly with a low cognitive overhead.

I am excited to start this next phase of our growth as a business and look forward to sharing in greater detail how we are going to be solving for this change.

Accenture To Nix Performance Reviews And Rankings For All 330,000 Employees The featured article of the week is how Accenture is abandoning its review process. Microsoft and several other companies have followed similar suit. This helps other companies who are hesitant about the switch to take the leap of faith.

What Hollywood Can Teach Us About the Future of Work This is a great read about how Hollywood is staffing studios and sets. Structuring work around temp employees and short term projects. We are already seeing this proliferate into many other sectors. Making me very bullish on marketplaces like Upwork and Workmarket.

Lessons learned building & managing a remote team Building on the previous article, this essay talks about how to get started building a remote team. Several costly mistakes can be overcome as there is a learning curve involved in both building and more importantly managing a remote team.

First Round – The 10 Year Project First Round Capital is a top tier seed stage venture firm. They have invested in some of the most successful enterprises including Uber, Square and Warby Parker. This is a round up of the 10 major lessons they have learned in the 10 years they have been investing. Several interesting lessons and some that will most definitely surprise you.

A Slide by Slide Guide to a Killer Investor Pitch Pitching to investors is a key part about being an entrepreneur. This article walks through the core components of the deck. One thing that I would like to see added to this would be the story behind why are you doing what you do. This is critical, especially for early stage startups. The key thing that investors are looking for is whether the founder(s) have the perseverance and passion to see things through to the end.

How to Prepare Yourself to Be a Great CEO Starting a company is easy, becoming a great CEO is a completely different ball game. Jason Lemkin is a very successful startup founder and in this article he shares the 5 things that you need to do to improve your abilities as a CEO.

Applying to Startup Jobs The days of sending your resume with a cover letter are over. This strategy doesn’t work very well for large companies and fails completely at startups. The primary goal is to be able to stand out among the sea of applicants. This is a comprehensive guide to greatly improve your chances of getting hired not only by a startup but most other companies as well.

Wishing everyone a great week ahead!