CE Talent Review Process

Please note: the talent review process is independent of the recurring Impact Review process (more here).


The talent review and calibration process is performed bi-annually (~April and ~October). Individuals who, at time of review, have been in their current band for a minimum of 4 quarters (1 year) will be considered for promotion. All ICs will be discussed and calibrated amongst the leadership team.


Prior to the calibration meeting (meeting with CE VP, Directors, and Managers of a relevant sub-team to determine promotions and calibrate around each level) each Manager should evaluate ICs reporting to them using the level descriptions from the career ladder in Lattice. For each, they will make the determination whether the IC is meeting/exceeding/struggling-to-meet the expectations of their given level. Managers should prepare a short statement to justify their determination, which they will share during the calibration meeting. If they believe the IC to be performing at a higher level, they should also ensure that the IC is meeting the expectations for that higher level, and be prepared to present evidence of such.

The pre-work that Managers do is greatly aided by previous Impact review cycles, but it is not the only input into this. Managers are expected to collect proof points from adjacent peer leaders to ensure broad alignment.

Because of the quarterly cadence, it’s important that this be as light-weight as possible. The pre-work should take a Manager less than an hour per IC if the individual is not up for promotion consideration. Where and individual is up for promotion consideration, the pre-work should not exceed more than 2 hours per IC.

Prior to the calibration meeting, Managers will review their evaluations and any promotion pitches with their immediate manager for broad alignment and further conversation, in advance, as necessary.

Calibration meeting

The calibration meeting includes all Managers, Directors, and VP within a team, plus an observer from People Ops for the purpose of reducing unconscious bias.

All ICs at a given level are reviewed together, starting with level 1 and going up to level 6. Every Manager with an IC at that level places their IC into one of these categories: struggling/meeting/exceeding expectations. Then, one at a time, each IC’s placement is explained by their Manager. (Note that in the interests of time, the group might decide to focus conversation on ICs who are under- or over-performing, especially given the async pre-work described above.) If they are being pitched for a promotion into this level, that is also shared along with justification and evidence. Other leaders may provide additional feedback/insight they might have, either to challenge or to further justify the IC’s placement. This is not adversarial: leaders are working together to best establish where each IC is, and to help prepare the Manager to provide meaningful feedback to the IC.

After all ICs of a particular level have been discussed, we move on to the next level. Again, for any IC being pitched for promotion into the current level being discussed, they are evaluated along with their prospective cohort. (This helps ensure the individual is performing similarly to those folks at that level. This is intended to ensure the individual is set up for success.) The process repeats for every level.

Following the Calibration meeting

Any qualitative feedback for an IC that came out of talent review is shared with them in their next one-on-one (if not sooner). If it is determined during the Calibration Meeting to either proceed with a promotion or an in-band compensation request, the Manager is responsible for following the processes below.

Promotion requests

Promotion requests are made immediately following the talent review calibration meeting by the Manager, and assumes leadership alignment and agreement on the decision. The promotion request is raised to PeopleOps following the process outlined here.

Considerations for promotion

Teammates are considered for promotion to a new level when their manager can make the case that they have had at least four quarters of high performance at their current level, and one quarter performing at the next level. We want to avoid situations where someone is promoted to a level in which they struggle to meet expectations.

Our career ladders describe performance expectations in 3 core competencies. It will be extremely rare for a customer engineer to be exactly at the same level in all of these categories. Since the levels describe the minimum expectations for each level, a customer engineer must meet the expectations for all categories before they can be considered for promotion.

Compensation increase requests

In-band compensation increases (while staying at the same level) are reviewed annually. That said, in recognition of a teammate exceeding expectations in their current level, an increase can be requested at any time with proper businesses justification.

Sourcegraph’s compensation change and approvals process follow this guidance. PeopleOps will confirm to the manager once the compensation increase has been processed and the manager can then proceed with communicating the increase to the teammate using the compensation increase confirmation template.

Considerations for increases

Recognizing that for individuals to grow into a level, fully demonstrate consistent proficiency of that level, and begin performing against the elevated expectations of the next level it takes time. As individuals advance and progress, in-band compensation increases are considered annually to reflect this. Because individual band levels have a range advancing between the 75th and 90th percentile of a range rewards positive achievement and impact between promotions. In addition to performance-based considerations, inflation and market data are also considerations for either individual changes or level-wide changes.