Credit: Wikipedia Commons

For those of you who have not watched HBO’s wildly popular series Game of Thrones, the concept is pretty simple. Basically, the king of the imaginary Seven Kingdoms has died, and now at least five people have laid stake to the throne.

What happens next is a tale of murder, strategizing, imps, Hodor, magic, dragons and revenge. Sunday was the show’s Season Four premier, and, as of now, the inbred sadistic teenager Joffrey whose hobbies include torturing his former bride-to-be and beheading is king.

Clearly, that’s a flawed hiring process, one that rewards brute force and a lack of conscience over, you know, being a good king. Meanwhile, the focus of the land should really be on the White Walkers – basically zombies – attacking from the north.

Now most organizations do not have red witches and explosive wildfire deciding who shall be an executive or the next director of sales or CEO, yet the path to the top is often littered with bodies, at least in the metaphorical sense. That ultimately hurts organizations as the focus of talented employees changes from what’s best for the organization, i.e. protecting itself from the White Walkers, to gaining power, i.e. becoming king.

Instead, the goal of any organization should be to create a meritocracy, a system to both hire and promote employees based on who truly is the best for the position. In a meritocracy, the best way to move up is to excel, which helps everybody. But how do you go about creating a system like that?

Well, here are four steps to follow:

1. Never Have A Candidate Pool Of One

We understand, you may have someone in mind for a certain job promotion. But is that really the best solution? Instead, we encourage any company to advertise all positions, just to see the talent it attracts. Having this as a set policy removes biases, at least to some degree, and increases competition.

2. Screen Candidates Using An Objective System

A system like VoiceGlance that allows you to quickly screen candidates is a perfect way to objectively hire and promote within your company. By using a system like that all the time, again the focus is on the merits of an employee instead of the political alliances they have made, as an example.

3. Make It A Point To Consider All Candidates

The minute you start ruling out people immediately for any reason, you begin to create the Game of Thrones culture. By using a system like VoiceGlance, as an example, that allows you to hide candidate names and deafen their audio, you can focus solely on the content of their answers and how they’d fit into a certain position.

4. Follow The First Three Rules All The Time

There is going to be a temptation to forgo these rules for certain positions. However, once you do that, you’ll quickly create a culture where people believe politics trump performance. By following it and truly giving all candidates a shot, the focus will be on what employees do, not how they do it.