Allison Rogovin

Allison Rogovin

Founder, Rogovin Consulting

How to Use a Scorecard When Hiring 

As a startup, do you ever feel like you are
  • constantly hiring because of high turnover,
  • taking too long to fill openings,
  • spending lots of time interviewing—with little confidence you’re choosing the right candidates,
  • disagreeing about finalists due to lack of clear criteria,
  • settling for less-than-ideal candidates out of desperation, or
  • getting caught in exhausting cycles of managing those low performers?

You are in good company.  Most organizations do just enough thinking about their open roles to get a job description together, and then they make hiring decisions based on gut feelings. But, there is a better way.

The best place to start when you’re hiring is to write a scorecard for your open role. A scorecard has three sections:

  1. Mission: What is the mission of this role, in two to three sentences, with no jargon? If you can’t boil down the essence of a job in this way, you don’t have the clarity to need to start hiring. Ask yourself: what would be true a year from now if I had the exact right person in this role? That’s your mission.
  2. Outcomes: What are the six to eight most important goals that this person must accomplish in the next 12 months? This should not be a laundry list of responsibilities. Save those for the job description. 
  3. Competencies: What are the four most important competencies or skills that the person in this role should possess? The last one should always be your organization’s core values.

Once you have a draft of the scorecard, it’s time to shop it around to others to get input and alignment. Include your manager, others on your team who will work with your new hire, and any other stakeholders who will be involved in the interview process. Everyone needs to be on the same page about the job and whom you’re looking for before recruiting begins, not to mention interviewing. Getting alignment early saves time, money, and frustration down the line.

At each stage of your interview process, you will use the scorecard to rate each candidate on the competencies, providing evidence from your interviews to justify your ratings. In this way, you will both help to mitigate bias in hiring and be more likely to hire someone who will be successful in the role.

Scorecards are also useful in other ways. For example, you can share scorecard outcomes with candidates during the hiring process. It’s a great way to give candidates real clarity on what will be expected of them if they’re hired. Some of my clients even put scorecard outcomes in their job descriptions.

You can also use the scorecard during a new hire’s onboarding. There is no better way to be clear about what success looks like in the role, and this will ensure your new hire gets started right away with their most important priorities.

Lastly, the scorecard can also become the basis for monthly stepbacks with your new hire on progress to goals, quarterly feedback conversations, and yearly performance reviews.