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Using the Hiring Scorecard to Win Talent

Using the Hiring Scorecard to Win Talent

A mere three years ago, developing a hiring scorecard was all the rage in HR. So much so in fact, that you may be shaking your head reading the title of this post, but in reality, there’s a reason that developing a solid hiring scorecard was inescapable. Put simply, it’s the foundation for successful hiring. What I like about it (and what I think contributed to the phrase’s publicity) is that it was one of the first movements challenging HR to view hiring in a different light. Additionally, it forced HR to adopt employment methods that were driven by the strategy of the organization’s goals versus simply to “fill an empty seat” in the company.

Jobs and the expectations we attach to them evolve over time.

Another reason I think it’s time for a hiring scorecard resurrection is that jobs and the expectations we attach to them evolve over time because companies change over time as well. It’s not as if you can simply create a hiring scorecard for a position and then assume those expectations for that position will carry you for the next ten or even five years because that line of thinking is the same reason the hiring scorecard craze developed in the first place.

Lastly, if you’ve struggled with any aspect of your hiring – whether it’s finding the right people, hiring the right people, or keeping the right people around, then the hiring scorecard forces you to reevaluate your process and provides a conduit for change.

Now that we’ve spent some time easing you back into hiring scorecard territory, let’s discuss the three steps associated with how to build one. These are the key components outlined in the brilliant book Who – written by Geoff Smart and Randy Street.

Hiring Scorecard Step #1 – Build a Solid Mission Statement

First, let’s get something straight, when I write “mission statement,” I’m not referring to the ephemeral laminated poster you have hanging up in the break room with “MISSION” plastered all over it. You know, that one that everyone stares at blankly wondering what the heck it means and how it pertains to them. I’m referring to a mission statement that is specific to your hiring scorecard and outlines the main purpose or overall goal of the position you’re hiring for.

So, let’s say you’re hiring a VP of Sales – think about what your company needs out of that individual and make it as clear/specific as possible. A good example would be “Looking for a VP of Sales to triple our revenue over a five-year period through signing contracts and building relationships with our non-profit niches.” Not only does this provide applicants with a very thorough and specific idea of what they can expect in that position, but it gives you a reference point when you’re interviewing potential employees. In the interview, you simply refer to your hiring scorecard’s mission, and ask your interviewee whether or not he/she was ever tasked with tripling revenue and how the individual approached it.

Hiring Scorecard Step #2 – Create Clearly Defined Outcomes

The goal with any hiring scorecard is to attract star potential employees, so keep that in mind when you’re outlining your outcomes for the position. Ideally, your outcomes should include what you expect of the individual in that position (in very specific terms) and they should involve high, but attainable goals since you’re wanting to attract that key player (and weed out applicants that would be a poor fit). Use this section of your hiring scorecard to elaborate on your mission statement in more specific terms. So, based on the sample mission discussed earlier, you’d want to include a breakdown of what tripling revenue looks like in exact terms (using specific figures) and also include a projected statistic about how many possible non-profit contracts he/she would have to sign in order to achieve their revenue goal.

The goal with any hiring scorecard is to attract star potential employees.

One way to implement these objectives into your hiring process, so you can help filter down your applicant pool and only interview candidates that have the potential to meet the outcomes described in your hiring scorecard is to create targeting screening questions included in the application. You can either set up these questions and the answers selected by your applicants as rating questions that assign a number to each applicant which will categorize your pool and help you interview individuals that meet a certain rating and above, or you can set up disqualifying questions that will automatically eliminate an applicant based on their response to a specific outcome question. Most hiring software has this feature built in, so take advantage of this step to make your HR life a lot easier come interview time.

Hiring Scorecard Step #3 – Build a List of Competencies

If your mission is the overall takeaway from your hiring scorecard and your outcome list is the “what” your applicant will have to accomplish in the position, then the competency outline is the “how” of your hiring scorecard ensuring that he/she fulfills the demands of his/her role the way you want.

In a nutshell, the competencies of your hiring scorecard is based on the behavior of your applicant. How do you want this person to behave from an ethical standpoint? What does your company value in this regard? While there are a handful of methods for achieving this goal, the most reliable and fruitful approach is to have your top applicants take a behavioral assessment before they’re hired. Choosing a test can be a little overwhelming, but a good starting point is to choose a top performer in that current position or a similar position and then create a benchmark for that individual so you can compare your applicants to your high achieving employee. Remember that your hires are an investment, and they can drain you (and your organization) of valuable resources, so skipping this step has the potential to undo all of the hiring scorecard work you’ve invested up to this point. Don’t let the initial assessment investment scare you away because it’s a great way to insure your future employee.

Want a free hiring scorecard that exemplifies your corporate culture and checks all of your HR boxes? Give one of our hiring consultants a call to get started, today!

Want a free hiring scorecard that exemplifies your corporate culture and checks all of your HR boxes? Give one of our hiring consultants a call to get started, today!