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The process of building out an effective scorecard may seem intimidating, but just think of it as helping you to imagine your ideal candidate!

Clearly defining attributes for a successful candidate helps to create a structured hiring process, alleviate bias, and keep the team on the same page. While are many ways you can approach building a scorecard for a new role, we've collected some best practices for you to consider below:

Best practices

Step 1: Have a job kickoff meeting

When you determine the need for a new role, schedule a job kickoff meeting, which will help set up the search successfully from the start. During this meeting, collaborate with the whole hiring team to define what short-term (90-day) and long-term (365-day) success looks like in this role. You can also begin to draft the required skills, traits, and qualifications to be successful.

Once you have defined what success looks like as a team, it's easier to work backward from the objectives and nail down the traits and experiences that will be required to reach these goals.

You can read more about using the job kickoff process on Greenhouse Recruiting here: Job kickoff form overview.

Step 2: Determine the job's scorecard attributes

Use the 90-day and 365-day definitions of success for the role to define testable attributes.

What attributes will effectively evaluate if the candidate will be able to execute the responsibilities of the role? For instance, if the role entails managing a team of salespeople, the corresponding attribute on the scorecard would fit under the skills category as: "Proven success managing a team of multiple salespeople."

You can read more about scorecard attributes here: Scorecard overview.

Step 3: Set up scorecard focus attributes

Picking focus attributes on your scorecard will help you make sure that every single attribute is focused on at some point in the interview process. A well-thought-out scorecard is also essential to the structured interviewing process, which ensures that all candidates are measured against the same criteria throughout, ultimately reducing bias.

Here is some key advice to keep in mind about scorecard focus attributes:

  • Be mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive. Make sure the attributes you pick don't overlap with each other but come together to create a complete picture of the person you're trying to hire. You may have an attribute that can fit into multiple categories--just pick one and stay consistent!
  • Be realistic. Only include attributes that someone would truly need to be successful in the role. If you've gone beyond those necessary skills and traits, you're probably describing a unicorn!
  • Keep it brief. You shouldn't have more than 6-12 attributes per category. The more attributes you have, the more interviews you will need to cover them! Scorecard attributes provide a framework for the interview plan. Remember, the more things you add to the list, the more interviews you'll need to assess each candidate.
  • Make it a work in progress. Don't worry about making it perfect immediately. You can always iterate later once you've met a few candidates.

You can read more about focus attributes here: Scorecard focus attributes.