The process of building out an effective scorecard may seem intimidating, but just think of it as helping you to zoom in on 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.

There are many ways you can approach building a scorecard for a new role--we will cover a process that has worked well for Greenhouse and many of our customers.


Step 1: Have a Kick-Off Meeting

When you determine the need for a new role, schedule a kick-off 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.
  • Define the required skills, traits, and qualifications to be successful.

Once you have defined what success looks like, it is easier to work backwards from the objectives and nail down the traits and experiences that will be required to reach these goals.


Step 2: Determine the 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 on 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 Skill Category as, “Proven success managing team of multiple sales people.”


Step 3: Set up Focus Attributes

Picking focus attributes 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.

Finally, here is some key advice to keep in mind:

  1. Be mutually exclusive, 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!

  2. 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!

  3. Keep it brief. You should not have more that 6-12 attributes per a 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.

  4. 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.