The 3 Components of a Successful Hiring Scorecard

Learn how to evaluate potential candidates using a hiring scorecard in order to hire the best person for the job

What do you focus on while attempting to hire a new employee for your multiplatform publishing team? What tools do you have at your disposal for the process? These considerations comprise your hiring scorecard.

Last week, I talked about questions you should ask when hiring an audience development specialist. However, for most positions, hiring managers would cite a resume as the main point of reference for hiring new employees.

Resumes, however, can be quite misleading, and need to be fairly examined. According to CareerBuilder, 58% of hiring managers said they’ve caught a lie on a resume, and the most common lies people tell on their resumes are:

  • Embellished skill set – 57%
  • Embellished responsibilities – 55%
  • Dates of employment – 42%


If you’re hiring a writer, editor, or content marketer, ask them to omit their resume and replace it with a cover letter that tells the story of their careers up until that point. One content marketing company we know has found huge success in finding their best writers this way.

Instead of sifting through resumes and cookie cutter cover letters, writers are forced to show you their voice right away, and if they can sell you in that cover letter, then they can sell your customer on your products. In fact, writers enjoy this type of application process, we’ve been told, and often respond with comments like, “Thanks – this was fun!”

For hiring managers, it’s important to have focus in the hiring process while being critical of candidates’ resumes and/or cover letters. Creating a hiring scorecard helps establish a target and gives you a better chance of finding the right person for your organization.

Three parts of a hiring scorecard

Hiring Scorecard Part #1 – Mission

What is the core purpose of the position you’re looking to fill? When it comes to the scorecard, the mission is the executive summary of this core purpose. To solidify the mission to yourself and others, determine how you can explain this role to someone in no more than five sentences.

Hiring Scorecard Part #2 – Outcomes

What needs to be achieved in this position? What needs to be accomplished in this position to be successful? To properly describe the outcomes, write down at least three core responsibilities that need to be fulfilled within this position.

To find the right candidate, you will need to know and vocalize what success looks like for this role. Describing any pertinent metrics that will properly show success will help everybody realize the position and how it’s being measured.

These metrics can be expressed in a number, percentage or dollar amount, depending on the type of position.

Hiring Scorecard Part #3 – Competencies

How do you want an ideal employee to act? The competencies of a position describe how you expect a person to act within your organization. These actions will allow the candidate to fulfill the mission and achieve the desired outcomes. These competencies include behaviors, skills, and values that precisely match the position.

In order to define these, ask yourself two questions: “What behaviors or skills are most important for a person to become successful in this role?” and “What are the cultural competencies within our company that all of our employees must have?”

The difference between a job description and a scorecard

Hiring managers that use the A Method prefer to use scorecards rather than job descriptions because they are more comprehensive.

A hiring scorecard helps divulge detailed information. For instance, let’s imagine you are hiring for a public relations professional. As a job description might not yield more than “experienced with creating professional press campaigns,” a scorecard will dive deeper and persuade you to not hire someone unless there are specifics. A candidate who could substantiate the claim would be more desirable.

In the above example, a scorecard would help find a candidate that may say something like, “65% percent of past PR campaigns experienced press release visibility on page-one in Google News.” That’s an answer that you’d like to hear.

This article was originally published in 2011 and has been updated.


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