Scorecards in recruiting

That's why they are indispensable

A successful recruiting process looks something like this: A good number of applications come in and, among them, you find the perfect candidate. The new employee is happy with their tasks, the team is happy with the match professionally and on a human level, and the company management is happy because the recruiting process didn’t consume too much time and resources (e.g., due to miscasting). 


Wondering how to achieve this not just sometimes, but with nice regularity? We have a suggestion for you: scorecards. Find out what scorecards are and why they help you structure the recruiting process.

What are scorecards and why are they useful?

When you hear the term "scorecard," you might think about the famous quartet card game, where players guess car or railway models based on the matching information on each card. The concept is actually quite similar. Like the card game, scorecards list all kinds of information about a specific role that needs to be filled in a company or the recruiting process in general. 

Among other things, you will find all the characteristics and skills that future employees must have to be a good match for the new role. We'll come back to what those other things are in a moment. But first: Why all the fuss? Won’t the good old job description do? The answer is simple: No. Because scorecards not only sharpen your eye for suitable matches to jobs; they make you better at your job overall because they help you structure yourself. 

Don’t worry, use Scorecards

Recruiting processes are now more complex than ever. There is a huge job market for talent, with organizations competing more than ever to fill key positions. These days, if you’re good in an in-demand field, you don't even need to write an application. Companies will write to you with offers – and you'll get them faster than anyone could type the word "apply." If you want to recruit talent before another company does, you need to know exactly what you're looking for. After all, you don't have much time.

In a successful recruiting process, several stakeholders must be actively involved. It’s not just you who decides which characteristics, skills, and potential a talent must have for a particular position. You need input from your specialist team – or more precisely: the future manager. But beware of this common saying: Too many cooks spoil the broth. In this case, too many stakeholders will spoil the recruiting process – unless they can pull together and coordinate. This is where scorecards come into play. You can use them to define – in coordination with your team – exactly who is wanted for which position and how the recruiting process will proceed.

Scorecards therefore ensure that hiring is clearly structured. Everyone knows what they have to do and when. A nice side effect is that such a process can boost the company’s external image because candidates experience an effective and pleasant application process even if not hired. 

What's on a scorecard?

It's time to lift the curtain: What does a scorecard look like? Think of it a bit like a well-written recipe (many cooks, the broth... you know). If everyone contributes their knowledge to the recipe and everyone follows the procedure, the result can only be excellent.

On a scorecard, you will find, among other things, all the formalities related to a specific job,such as job title, hours, or salary range. The central issue is also defined here: Which internal problems will the future employee be able to solve? And, of course, which qualities, skills and potential does a person need to fit the position?

In addition to all the information on professional suitability, the scorecard also contains requirements for the person as a whole. A definition of the “cultural add” should therefore not be missing from a scorecard. A position should always be filled with the team in mind: Does the talent enrich the team through their cultural added value? For example, through special skills, personality, or their background? Diversity enriches a team more than homogeneity. Keep in mind: The perfect candidate that will help the team grow is not always the candidate the team initially wants.

Another important point on a scorecard, as already mentioned, is the precise description of the recruiting process procedures

Cool, can I download a scorecard somewhere?

Valid question. Of course, there are templates. However, scorecards are as unique as companies are unique.The input here comes from the future manager. The people team acts as a sounding board for them and is in charge of the entire process.

Once the scorecard has been created, the information it contains is used to draw up the job ad and define the recruiting process. Positions have different requirements for talent, which is why each process is different This is described in detail on the scorecard, so that everyone knows at all times how to proceed. 

Another advantage: In the best case, not only one talent is interviewed for a position in your company, but several. The structure that a scorecard enables counteracts bias, because it ensures that all candidates are asked the same questions and challenges. This not only ensures fairness, but the objective comparability of the candidates.

When who works with a scorecard
Definition of the position to be filledHiring manager (usually the future manager) and the recruiting team hold a briefing on this. The input for the position to be filled comes from the hiring manager.
Recruiting processThe scorecard is used as the basis for the recruiting process by the people team and as a guide by all stakeholders.
OnboardingThe scorecard is also used as the basis and guideline for the onboarding process: by the people team as well as the manager.
Evaluation after the probation periodWhat has the talent achieved during and after their probationary period? The scorecard also has space for this and offers the recruiting team a good opportunity to evaluate the candidate (after hiring and after the probationary period).
Possible uses of a scorecard

Scorecards: Are there pitfalls?

Of course, scorecards can also be used incorrectly. Mainly when they are not formulated precisely and cause more confusion than they give clarity. For example: On a scorecard, it is defined for the process that the candidates should have good experience. This is a nice goal, but it can end in confusion because each stakeholder may define "good experience" differently. In the worst case, a talent can then experience that everyone in your company has a different understanding of how things are done. 

Scorecards must therefore contain definitions that are as precise as possibleand serve as a compass for everyone. Another pitfall: The requirements for the position are wonderfully defined but are unrealistic. Therefore, it is important that the information comes from the business team and not from the people team or other stakeholders. 

Ultimately, there must be alignment among all stakeholders regarding the scorecard that is created. If there is no agreement on the content, the best scorecard cannot work. Therefore, there should be a handover meeting with all stakeholders. 

Scorecards are not rigid but dynamic. They are not always the same. That's why the same scorecard should not be used again to refill the position at a later point. Instead, it should be newly created or at least revised. Leading questions should be: Have there been any important changes in the meantime? Are there new competencies on the team? If so, which competencies should the new person have? Why does the position need to be refilled? Did the previous talent not fit after all, or did they have different expectations for the position? Critically examining such questions is a must for the storecard to become even more precise in communication.

Scorecards are a benefit for the whole company

It’s easy to see: Scorecards do so much more than car or railway quartet cards. They give structure to all parties involved and help reduce one's own bias. They ensure that (unconscious) prejudices or personal sympathies (or the opposite) have no place in the recruiting process. The clarity they give the process internally is extremely important and is also perceived externally as very professional.

Yes, it takes a little effort to create scorecards. But they help avoid expensive (!) recruiting mistakes and save a lot of time at the end of the process. In addition, they provide a great opportunity to evaluate the recruiting process. And only those who evaluate can become better.


Basis and guide: Scorecards are documents that contain all the information for positions to be filled in a company. They serve as a guide in the recruiting process.

Comprehensive info: The information on a scorecard includes not only the requirements for the candidates, but also a clear definition of the respective recruiting and onboarding process.

Structure and clarity: Scorecards help structure and evaluate the recruiting process and avoid recruiting mistakes.



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