The “Sine Qua Non” of Great Hiring Decisions – The “Scorecard”


By | Evaluation ,Hiring Process ,News | July 16, 2014 | 0 comment

In “Good to Great”, Jim Collins puts an interesting spin on the old adage “It’s not WHAT you know but WHO you know” with his line “The most important decisions that business people make are not WHAT decisions but WHO decisions.”

The book “Who” by Randy Street and Geoff Smart (son of Dr. Brad Smart who wrote “Topgrading” more than a decade ago) cites research that claims that “the average hiring mistake costs fifteen times an employee’s base salary in hard costs and missed opportunities.”  The authors then lay out a clear road map to improve hiring decisions.

A key to successful hiring is to develop a detailed scorecard at the front end of the process.  The scorecard should include:

  • Mission – a simple, clear executive summary of the job’s core purpose
  • Outcomes – a few measurable outcomes (not activities) which “define the success of the mission”
  • Competencies – the character traits necessary to achieve the desired outcomes of the job in keeping with the culture of the organization

Thus, scorecards “translate your business plans into role-by-role outcomes, create alignment within your teams, unify your culture, and ensure your employees understand your expectations.”

So, what does a scorecard look like?  Here is what we use when looking for team members at Fulcrum Search Science Inc.

Mission:

  • Consultants will build a growing portfolio of clients who entrust their mission-critical searches to us because of our unique value proposition of search, assessment and process control.

Outcomes:

  • 12 successfully completed searches per year, 50% of which are repeat business, and 50% of which are new business
  • Zero instances of a client having to use our replacement guarantee

Competencies:

  • Personal integrity
  • Strong work ethic, routinely going the extra mile for clients
  • High EQ, with good discernment of character
  • Strong natural professional sales personality
  • Thorough, detail-oriented work style
  • Team player, contributing to the success of the team, thus building the brand of the firm

While not discussed in detail in the book, it is important to agree on a clear numeric scoring system with which to assess your candidates.  This involves determining what success or failure looks like for each of the components on your scorecard, and assigning a weighting factor to each.

“Who” goes on to describe the other fundamentals of hiring success, namely Sourcing, Selecting, and Selling, but it all begins with a good Scorecard.

Bruce McAlpine is President of Fulcrum Search Science Inc., a Toronto-based Executive Search Firm. To learn more, please contact him at 416.847.4989, or bruce.mcalpine@fulcrumsearchscience.com.

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