What do successful hiring processes have in common? They use well-built scorecards to add objectivity to the talent selection process. A scorecard is a structured set of evaluation criteria; interviewers grade each candidate on their ability to perform key parts of the job. The investment of time and effort into building the scorecard is well worth it. When done right, it defines the key outcomes and competencies for the role.
Yet, the scorecard is usually discarded once a candidate has been selected and hired. Sure, it may be used again for future hires, but for a new employee, most companies stop measuring the attributes from the scorecard, even though they selected those attributes as the most important in the hiring decision.
Periodically evaluating a new employee's actual performance against the hiring scorecard provides many short-term and long-term benefits to improve team performance and hiring decisions. Some of these benefits include:
- Greater awareness of new employees on track to become top performers
- Visibility into new employees who have hit minor bumps so they get the necessary support to become top performers
- Early detection when hiring decisions are wrong to minimize associated costs and provide key data of what went wrong (e.g., the candidate profile, scorecard interview questions)
- Key information for candidates to know areas of strength and areas for improvement
- Allows the candidate to know areas they are performing strong and areas they can improve
It Starts with Your Job Description
You can make it easier to collect evaluations from stakeholders during the hiring process by creating standardized job descriptions based on competencies which candidates can be measured against.
Job descriptions are often seen as an afterthought or something for Human Resources (HR) to put together when a vacancy occurs. In actuality, job descriptions are an essential part of the hiring process. Writing an effective job description also forces hiring managers to consider what they want specifically from a role and the competencies required to fulfill that role.
Pairing these standardized job descriptions with structured interviews is the next step to ensuring the ability to generate useful feedback through evaluations during the hiring process. Structured interviews use questions based on the job description and associated competencies to evaluate candidates in a standardized, systematic order.
An interview scorecard can also be used to standardize the review process and gather evaluations in a cohesive way. The criteria can be used to evaluate all candidates with the same standards and provide a clear, objective method to do so. Without a scorecard, it’s easy for personal biases to slip into evaluations. It also makes comparing stakeholder evaluations more challenging as the evaluation structure will vary from person to person.
There are two other key places to solicit evaluations from stakeholders: the written solo debrief and the formal group debrief. After meeting with a candidate, stakeholders can collect their thoughts and initial impressions in a written format. This process helps reduce bias during the hiring process because interviewers can share their evaluations freely without the influence of other stakeholders interfering. A formal debrief allows stakeholders to collectively share their thoughts and align on next steps. This process works best when evaluations are shared, starting with the most junior candidate first. The most senior stakeholder should be the last to share their thoughts to avoid influencing other stakeholders.
Overall, a systematic hiring process generates systematic evaluations. The benefits can’t be overstated; using objective evaluations helps to mitigate biases and encourages more objective decision-making. This adds up to improved candidate selection and hiring results as organizations can ensure they choose candidates based on their proven ability to display competencies central to fulfilling the role.
Onboarding Sales Hires: Where Evaluations Fit In
Gathering evaluations is just as valuable during onboarding as it is during hiring. In many cases, the only feedback new hires receive during onboarding are checkmarks telling them they’ve completed training videos. If they're lucky, they may receive a more formalized evaluation from their hiring manager at the 90-day point. However, in many cases, 90 days, or even 60 days, is too late in the onboarding process to make significant changes.
Instead, feedback should be given systematically from the start and throughout those first crucial few months so employees have a chance to make changes and improvements. Systematic onboarding processes bring employees up to speed 50% faster than random processes.
It also gives hiring managers a chance to intervene and capitalize on strengths. In the case of a high-performing new hire, managers can look for ways to invest in the new hire and remove any internal barriers so that they can reach their full potential in the role. For employees who are performing at an average or suboptimal level, managers can pinpoint areas for improvement and discuss those areas with the new hire. Doing so saves organizations weeks or even months of getting them to where they need to be in their role.
There are also benefits of being systematic during the onboarding process for organizations in case of hires that just aren’t a good fit. Given that 46% of sales hires fail, a poor-performing sales hire has the potential to make a major negative impact on an organization in terms of opportunities, productivity, and revenue. By collecting regular evaluations, organizations can act faster and minimize the impact and opportunity costs associated with hiring the wrong candidate. Hiring managers will also have the documentation they need to share with HR and proof that the organization is following its prior precedence.
Systematic Evaluations Benefit the Organization Across the Board
Consistent, constructive feedback helps candidates and new hires alike feel valued, acknowledged, and appreciated. Systematic evaluations allow organizations to identify and address any areas for improvement or strengths to capitalize on, which may lead to greater employee engagement and retention rates. New hires and hiring managers can ensure they are in alignment when it comes to competencies, goals, and what it takes to achieve results in a given role. It also allows new hires to clarify expectations and ask for support. This reduces the learning curve and leads to greater productivity in the long run.
Systematic evaluations are also critical for organizations better to understand the performance of their hiring and onboarding processes. Chaotic, haphazard processes are difficult to replicate, let alone evaluate. Organizations with structured hiring and onboarding processes can more easily pinpoint which steps need to be adjusted and which are leading to the desired results.
At Yardstick, we can help you remove the chaos and confusion from the candidate evaluation and onboarding process. Based on decades of behavioral research, Yardstick’s Intelligent Talent Selection software is designed to help you optimize the interview process and improve the candidate experience. Our proprietary software will help you identify the ideal candidate for your critical sales roles based on your stakeholders’ systematic evaluations. To learn more about Yardstick, reach out to our team today.