Using Interview Scorecards to Improve Hiring

When talent is competing, having an unbiased scoring system and structured interview process is essential. Interview scrorecards can help.

Is your hiring process objective and well documented? Does the information captured during interviews lack the structure and organization needed to make sound interviewing decisions effectively? If you’ve answered no to either or both statements, or are just unsure, it’s time to give interview scorecards some serious consideration.

What are Interview Scorecards?

An interview scorecard, candidate scorecard, or hiring rubric, allows interviewers to score a job applicant’s interview in a way that is consistent for all applicants under consideration and compare candidates fairly.

Scorecards are used to improve hiring across a company or within single department by providing evidence of an objective and well-documented interviewing process. They also serve as a tool for organizing candidate interviewing data and reporting.

Candidate scorecard information is often shared between staffing firms and their business clients to identify possible discrepancies, which may warrant further exploration before a candidate can move forward in the process or, an offer is extended.


Why Interview Scorecards are Used:

Candidate Scorecards Help Determine Job Requirements

Hiring managers usually have an idea of what they’re seeking in an “ideal” candidate, but translating that into specific requirements that can be a challenge. For example, stating you want a “rockstar” Data Scientist is too vague. Reworking that job requisite to state, “Hiring a Data Scientist with 3 to 6 years of combined working experience on the job or doing project-based who knows Python, R, Keras, Tableau, & Jupyter Notebook like the back of their hand,” is a lot more specific.

Scorecards are important in not only determining the specific job requirements sought by the hiring manager but also what requirements are must-haves. Let’s revisit the Data Scientist requirement. Without having a scorecard, interviewers may end up assessing the candidate on things that aren’t necessary, say for example, being extroverted–which isn’t a job-related must-have requirement that’s listed.

Score Sheets Keep Candidate Interview Information Organized

With interview scorecards, you’re able to keep candidate information organized and separate from each other allowing all candidates to be assessed on job criteria individually. This is especially important for hiring managers who are responsible for interviewing and hiring a larger volume of talent (including temporary staff) where it can become difficult for all the interviewers involved to keep track of which candidate said what.

The hiring manager may be put in a position to make a decision based on an overall impression of a candidate that could be biased and thus more difficult to prove if documentation doesn’t exist to justify otherwise. Furthermore, if a candidate’s interview information isn’t kept organized this can result in delays in the interviewing and hiring process–potentially costing you a great hire.

Interview Score Sheets Keep Interviews Fair & Structured

With scorecards, interviewers can ask the same questions of all the candidates being considered and score their answers in a consistent fashion, keeping things fair for applicants. In interviews that are unstructured, scoring systems and the questions asked can depend on the interviewers’ biases or other factors–some interview sessions may last only 15 minutes or less, whereas others run for over an hour. This practice alone can be viewed as unfair and lead to unsound hiring decisions.

Structured interviews are less likely to go off-track with interview score sheets as they keep the interviewer on track and focused, since there are a set number of questions to ask and score. And any notes taken on score sheets will help interviewers recall only job-relevant information regarding a candidate.


Hiring Rubrics Can Help Prevent Litigation

Having an objective and structured interviewing process and documenting this information will greatly reduce your risk of litigation if a candidate were to try to sue your company if they didn’t get selected to advance in the process, or receive an offer. It’s simply not enough to hope a candidate will let it slide if a hiring error was made.

A hiring rubric can show that the candidate was given fair and equal consideration and the decision not to move forward with them was made objectively and not based on a status or trait that’s federally discriminatory. Without a hiring rubric, a business may find it difficult to explain why certain candidates advanced and received offers while others did not. Documentation matters. Scorecards provide it.


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