Job Scorecards: An Easy Onboarding and Development Plan for New Hires

We’ve been hearing about the Great Resignation for a while now, so we want to focus on topics relating to why people quit, how to keep them, and how to hire great people when you do have to replace folks. We’re collecting them on our Attracting, Hiring, and Keeping Great People resources page.

By Rebecca Young and Manuel Perez Gomez

June 28, 2022

Job seekers find job descriptions uninspiring. This is because most of them are generic, boring to read, and only focus on the required skills and ideal personality traits—being organized, collaborative, accountable—, not on the specific outcomes that can be achieved in that role. Job scorecards, on the other hand, inform from the get-go what outcomes are expected and what skills are needed to accomplish the goals of the new job. Scorecards guide interviewers to focus on key skills they need to evaluate when talking with a candidate.

Scorecards help interviewers to remain focused on what matters for the job—what needs to get done in the next 3, 6, or 12 months. Plus, these templates encourage interviewers to add notes and comments about the candidates’ experiences, interests, motivations, career expectations, and even personalities. Then the interviewers can compare their impressions, confirm if someone’s a good fit for the position, and feel more confident when making the hiring decision.

For more information on the benefits of scorecards over job descriptions and how to build them, access these resources here:


Next step: use those job scorecards as a part of your onboarding process. Yep, your onboarding efforts have just gotten a lot easier.

Use scorecards as the resource for your new hire onboarding and development plan

  • You built the initial scorecard for the job, which is a list of the key skills and outcomes you expect a new person can accomplish as they adapt and grow into their roles.
  • You agreed on the abilities and milestones that would make for a great hire with the various stakeholders. 
  • The interviewers used the scorecards to review candidates and write down every piece of information they considered relevant. 
  • The next step is to gather the completed scorecards from all those that interviewed the person, review all the info, and note patterns.

Now you have all the information you need to create both an onboarding guide and a development plan for the new hire.

Imagine you’re starting a new job. Wouldn’t you feel more confident and motivated if you had clarity on what you need to accomplish to get a positive 3-month or 6-month review? It is a relatively easy process because you have had several interviewers evaluate the strengths and potential growth areas of the new hire. The information can be pulled from the completed scorecards and compiled. Or in a highly transparent organization, the scorecards can be given directly to the new hire. The comments from the scorecard become the first feedback session for the new hire. They can see the impressions by the interviewers on the various skills listed on the scorecard. Plus, with the listed goals of the role noted by period (2 weeks, 2 months, 6 months, year), a learning/success plan is defined for the new hire to achieve. Here is an example of a Software Developer Scorecard with a development plan on page 3.

Here’s a perspective of a recently new hire at a seismic engineering firm. The candidate shared at his six performance month review that it was easier to focus on what he needed to learn first because of the job score scorecard outline of expectations by month:

“It was easy to see what was important to accomplish in each time period. It helped me focus my work efforts, ask questions of my manager that mattered, and do self training. As a result, my review was really positive, and it increased my confidence that I had made the right decision to join this company. Additionally, like everyone, I wanted to do well at everything right away, and the scorecard outline was a good guide. It helped me gauge what was appropriate to know and do in key areas of my job instead of trying to learn everything at once, which is unrealistic and impractical. The comments by interviewers on the scorecard were also helpful—sort of like feedback about what I conveyed clearly in the interview and what I might have missed.”

Scorecards note the outcomes the job requires and are a roadmap to how they can be achieved. They note gaps as well as strengths from interviewers that are skilled in the function. And by reviewing multiple completed scorecards with the new hire, you’ll also have the opportunity to ask their perspective on what they feel needs to be accomplished or where they need additional support to do their job well.

When used well, job scorecards act as a guide and enable people to become high performers. And this turns the scorecards into a roadmap for everyone’s success—for the new hires, for the interviewers, and for the organization.

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