Step 2 in Transforming Your Hiring Method: The Scorecard & Core Values Integration
The key to growing any business is having the right people in place to execute a founder’s vision. An essential part of this is the hiring process, which finds the specific individuals who have the requisite skills and experience to bring that vision to life, while also integrating well into the company culture. This article details Lawline’s second step in transforming our hiring method, which involved embracing the Scorecard and integrating Core Values into our hiring and onboarding processes.
Embracing the Scorecard
One of the most significant drivers in improving Lawline’s hiring process was the adoption of the Job Scorecards. Scorecards are created for all positions, and are used by managers for two primary purposes. The first is to determine how to find the right candidate for an open position, and the second is to ascertain how to evaluate an employee’s performance in said position once the right candidate has been hired.
A good Job Scorecard lists a position’s mission, outcomes, key performance indicators (KPIs), and key competencies. In the past, the only resource we relied upon to evaluate the right candidate was a job description. However, that alone does not provide enough support to tell us how successful an individual will be when they join our team. The Scorecard has specific metrics that we can evaluate during an interview. As part of our transformation, we followed the recommendation by Geoff Smart and Randy Street in Who: The A Method for Hiring to start with the Scorecard before even drafting the job description.
Our success in using Scorecards stems from commencing with the mission of the position and spending significant time brainstorming how the position would add value to the entire company, rather than focusing on the day-to-day responsibilities of the role. Then, to find the outcomes, we determine what 3-5 goals would allow an individual to fulfill that mission. Following that step, we create the competencies by thinking about the personality traits and skills an individual would need in order to achieve these outcomes.
This new process of interviewing candidates and deciding whether or not to hire based on their ability to achieve the outcomes of the position was hugely successful, but it still felt like something was missing. With the help of our Executive Coach (and author), Mark Green of The Performance Dynamics Group, we discovered that the last key to our fulfillment with using the Scorecards would be adding Lawline’s Core Values to the competencies listed in each Job Scorecard, and interviewing for compatibility with those values.
The following is an example of a Scorecard that we created for a Web Developer position, which includes all of our Core Values under the Key Competencies section.
Integrating Core Values Into Hiring & Onboarding
Core Values are the handful of rules defining your culture, which are reinforced through your Human Resources processes aka “people systems” on a daily basis. When we made Core Values an essential part of our hiring process, it significantly affected whether an individual would succeed at Lawline. The question was no longer just whether the candidate had the requisite skills and background to fulfill the mission and outcomes on the scorecard, but how they would also integrate into our culture. For instance, during our current interview process, we now ask for examples of successes and lessons learned from previous positions as those experiences relate to our 5 Core Values (Care, Grow, Act, Play, and Create). We also schedule lunch or coffee meetings to observe how applicants embrace our core values in real world situations. Moreover, this provides an opportunity to have more team members involved in the vetting process and the determination of the Core Value fit.
To give an example of the importance of adding Core Values to our hiring process, we recently interviewed a candidate who had the exact skills and experience required for a position we urgently needed to fill, but didn’t espouse two of our Core Values. The key to a successful hire is not that the prospective team member embrace some of our Core Values, but rather all of them. It was a challenge to say no to this candidate because we had no other candidates lined up in our pipeline, and members of our staff were burdened with handling the responsibilities of the open position. Before we embraced our current WHO Process, we would have hired this qualified candidate because we needed someone who could start executing right away. However, within 6 months to 1 year of that new hire working on our team, it would have become clear that the individual and our company were not the right fit for each other. Thus, in this example, once we asked the question, “Are We Thrilled to Hire This Person?” (introduced in the first article in this series) and discovered that our answer was “no” because of the two missing Core Values, we knew that we had to start the process over again from scratch. This was an extremely difficult decision to make, but within the next week we found a candidate who we could say YES to for every Scorecard and Core Value question, and felt confident extending a hire two weeks later.
During the first week of onboarding once a new employee has joined the Lawline team, CEO, David Schnurman, gives a presentation on each of our Core Values; why we chose each one and how we define and use them. The success of this onboarding integration was reinforced when recently, a new hire gave a presentation on what she had learned during her first week. She highlighted our Core Values by giving an example of an employee who had exhibited each one during the onboarding process. We knew that by being able to identify examples of the values being used by fellow team members, she would be able to embrace these values herself right away, and become a strong addition to our culture.
Presently, we have employees who are staying at the company year after year, and growing within and outside of their roles. Our employee turnover rate is lower than it has ever been. Specifically, since we have been hiring and retaining the right ‘A’ players, Executive Team members have been able to delegate more high level management responsibilities, and in turn, devote more focus to strategic business goals. As a result of using Scorecards and integrating our Core Values into the hiring and onboarding processes, our team is more successful in executing initiatives and growing our revenues, which have never been higher. In a future article, I will share Step 3 in Transforming Your Hiring Method: The Power of Google Docs.
To learn more about Lawline’s experience in transforming its hiring process, watch VP of Business Operations, Michele Richman’s interview with Julia Pimsleur as part of Julia’s Million Dollar Women’s Master Class, in which she teaches female entrepreneurs how to create a strategic plan to get to $1M in revenue faster, and how to increase sales via more effective marketing, outsourcing and planning, among other important business lessons.