How to implement structured hiring

Three women gathered around a desk

2 mins, 32 secs read time

Steps #2 and #3—defining your scorecard and planning your interview

In last week’s post, I introduced the first step in carrying out the structured hiring approach: doing a role kick-off meeting with your hiring manager.

Now, on to steps #2 & #3 – defining your desired candidate attributes and designing a structured interview process that screens for these attributes. These two activities are typically done in tandem, so that’s why I’m combining them here.

2. Define your desired candidate attributes

Reference the kick-off work you did with your hiring manager to decide on the scorecard: a list of the skills, traits, and qualifications someone will need to have in order to be successful in the role. These attributes are what the interview process will be designed to test and verify for each candidate. Having the scorecard to reference throughout the interview ensures that you’re keeping the discussion on track and getting a complete view and impression of the candidate.

That said, here are the two scorecard criteria you should focus on:

  • Be mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive. This means that the attributes you pick shouldn’t overlap with each other but instead come together to create a pretty complete picture of the person you’re trying to hire. (Click here to view our interactive scorecard template).

  • Stick to the “need to haves.” If you’re including a “nice to have,” make sure to label it as such to keep things clear for interviewers when it comes time to make a hiring decision. Don’t make interviewers guess which attributes are the most crucial versus which aren’t. This could negatively impact the conversation by steering it in the wrong direction.

3. Design a structured interview process that screens for core attributes

There are four goals of interview planning: uncovering candidates’ relevant experiences and capabilities, measuring candidates against the same framework, delivering a consistent candidate experience that reveals what they can expect in the role, and getting participation by the right internal stakeholders.

Your basic interview plan should answer these questions:

  • What are we testing for? What is the suite of skills, traits, and attributes that will make someone successful in the role?

  • When should we test it? Design an interview process that’s complete, yet operationally efficient. In early interviews, screen for deal-breakers that are easy to “check the box on” and key but easy skills you can test for in a take-home exercise. In later interviews, test for things that require speaking to someone in person to understand fully.

  • Who should test it? Think about who the key stakeholders for this hire are and who is great at the skills or traits you’re assessing.

Now that you know how to populate your scorecard with key attributes and design an interview process that screens for them, you can start to carry the process out and set your hiring team up for success.

To get access to all 6 steps of structured hiring in one place, be sure to download our handy guide, Structured Hiring 101.

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Lauren Ryan

Lauren Ryan

is the Head of People Planning & Products at Stripe, and former VP of New Products at Greenhouse. She's a strategic leader with a passion for solving complex business challenges and translating them into action.