Tips for improving interview scorecard submission rate

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6 mins, 45 secs read time

Are you following all structured hiring best practices, like hosting a kickoff meeting with your hiring manager, aligning on the business objectives of the role and building an interview kit, but even after all this proactive work and close collaboration, still get low scorecard submission rates?

Most of us who work in talent acquisition have experienced this exact scenario. In this guidance article, we’ll address why scorecard submission rates might be low at your organization and how you can implement highly effective change management to increase scorecard completion by your hiring panels.

Why scorecard submission rates may be low

A lack of buy-in

Whether from a hiring manager or the wider organization, some of the most common objections to completing and submitting a scorecard are:

  • I’m busy
    People may feel they lack the bandwidth
  • I don’t understand why it’s important
    The time and participation required to complete a scorecard doesn’t seem equal to the benefit gained
  • It’s not my job
    The idea that scorecard submission falls outside of their purview
  • It’s too late now
    They forgot to submit and too much time has passed to make it seem worthwhile

Knowledge gaps

There may be inconsistencies in familiarity with the Greenhouse platform across the organization, resulting in gaps in how Greenhouse is being used. Some common alignment pains are:

  • Greenhouse isn’t your single source of truth, so meaningful information doesn’t live in the system
  • Important feedback is recorded and stored outside of Greenhouse
  • Interviewers aren’t aware of the ease of use and accessibility offered by the Greenhouse mobile app and web-based platform
  • Interviews are being scheduled outside the app

Scorecards configuration issues

Hiring managers might have access to a scorecard, but are electing not to fill it out or only submit partial responses, making it hard to gauge the qualities, skills and attributes you want to measure your candidate against. This can be due to:

  • Having too many attributes on the scorecard
  • Not utilizing focus attributes to guide your interviewers’ questions and assessments
  • Interviewers not being aware of what they should be assessing
  • The included attributes and interview questions aren’t aligned or don’t feel relevant, and therefore don’t feel worthwhile to use

No clear incentive

You’ve created scorecards – maybe you’ve even rolled them out company-wide – but your colleagues are unaware of their existence, unsure of what they’re required to do or don’t feel a sense of accountability for providing feedback. This can be due to:

  • Not having company-wide buy-in for structured hiring norms
  • There are neither incentives nor repercussions for interviewers who don’t submit feedback
  • Interviewers can’t track the team’s progress so their interest and/or motivation diminishes

Key behaviors to help improve scorecard submissions

Help hiring managers and interviewers to understand the value of scorecards

Make sure your colleagues understand why structured hiring and scorecard submission is important to your organization’s growth and success. It’s hard to implement a system if the end goals aren’t well-defined or there’s no perceivable reason for a behavior change. To establish this effectively, you need to make the positive impacts to the organization clear.

Here are a few techniques you can use to get hiring managers and interviewers to understand the value of effectively and promptly completing their scorecards:

  • Start during onboarding. Get a head start by defining scorecard best practices when you onboard new hires. This is the perfect opportunity to set baseline expectations for every employee that participates in the hiring process and to help colleagues understand the overall benefits of these behaviors.
  • Find an executive sponsor by identifying senior leaders who are already engaged in the hiring process. That way you can establish that there’s already a level of buy-in. Conversely, if you don’t have anyone like this already at your organization, build a data-driven ROI case to secure top-down buy-in.
  • Communicate the ROI. Celebrate your hiring team’s impact and keep them in the loop by sharing practical feedback and championing their organizational contributions when one of the candidates they’ve interviewed is hired.

Set expectations and boundaries

To ensure the success of your team’s working relationships and the hiring process, it’s important to set the right tone and manage all expectations before the role kickoff even begins. Here are a couple of ways to help you do this successfully:

  • Set limits upfront
    Establish all the requirements and expectations necessary to move forward with a candidate, hire, prospect or process. Make it clear that you will not be able to move forward until they have delivered on them.
  • Focus on great partners
    Be on the lookout for the most responsive hiring managers. Those who actively participate in the recruiting process for their roles should be getting candidates the most expediently – this can also help you send a clear message about your expectations.
  • Make use of team dynamics
    Your organization needs a way to systematically share how everyone's efforts contribute to your hiring process. Greenhouse users should understand how their actions affect their team and the wider org, such as submitting scorecards (or not). Some examples might include scorecard reminders, emails highlighting submission rates and a public place to communicate on the status of all interviews.
  • Report on interviewing behaviors
    Use the interviewer engagement report to understand which users are holding up the interview process and who is getting it right.

Empower your teams to submit impactful scorecards

Quality is as important as quantity, so you’ll want to ensure your hiring managers and interviewers are filling out informative and useful scorecards. Here are some tips for setting up scorecards in the most effective ways:

  • Highlight key focus attributes
    As a best practice, focus attributes (where you define the skills and qualifications candidate should be measured against) should be highlighted for every interview that requires scheduling. No single interview should exceed five focus attributes, so you can guide your interviewers’ efforts without overwhelming them.
  • Require key takeaways
    This is where each interviewer can reflect on the interview and analyze the key qualifications that the candidate would bring to the role. As a best practice, encourage interviewers to make a list of the pros, cons and anything else they noted.
  • Encourage definitive decisions
    Your team should feel comfortable making an overall recommendation. At the bottom of the scorecard, they’ll find symbols to indicate their evaluation, from “Definitely not” to “Strong yes.” Note that there are only four options so your team members can make a definitive choice on whether the candidate should progress forward, at any stage in the process.
  • Use the Interviewer calibration report
    This report can help you determine how tough (or easy!) your interviewers are on candidates compared to the team’s average so you can recalibrate the assessments as needed. This ensures a consistent candidate experience for all everyone passing through your pipeline.

Get interviewers to fill out scorecards quickly

Expediency is a key behavior you’ll want to underscore for both interviewers and hiring managers. There is a direct correlation between the timeline in which interviewers submit scorecards and their overall accuracy. Here’s how to improve scorecard submission speeds in your company.

  • Create a hiring manager service level agreement (SLA)
    Establish a formal SLA with hiring managers that clearly defines the recruiting-related tasks they are required to complete and how long they have to do so. To ensure buy-in and get the best results, the terms of your SLA should be developed collaboratively, with everyone contributing.
  • Highlight the ease of use of Greenhouse Recruiting
    Greenhouse Recruiting is multimodal, so your team can access scorecards on their computers or via the mobile app on the go. Submissions don’t have to be burdensome – they can be completed from anywhere and on any device.
  • Set reminder notifications
    Scorecard reminders are emails sent to interviewers that prompt them to submit their scorecard for a recently completed interview. This type of nudge has been shown to drive completions in a big way.

Always put your team first

When recruiters and hiring managers start out on the same page and are aligned on their shared goals, the hiring process is much more effective. At every step, try to exercise transparency, clearly communicate and, most of all, exhibit partnership and camaraderie with your hiring manager partners. At its core, the hiring process is only as successful as your recruiting and hiring manager relationships.

    Lisa Marquez

    Lisa Marquez

    is a Customer Success Director on the mid-marketing team who has been with Greenhouse for 4 years and has years of experience consulting with customers on how to optimize their software in the SaaS space. When she’s not successing customers, she enjoys spending time with her energetic cats, reading and enjoying the beauty of the Colorado outdoors. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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