The “Hiring For Growth Scorecard” is a simple tool you can use to make sure you hire A-player growth talent only, minimise employee churn, and accelerate your startup’s growth. You can skip to the end and get the scorecard if you wish, or read below to see why it is so effective (advised). This scorecard was heavily influenced by The A-Method devised by Geoff Smart and Randy Street, and if you haven’t read “WHO: The A-method For Hiring, I recommend you do – after reading this blog, that is!
Estimated reading time = 5 minutes. ROI = a lot. This blog is broken down into 4 sections:
WHAT IS A SCORECARD?
A scorecard is a simple, short but effective template to help systematise and streamline your hiring. A good scorecard should describe the mission for the role, the outcomes the candidate must accomplish, and the competencies that will be required to achieve those outcomes.
It allows you to translate the objectives of the overall strategy into specific outcomes to find the best possible candidate, with the right skills, to solve the next set of problems your startup is going to face.
A scorecard should be broken down into MISSION, OUTCOMES, COMPETENCIES, and GENERAL.
It all begins with the Mission. Most people do not have a mission for the roles they’re hiring for, and this is a BIG mistake! If you don’t have a mission down for the next hire, get clear on that before moving forward with the hiring process.
A Mission is the executive summary of the job’s core purpose; it is “why” the company needs to hire someone for this role. It IS NOT a job description, it is the bigger picture behind the outcomes you want the person to accomplish.
By having a clear definition of performance, this will help you focus your hiring efforts on the candidate capable of achieving it. And, just as importantly, it will make sure you don’t hire a Generalist.
When hiring for growth you do not want to hire a generalist! (Note that a Generalist is not the same as a T-Shaped Marketer). This is a common trap many people fall for. Don’t take the cheese. You want to focus on narrow and deep competence, and when you’re hiring for Growth, you want to find someone whose skills are optimised for your specific phase of growth your startup is in.
Here is an example mission for a Head of Growth:
To increase revenue by 40% by the end of 2021 by increasing the number of paying users. And to build a Growth Team to help the company work towards it’s 3-year goal of £1m MRR
Notice how this particular mission is revenue focused, not customer acquisition focused – not all customers are created equal.
Outcomes are, by definition, the outcomes you want the new hire to achieve. The best way to conceptualise this is by asking yourself “what would success look like for this role in 12-months time?”
Where most people go wrong with typical job descriptions is that they describe what they are going to do, not what they are going to get done. So before you begin hiring, get crystal clear on the specific outcomes you want the new recruit to achieve, and the specific Key Results that, if accomplished, will lead to that outcome.
TIP: Set the outcomes high enough to scare off B and C players, but not too high that A-Players think you’re…insane.
Keeping with the example of a Head of Growth, here are some examples of Outcomes and KRs:
- OUTCOME 1: Build a Growth Team by April 1st 2021
- KR 1: Hire an A-Player Data Analyst, build a remote design team, and hire an internal Software Engineer to the Growth Team
- KR 2: Create and launch an experimentation framework that aligns with the company’s strategic goals. – The Growth Hacking Process
- Outcome 2: Increase the number of paying customers to 25,000
- KR 1: Grow the number of new signups by 10% per month/a 12-month average (to allow for seasonal fluctuations)
- KR 2: Increase the conversion rate of new signups to paying customers from 5% to 10% (increase the acquisition to activation conversion)
Now if you’re early, you may not be able to set Outcomes and Key Results like the above, for example “increase acquisition to activation from 5% to 10%”, because you may be wanting your new growth hire to be the person deriving the insights from the data and finding the key areas for improvement. But, you do know the trajectory you want your startup to be on, so may it concrete with specific Outcomes and KRs.
A recruiter once said…
Where the mission is the essence of the job, the outcome is what they must accomplish, the competencies are the ‘how they will operate to achieve the outcomes and the mission’. These outcomes can be broken down into behavioural, cultural, skills, and experience.
- Behavioural competencies – What behaviours do you want your new recruit to elicit? What behaviours should an A-Player [INSERT ROLE YOU’RE HIRING FOR] demonstrate?
- Cultural competencies – What are the core 3 tenets of your company’s culture? Write them down, share them with the candidate, and dig deep to find out if they will be a fit – you don’t want to implant an organ only for it to be rejected by the host.
- Skill-based competencies – Get clarity on the ‘must-haves’ and the ‘nice-to-haves’ before you begin the search. To give the new hire a fighting chance you need to get clear on the skills they need to possess coming into the role to have a chance of succeeding. However, don’t merge the musts into shoulds and shoulds into musts. Just because your new marketing hire hasn’t used Mixpanel before doesn’t mean you should rule them out. Too many musts and you’ll never make a hire. Too many shoulds and you’ll end up shoulding all over yourself.
- Experience-based competencies – What exposure must the recruit have had in the past to make sure that they are the right hire for the next set of challenges in your path.
Examples for a Head of Growth:
- Data informed, not data driven
- Fast paced
- Fail fast
- Must – Have a proven track record in selling D2C with budgets over £20k pm on paid social channels
- Should – Comfortable using Amplitude, email automation software (Active Campaign, Mailchimp, SendInBlue), and experience with Hubspot
- Working at a startup between Seed to Series B funding rounds (if the startup bootstrapped but was still a startup/scale-up this is also fine)