The Ultimate Talent Acquisition Performance Scorecard

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Jun 10, 2015
This article is part of a series called Tips & Tricks.

green-traffic-lightOver the years I have been asked by talent acquisition and HR leaders for the best scorecard to set expectations and educate executive leadership against key performance indicators.

Rather than just continue to have those conversations one at time, let me share the scorecard template that I have landed on that produces the best outcomes I have found based of years of trial-and-error experience. I have also included a link to the template so you can download and make your own.

I will walk you through the philosophy and the feedback I have received to give you the context on why I have chosen this particular template talent acquisition scorecard layout.

First, three simple rules:

Rule 1: Business executives are busy people and they want to understand at a glance what is going on. They don’t like looking through an Excel spread sheet with 20 tabs of data, or wading through a 10-page PowerPoint presentation to get to the point. Make the scorecard a one-pager and concise whenever possible.

Rule 2. Business executives in simple terms want to know:

  1. The problem we/you are trying to solve (goals)
  2. The benefit we will get from solving this problem
  3. How you are progressing against the plan to solve it (on track/off track)
  4. The issues causing you to not be on track to solve it
  5. What are you doing about resolving the issues that get you back on track, and by when

Rule 3. Be transparent with your team and the business. If something is not working, then say so. Indicate why it is not working and what you plan on doing about it. People will not beat you up if things are not going smoothly when you have a plan of attack to resolve it. They will beat you up if you do not address the problems effectively or in a timely manner with a plan to resolve/fix/improve it.

The Four-quadrant TA Scorecard


Over the years I have refined and tweaked my scorecards based on feedback from the business, observations on what resonated with executives, and how best to evangelize the value of the talent acquisition function.

Quadrant 1 = the primary KPIs that talent acquisition (and/or the business) is being measured against, and how are you tracking them. In the template I have just used some broad examples, but generally this is where you would place the major metrics that you are measuring progress against. This could be productivity per recruiter and/or offer accept percentage and/or time to fill, etc.

Quadrant 2 = the specific challenges you are facing against meeting your KPIs (Quadrant 1)

Quadrant 3 = the major initiatives that are tied to your fiscal year plan and how you are progressing against delivering on those.

Quadrant 4 = the opportunities and plan that you have in place to fix/improve the challenges in Quadrant 2

Progress Against Goals

Anything that was above goal equaled green, within 10 percent of goal is considered yellow, with anything 10 percent+ of goal is considered red. You might want to be more lenient and go with red at 25 percent+ of goal, but I have found these numbers have been generally accepted by all in the past.

Traffic Lights and Trending

After years of presenting talent acquisition scorecards, I found that most people can quickly and easily follow visual indicators vs. mountains of text. Using red, yellow, and green indicators (aka traffic lights) against the goal/plan works best. More recently I started to add red, yellow, and green trending arrows as well to directionally indicate if problems were starting to occur even if we were above plan/KPI year to date. Executives liked this as it gave them a sense that we were constantly inspecting what we were doing and proactively getting ahead of the problems as well.

In summary, you might have a large organization where you want to put a one-page scorecard together for each of the departments or business units and/or countries your support. You might want to put a one-page scorecard together just for a key diversity initiative. I have done this before as well and it was well received by my team and executives.

You might want to do it quarterly vs. monthly — whatever makes sense to the rhythm of your business and the interest from executives.

For those of you interested in downloading a copy of this template, I have placed it on my Slideshare profile here.

This current template has evolved over the years because of feedback and input I have received. I would personally be interested to hear from others, as I am sure some of you reading would be as well, as to what talent acquisition scorecard approach they have used to educate and evangelize the value to the business.

This article is part of a series called Tips & Tricks.
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