For more information on hiring reports, see the Hiring writers and editors guide.
Plenty of companies put a lot of thought into their overall hiring process for writers and editors. From coming up with succint and clear job descriptions to organizing interviews to get the fullest picture possible of a candidate, the process, when adhered to, can yield great candidates that are an asset to the team.
But even if an interview and testing process was run perfectly, the hiring process can break down if information isn’t collected from each interviewer in an effective and methodical way. Ensuring that each interviewer, including any HR managers, peers, and managers, fill out a hiring report at the end of the process can be a good way to force them to distill and prioritize thoughts and ensure documentation.
Most post-interview and post-testing feedback is done in a casual, non-organized way. A hiring report can eliminate any “drips” of information via email or conversation.
Managers should ensure the attributes included on a scorecard are decided ahead of time as being important to the role, via the job proposal. A good interview report should be broken into a few core sections:
- Key takeaways: These are high-level thoughts about a candidate and their suitability for the role outlined in the initial job proposal.
- Scores on key attributes: Interviewers can be asked to “rate” candidates on four or five key attributes. These attributes will vary, depending on the company and role, but should be based firmly on the needs outlined in the job proposal. A simple three-point or five-point scale is typically most effective.
- Range: This can be controversial, but one way to quickly assess experience levels of candidates is by range. Keep this simple: Low, mid, mid-high, high, for example. This eliminates the trap of years of experience and focuses on the candidate’s ability.
- Overall recommendation: Interviewers can be asked for a simple recommendation on a potential hire: no, indifferent or yes.
Sample hiring report
The candidate would be a good fit for the position. I was particularly impressed by their critical thinking about how to find stories and their prior experience.
When asked about what this company could do better, candidate’s answer about developing new formats for pieces was thoughtful and analytical and demonstrated a good understanding of this department’s goals.
It was difficult to get a thorough understanding of candidate’s managerial skills and if possible, it would be good to probe further on how they manage people and deliver critical feedback.
Competency scorecard: Rate from 1-5
- Knowledge of the hiring company and what it does
- Past experience
- Technical skills
- Communication skills
- Managerial and leadership skills
- Confidence and self awareness
Yes, if managerial skills can be further ascertained. It would be helpful to probe deeper into how the candidate delivers feedback, particularly critical feedback, as this is a key part of the position.