Job Scorecard vs. Job Description: What's the Difference in 2023? (Video)

By Tiffany Chepul

Screenshot 2017-02-13 13.26.37.png

dateWed, Jul 12, 2023 @ 09:00 AM

Job Scorecards (or employee scorecards) have been a hot topic recently. Many companies are looking for a way Job Scorecard Employee Scorecardto provide more constant and balanced employee feedback and coaching while scaling up instead of just an annual review.   The job scorecard approach allows company managers to achieve their strategic objectives.

The truth is traditional annual performance reviews can be riddled with anxiety. Employees often perceive a connection to salary or a raise, which is stressful for everyone. The true value of a performance review - an opportunity for development and coaching - is often missed.  The role and goal clarity that the employee scorecard provides enables managers to be more involved in employee performance.

As many of our clients embark on the Job Scorecard journey for performance evaluation (see Job Scorecard Template and Examples), the first hurdle is usually a mastery of terminology. I've found lots of confusion between a Job Description and a Job Scorecard (employee scorecard), and they both play pivotal roles in your organization. Here's the skinny:

  • A Job Description is used externally for recruiting. It summarizes the role responsibilities and requirements of the job for potential candidates. It also outlines practical job details such as job location, full or part-time, travel requirements, education required, hourly or salary, commission, or bonus.
  • A Job Scorecard (employee scorecard) is used internally for interviewing candidates and coaching existing employees. The Scorecard sets expectations around job scorecard KPIs and results expected. It also serves as the framework for managers and their direct reports to rate performance. It is a coaching document that helps identify opportunities for development and improvement. It can be used quarterly, annually, or whenever a manager needs to discuss performance with a direct report. 

Below are the key areas of the Employee Scorecard Template:

Purpose of This Job:

Why this position exists. The overall and ultimate purpose within the organization.

Desired Results:

Visible and measurable evidence of success in this role. What KPIs is the person in this role responsible for delivering? What are the SMART Red-Yellow-Green success criteria for those KPIs? 

Key Responsibilities:

Specific actions, tasks or areas of responsibility this role will oversee.

Skills, Traits & Competencies:

Specific skills, traits and competencies necessary to be successful in this role. 

Living Our Core Values:

Behavior demonstrating an understanding of and alignment with the company’s stated Core Values

job scorecard template

In using the Job Scorecard, the first step is to document each of these items for each role in the organization. Get input from the team and work on these together. Share Employee Scorecards with the entire team to promote role clarity throughout the company.

If the Job Scorecard is to be used in an interview with a potential candidate for that role, the Topgrading Scorecard guides the interviewer's questions. Based on the candidate’s responses, the interviewer can rank each item on a scale of 1-10. If multiple interviews are taking place, each interviewer can use the Job Scorecard similarly. This allows the interview panel to compare their rankings. The hiring experts at Topgrading also recommend using a Job Scorecard rather than a vague Job Description. If you're hiring you should visit 10 tips for you to hire and retain talent using Topgrading methodology.

Job Scorecard vs. Job Description Video

If the Job Scorecard is to be used with a person currently serving in the role, the employee and their manager should rank their performance against each item listed.

For example, a good salesperson's skill is organization and detailed follow-up. The salesperson in that role might think they are a 10, while their manager thinks they are a 7. This prompts a discussion and uncovers a coaching opportunity for that manager.

Implementing Job Scorecards in your organization isn't easy, but it is simple. It does involve a shift in mindset - especially if your organization is in the habit of doing annual reviews. The best place to start is with yourself. Fill out your own Job Scorecard and share it with your team. Ask for their input and go from there. Be careful; it's contagious!

If you want to increase accountability in your organization with Job Scorecards, download our free job scorecard template below.  Your staff's learning and growth opportunities is well worth the small effort required to create the scorecard.  Make sure that you balanced scorecards include objective measures that include aspects for customers and employees alike to increase customer satisfaction and process improvements.

Download Employee Scorecard Template

Looking for more information to help get you started? Check out our additional employee scorecard resources:

The Power of Systems and People: Accountable Leaders and Teams

Employee Engagement and Motivation: What's the Difference Between Employee Engagement and Employee Motivation

A Real-Life Job Scorecard Example [SlideShare]

Use Job Scorecards to Build Team Accountability

Don't Get Stuck on Your Job Scorecard

Use Your Core Values and Job Scorecards in Your Hiring Process

How to Roll Out Job Scorecards in Your Organization

The Staggering Cost of a Mis-Hire: Use Job Scorecards Instead

The 5 C's of Team Accountability

Skip Level Meeting Questions

Use Topgrading and Job Scorecards Together to Attract and Retain A Players

Rhythm Systems Employee Engagement Resource Center

Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images 
Editor's Note: This blog was originally published on Nov 28, 2014, and has been updated.

  request meeting with Rhythm Systems

Tiffany Chepul


Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images