Developing Performance Criteria & Standards

Over the years, we have observed that one of the most effective ways of filling a position quickly and increasing employee retention is to have a well defined position description. It is crucial that everyone involved in the hiring process has a clear idea of what the role entails and the skills required to be successful.

Our Five Step Methodology will help you develop the Performance Criteria and Standards to help you fill positions quickly and with a better fit.

Step 1 – Get everyone on the same page

  • Identify all of the people in your organization who will be involved in this hiring process: In addition to the hiring manager, be sure to think about Human Resources, peers, and higher level management.

Step 2 – Develop the Performance Criteria and Standards

The Criteria and Standards should include the following:


  • Clearly define the Top 4-6 things that you want to see accomplished in the first 6-12 months. Be specific.
  • Examples include: grow territory revenue by 20%, increase productivity by 8%, add 2 new sales persons by June, decrease error rates by 10%

Required Skills

  • Review your top performers in that role. List the abilities and traits that allow them to consistently meet or exceed expectations.
  • Add in any additional skills that would increase performance


  • Define what the individual needs to have accomplished in order to meet or exceed requirements of the role.
  • Examples include: Advanced MS Office skills (test at the 80%), Two years selling in the top 10%, Has negotiated and close contracts valued at 500K+

Create an Evaluation Form:

  • This should consist of a list which will allow you to quickly evaluate whether a prospect has the required skills and qualifications necessary to be successful in the role.

Click here for examples of Performance Criteria and Standards

Step 3 – Obtain signatures

  • Make sure every individual that is a part of the hiring process reviews and signs off on the Performance Criteria and Standards.

Step 4 – Review after completing first round of interviews

  • After the first round of interviews, sit down with the hiring team again to review the Performance Criteria and Standards. Sometimes people’s view of a role can evolve during the interview process based on what types of candidates they are seeing.
  • Make any changes and obtain new signatures from each member on the new Performance Criteria and Standards document.

Step 5 – Review prior to start date

  • Provide the new employee with a clear set of goals and objectives based on the Performance Criteria and Standards.