Strategic Recruiting From a Sports Perspective




Sports coaches have an obsession when it comes scouting, recruiting, developing, and retaining talent. In addition to the competitive desire to win, coaches work in one of the most publicized industries. Unlike many industries, their track record of winning, based on their leadership and the performance of the talent they invest in, is blatantly visible.


Most leaders, whether they be coaches or executives, understand that talent carries a business value. Their track record for effective selection impacts that value. And, key talent isn’t just about the point guard or the quarterback. It’s not just about the C-Suite or the officers of the company. It’s about “skilled” or key players that impact an organization from an employee culture, customer experience, operational process, or financial growth aspect.




Key players must be recruited, hired and engaged differently, as “common” talent is easily accessible and willing to execute at a mediocre level long-term. When it comes to candidates with more than “common” talent, coaches are looking for both technical ability and for behavioral aspects. The demand for specialized, high-potential talent far exceeds the supply available in the talent pool. Therefore, just like coaches, organizations must be willing to pay above average dollar for top talent. They must also be willing to dedicate intentional time seeking out and connecting with those who uniquely meet the needs of the organization.


This investment must come with an understanding that the recruitment process extends beyond the hire in order to capitalize on a return. Organizations must have purposeful onboarding processes in place. They must then evolve processes into a development phase that is unique to the individuals, meeting each person where they are with competencies and growth.


As the team grows and evolves, coaches often look ahead and recruit for sustained success. They recruit for roles that are at risk of needing backfill. They may be anticipating a trade, or in a professional environment, a transfer to another department or city. A team may be preparing for a retirement or a demotion to the minor leagues or a lower pay grade. There could also be proactive planning for injuries or a leave of absence. No matter the reason, recruiting for succession planning should be part of the routine talent strategy.





8 Tips for Ensuring ROI on the Recruitment Strategy:


· Get their buy-in on the experience not the position.


· Have a clear and compelling way to communicate and bring the organization’s brand to life.


· Ensure talent is a prioritized part of the growth strategy.


· Have a tangible vision or “picture” of the future and how potential employees will fit into helping you get there.

· Be prepared to show potential hires how your values show up in your culture, not just tell them. Connect the dots from your values to theirs.


· Connect through social media with consistent branding and engaging content.


· Let them hear from and spend time with others in the company to experience different perspectives on culture.


· Share success stories of development and career pathing. Or, let them hear success stories from the employees in person, via video conference, etc.

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