For those of us not following each draft play, there are still lessons to be learned. In today’s guest post, Jeff Cohn, “a loyal Broncos fan and brand strategist at COHN,” offers up five lessons in hiring that we can glean from the NFL draft. So now, even the gridiron averse have a reason besides the Super Bowl ads to pay attention to football.
Click through to read on.
Hiring Lessons from the NFL Draft by Jeff Cohn, brand strategist, COHN
The NFL Draft kicked off yesterday, and each team is looking to fill holes in its roster with fresh young talent. Teams will pore over game film, interview dozens of players, and strive to ensure they make decisions that catapult their teams to greatness. But the wrong hire will cause plenty of disgruntled season ticket holders.
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) face the same challenges when hiring. Making the right staffing choices can elevate the company to new heights while the wrong hire can cause the business owner, employees, and customers plenty of headaches.
These five hiring tips from the NFL draft can help guide your company to make the right pick, bring franchise players to your team, and build your internal brand.
Are you filling a hole or drafting the best player available?
Taking the time to fill the open position with the right person is first and foremost. Some larger companies can see a top-notch resume with recommendations across the board and find a way to utilize their services until an appropriate position arises. Just like an NFL team waiting for the right player in a later round of the draft, SMBs have to take the time to find the person for the position that brings a specific capability and cultural fit to their team.
Make sure they are coachable.
Even the best players can get better. All they need is the drive to be better, and that takes coaching. The same is true in the world of SMBs. People with a specific expertise must also be willing to study, listen, and learn from their internal. The best players in the NFL are coached on a daily basis, and it takes a certain personality to accept this direction. Ask the question, “Will the prospective employee be one that will tap into the executive leadership team and put their time in to improve themselves and the people around them?” If the answer is yes, draft them now.
Find someone that loves your game.
Playing the game is one thing. Loving the game is entirely different. Passion must be exhibited across the board in your organization, because it breeds creativity and excellence. Finding an employee that comes to work for the love of the work, and not just a paycheck, cultivates a culture within your company that fuels success and drives your brand forward.
Don’t be afraid to trust your gut.
All the experts and scouts in the world together cannot beat your gut reaction in a hiring decision. Resumes and interviews only go so far. You know when you click with a person and when you see that certain something in their eyes. Sometimes owners and managers of smaller companies have to take a chance.
Look for players who can play multiple positions.
For a team on the rise, it’s important to have players that can wear more than one hat. This occurs in SMBs all the time. It takes people who can be adaptable and responsive to what the company (or team) needs at that time to drive success. Look for people who can jump into the game when needed, no questions asked. These employees will be your company’s Pro Bowlers.
Look beyond the highlight reel.
I’ve always believed we learn from our past mistakes and failures. We all have them and without them, we cannot grow as people or companies. Nobody puts fumbles and penalties on their resume so it’s important to look past the positive highlights, probe for those shortcomings, and find out what the candidate learned from those mistakes. No candidate is flawless, but finding the one who constantly strives to learn from his or her weaknesses can lead to a fantastic hire.
[image: Morris Claiborne goes to the Dallas Cowboys. Credit: Jerry Lai/US Presswire]