Another year, another Super Bowl.
But whether you were watching for the halftime advertisements, as an Atlanta or New England fan, or just for Lady Gaga’s performance (those drones!), we thought it was a good moment to look at how to put together a winning team, whether or not they’re wearing shoulder pads and helmets.
Hiring For Development
Tom Brady just became the first quarterback in NFL history to win five Super Bowls, but back in 2000, he was a late 6th round draft pick for the Patriots. The story goes that scouts pointed out his skinny, poor build, lack of great stature and strength, and inability to “drive a team down the field.” One thing they did note was that he was a “team leader,” who “could make it in the right system, but will not be for everyone.”
Brady finally started to improve when he snuck a look at a coach’s notes. The coach had some wonderful things to say, but noted that he “does everything slowly.” Brady started to work on this aspect of his game, and the rest is history.
Lesson: Recognizing potential is what we’re here to do, and recognizing where someone will thrive is a big piece of that puzzle. Don’t just look for the right player, look for the right team.
Empower Your Leadership
While we’re on Brady (isn’t everyone today?) it’s a good opportunity to talk about the importance of leadership. After catching a two-point conversion that tied the score in the Patriots-Falcons Super Bowl, Danny Amendola did not hesitate to say that the win was Brady’s crowning achievement.
“He was the same as he always is: cool, calm and collected,” Amendola said. “He’s the leader, the general, the best ever and that is the end of the story.”
Lesson: Look for someone who the team can get behind and believe in. Look for how you can empower that person and help them win. And, as always, know that when the leader wins, the team wins.
Hire Young, Hire Hungry
Although they didn’t take home the Vince Lombardi Trophy this year, the Atlanta Falcons had a brilliant season, in part due to some smart rookie drafts in their defensive line. Between safety Keanu Neal, linebacker Deion Jones, and cornerback Brian Poole, their defense is only going to improve over the next few seasons.
The opportunity to work with great people they can learn from is cited as one of the key attractions for Millennial candidates. According to Glassdoor, 46% of Millennials left their last job due to lack of career growth.
Lesson: Offering learning and development opportunities not only attracts candidates who want to grow their careers, it means building a great culture and well-functioning team.
Use Technology To Help You Win
Billy Beane showed us with the Oakland A’s how metrics and technology could be applied to elite sports. (Read Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game (or watch the movie with Brad Pitt!) to understand how.) The same could be said of your team hires. Use technology to support your recruiting team in hiring for diversity, performance, and retention.
Blind hiring or purely relying on metrics has been proven to work better than gut instinct: as humans, we are subject to unconscious bias, whether we like to admit it or not.
Lesson: Tools like 1-Page SOURCE not only save you time and effort in finding the right people, they’re using technology to make sure they’re the people that will have you making touchdowns. At the end of the day, it might just help you win a Super Bowl. I mean, a “Best Place To Work” award.
Make Sure You Fill The Right Roles
Understanding the needs of the team is paramount to finding the missing piece. There is no point sourcing a high performing linebacker when there is already a solid defense. And even Jets fans might agree, you need an amazing QB, rather than four who are underperforming.
Lesson: Great communication with the team you are hiring for means both the Hiring Manager and Recruiter are perfectly aligned on what is needed — and so you’ll all recognize the perfect player when you find them.