What can a business learn from the NFL draft

What can a business learn from the NFL draft

The NFL draft is in Chicago this weekend. Commentators are ripe with analysis of draft selections. Players are being compared with past choices and team needs.

Every team asks four questions when choosing a draftee.

  • What does the team need?
  • Does this person have the capabilities to do the job?
  • What is their character, will they fit into my environment?
  • What is the long term potential?

General managers get judged on how many of picks are still on the team 3,5 even 8 years after the draft.

So, what can you learn from the draft? First from a hiring perspective, what do you need? Be honest with yourself and match the requirements with the needs. Look at job descriptions that are posted on the internet. With so much match making being done virtually, the first pass at possible candidates will be sorted on line. Be careful about obtuse descriptions like “social media guru” or “customer evangelist”. They may sound intriguing, but the internet does not know what to do with them.

The job description will also outline what capabilities you are looking for. It should also align with the salary that you are looking to pay. Be careful about loading up the description with a long list of your “wants” with the idea that if you can find someone who can do half of them at the price, it would be great. If you have a position where you feel that someone can be “tested” take advantage of those services. Companies such as Aurico http://www.aurico.com/About-Aurico/ offer testing in addition to background checks.

How do you judge character? What are your criteria to see if someone will fit in your environment? These are difficult questions. First, look at your current staff. What are the behaviors that you prize? Examine especially people who you feel are high performers. Consider having your final choices interviewed by the people that they will be working with. A good second opinion can come from the person you have tasked with training the candidate. Tell the interviewee that you will have a background check done and give them an opportunity to adjust anything on their resume.

What about long term potential? Look at your high performers again. What is it in their backgrounds that have allowed them to be successful? This could include degrees and academic performance, but don’t forget soft skills such as going the extra yard or being a great long term team player.

From a job seekers perspective, here are a few tips. First understand what the company needs and the job that is available. If there is not a match, don’t go on the interview with the idea that you can convince them to hire you anyhow. Check job descriptions on line and match those on your resume.

If you get an interview, represent your accomplishments reasonably. Understand that a company will not bring you on board, if they don’t think you can do the job. Don’t lie on your resume. Unlike the draft, the hiring company has little “impartial” data. There is no Combine to put you through and post your statistics. If you resume is flawed, how can they believe anything you have said?

Lastly, work to understand the criteria for long term success at the company. Try to determine a fit. While the job may be cool, if the company does not fit, it is likely to be a poor experience.

Every manager has had success hires and oops. What can you tell us?