3 recruitment lessons you can learn from football

by David Conroy

Football strategy

“Getting our recruitment right this year is our absolute main focus and number one priority. Having the best talent working together will be the basis for our success in the coming year”.

The words of a FTSE 100 CEO or Group HRD? No it’s actually a statement by the Head of Recruitment at a Premier League football club. For too long most organisations have looked at recruitment as being a necessary, but mundane, administrative process to manage the vacancy to appointment process. Indeed many Recruitment Managers are now called Resourcing Managers as if the whole thing has become a procurement process.

A rethink is needed and at least professional football clubs are waking up to the fact. At the top level it’s no longer good enough to just identify and hire top playing talent by luring them with fat salaries. Successful clubs now understand that top performers need to be persuaded to join a particular club and that doing so is actually good for their career and lifestyle circumstances.

But this is not unique to top level football, it’s the same with other sectors, therefore why are so many organisations still stuck with traditional approaches to talent acquisition? We think the reason is that recruitment is not always seen as a dynamic, value-adding endeavour, but as a time consuming mechanism that is a painful and costly process.

Successful companies aim to become a desired destination for top talent.

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We know of one international company that doesn’t have a “Job Vacancies” or “Working with Us” tab on its website because it doesn’t want to encourage speculative applications or unsolicited CV’s. And that’s because they see recruitment as a burden to be endured. This means they are missing an opportunity to promote the benefits of working for them and the opportunities offered.

Lessons you can learn from the most successful organisations

  1. Start by projecting a positive image of yourself, both as a place to work and an employer to admire. Recruitment begins even before your need to hire. Successful companies aim to become a desired destination for top talent.
  2. Develop a clear view of what it takes to be a success in your organisation, in a particular role, in order to succeed in the job categories you employ.
  3. Use this understanding to design and develop focused assessment processes that hone in on the key differentiating success factors. This will be used to assess and identify candidate capabilities and potential. This information is a vital input to both talent acquisition and talent management programmes.

So, what is your organisations view of recruitment?

A sausage machine that works too slowly and is a problem rather than a solution? or is “getting recruitment right” a vital part of your overall success?

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David Conroy

David Conroy is a Principal Consultant at Beamans.

BiographyArticles by David Conroy

This article is filed under: Talent Recruitment Assessment Reward