3 Best Recruiting Strategies Being Used By The NFL

Why should companies adopt NFL recruiting strategies?

Recruiting Strategies

Recruiting employees is one of the biggest challenges of the organization. Because the company’s success depends on the employee’s performance, hiring the best is a must.

However, most companies struggle to minimize turnover in hiring. They wrongly select candidates who are not really fit into the company’s culture. As a result, the newly hired may quit even right after the training process.

The turnover problem stems from the inadequacy of the recruiting strategies being used. Some companies, if not all of them, rely solely on interviews and credential assessments. Thus, the HR hardly knows the job applicants.

But this problem can be solved by amending the employee selection process. Companies should adopt the best recruitment strategies used by sports organizations. This may sound strange, but, yes. In fact, sports organizations have better if not the best hiring strategies to select their best players.

The NFL, for instance, uses unique strategies in selecting their players. The hiring process is multilayered. They make sure that they get the best talents they need. They don’t employ the recruiting strategies being used by companies around the world. Simply because they don’t want to gamble their resources. How exactly the NFL find their best players?

NFL recruiting strategies

Ryan Gilliam a former NFL rookie free agent discussed the most effective hiring strategies of the NFL and what makes them special. Here are the hiring processes.

1. Determine your talent acquisition strategy

NFL teams “draft for talent” or “draft for scheme.” The former obviously means to select the best available player regardless of what position they play. Drafting for scheme means to only select players with skills that match their offensive or defensive structures already in place. These players might not be the best available in terms of all-around ability, but the skills they do have complement their current roster.

Because most companies hardly know their candidates, the chances are they may select the potential but not the productive applicants. The NFL, however, determines whether a candidate is the best player (a player that can play in all positions) or a one-way player (either an offensive or defensive). But which should you pick if you are going to select a job applicant for your company?

Gilliam further discussed which of the two types of applicants you should pick.

In business, you can draft for talent, hire for culture or for motivational fit. Hiring for a culture can result in a “like us” bias, which is not always good. Hiring for motivational fit takes you deeper into discovering if a candidate will be satisfied working in the position offered and keeps dissatisfaction and burnout to a minimum.

In other words, you don’t have to find an all-around individual to do all the work. Instead, you just need to find the best fit for your organization. In this way, you are allowing a person to unleash his/her true potential. And most importantly making him/her comfortable in your culture.

2. Have a multi-step evaluation process

NFL teams put potential drafts picks through multilevel evaluations. It all starts with the player’s film. Then comes the NFL combine during which teams see firsthand what skills players possess. Next, the interviews. Finally, the research.

To know the applicants more deeply, companies should also implement a multilayered employee selection steps. The NFL recruiting strategies allow them to gather deep information about the applicants’ background. Both the interview and resume assessment cannot provide such vital information.

Gilliam outlined the effective process of NFL “multi-step” evaluation process.

A multilevel evaluation process in business would look similar. First, review resumes to identify talent that stands out from the crowd, like a player’s film does. Next, create qualifying questions for each position you want to fill. Candidates should answer these qualifying questions in order to move forward in the process (similar to the combine’s function). Only candidates that pass the test should be interviewed. Finally, the top candidates’ references should be checked and their online reputations researched.

This extensive assessment process ensures that the company is getting the best employee it needs. However, this may not be easy. Not to mention the amount of money that might involve. Nonetheless, the company is on the right track of filling vacant positions with the right and best people.

3. Take a team approach
In the NFL, a team scout isn’t the only one responsible for evaluating draft picks. Position coaches, defensive/offensive coordinators, head coaches and general managers must give potential picks a grade. This “all hands on deck” mentality lets the stakeholders who will have contact with the player make their own evaluations.
The NFL recruiting strategies do not solely rely on the HR department. Thus, it’s not one or two people who decide the selection process. The authorized personnel will decide collectively using certain criteria. Gilliam says that companies should adopt this process too.

Businesses should duplicate this concept by having team leaders, area managers, directors and the C-suite involved. Too often, only HR is working to fill positions, leaving the very people who will work with your new hire at the mercy of your hiring manager. Creating a team environment with “buy-in” from all levels leads to more successful hires every time.

If these are the best recruiting strategies, then why most companies don’t use them? What do you think? I’m glad to know your opinion. Please leave a comment below.

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