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The NFL Draft is Just Like HR: What You Can Learn from the Recruiting Process

By Irelis Arias on 5/19/2014

Assembling the right dynamic of people is vital to a positive outcome - whether on the field or in the office. Just as careful recruiting can build a stronger team, effective hiring can transform companies from mediocre to great.

To secure the best talent for your team, you need the right people in the right positions. The National Football League drafts players from college teams by thoroughly examining each prospective player. Once a player catches the team’s attention with his skill set, the coaches dig deeper into the background and potential of the player.

Follow these three steps to make your hiring process a surefire touchdown:

Assess the current team

Seeing where a gap needs to be filled is the first step in the hiring process. An NFL team wouldn't stack their bench with five running backs when they really need an offensive tackle. Determine where a position needs to be filled or replaced and where your team’s strengths currently are. Assessing which areas need more support and which areas are performing efficiently will reveal the hiring priorities.

Source applicants through referrals

Some of the best candidates come from employee referrals. Because you have already established a level of trust and connection with current employees, their recommendations hold more weight. NFL coaches talk with previous coaches and team members who can verify the value of a player, including the character of the individual who will be joining the team. This is a smart component of a thorough review process that helps ensure you don’t hire a loose cannon or ticking time bomb.

Evaluate job-related skills

Don’t rely on a Hail Mary toss. Take candidates through simulations during the interview process that will gauge how well the candidate can complete common tasks. If you are hiring for a sales position, have the candidates complete a test that will showcase their abilities as well as going through a sales scenario with them through the interview process to see how they would handle a customer over the phone. Look for other hidden indicators like how long it takes them to complete the simulation or the level of anxiety they exhibit while completing the task.

Hiring and Performance, Full-Time Employees
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