The first two things that come to my mind revolve around the world of business & college sports. Targeting the right recruit might be the most important aspect of your business. Why? Two very important reasons.
First, sales recruitment requires patience.
It used to be about finding the right person for a job. Now it’s about finding the right person that will do the job, enjoy the job, and want to stay and grow with the company. You have to know every detail of what your ideal candidate looks like to fit the culture of your company and target them relentlessly. This elite sales recruit is a special talent and is being targeted by your competition. Winning this recruiting battle not only helps your company immediately, but it also shrinks the talent pool for your competition.
College football and basketball coaches travel all over the country targeting recruits. In home visits, campus trips, and attending high school games are all part of the 365 days/7 days a week process. Recruiting is everything in business & college sports because without the right people nothing else matters. No matter what training or guidance you provide, you simply can’t win.
As great of a coach as Nick Saban is, he doesn’t win another national championship if his roster is the same as his opponent. He understands that. Coach Saban flys back to Alabama and on the next morning has a mandatory 7am staff meeting about recruiting because the NCAA window to start recruiting for next season opens the next day. If he takes the week off to enjoy the championship, he’ll be far behind on recruiting for next year’s team. When Coach Krzyzewski won the national championship at Duke, did any of those banners get raised at Cameron Indoor Stadium before elite recruits became Duke basketball players? Of course not.
Remember Urban Meyer’s time at Florida? He just won his second national championship in three years and was singing the fight song with the team as confetti rained down from above. After the last line, he rushed into the tunnel and locked himself in the coaches’ locker room. He began calling recruits. As confetti was still falling, he knew to stay on top of the mountain he needed the next great recruit.
Secondly, an effective sales recruitment and selection process reduces turnover.
Which option is best for your company?
Hiring the ideal candidate: They fit in the office culture. They know the region very well. They have proven results in that field that translate to success at your company. Production increases. That employee becomes a key member of your company and stays with you for decades.
Hiring someone that might be the right fit: Maybe it will work. Maybe it won’t. But the likely outcome is you aren’t happy with that employee after six months, production slows, and you have to rehire someone for the same position. How efficient is that? How much more time & money do you want to spend repeating this process?
This is critical.
If you try to teach the smartest, strongest fish to climb a tree, it’s never going to work. It’s not what they are meant to do and their skill set isn’t being utilized. It’s no different in sports. Imagine being an elite, pass catching tight end like Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots and your new coach decides to change the offense to a run option system like Georgia Tech. Your skill set didn’t get any worse, but you’re going to have a significantly lower impact on the team’s ability to win.
Business is no different.
Imagine you’re a salesman at Apple and you are beating every sales target in the world for five years. Microsoft offers you a job. You take it. All of a sudden your sales numbers are down? Did you become less of a salesman over night? No. You went from selling a product everyone wanted (iPod) to something no one did.
The Microsoft Zune.
Matt Lazar, President
Ability Professional Network, LLC
Recruiting Sales and Business Development Professionals