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Super Bowl Lessons for Talent Acquisition
Friday, Feb 03, 2017

As we prepare for this weekend’s Super Bowl game between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots, sports analysts have been trying to predict the winner by looking at how the two head coaches – Dan Quinn and Bill Belichick – have put together successful teams. Observing the tactics of each team in this matchup can offer businesses a few lessons on how to hire successfully and put together a winning team.

Regardless of which team comes home with the Lombardi trophy, here are three tips recruiters and hiring managers can take from Super Bowl LI.

1. Every Quarter Counts

It goes without saying that every quarter in football is equally important in order to win a game. Your team could be winning at half time but give up the game by the end of the 4th quarter. Recruiters should look at the hiring process with that same mentality. Companies need to make sure they have a strategic plan in place for each “quarter” of the four-step hiring process: recruitment marketing, screening, applicant tracking, and onboarding. For example, your recruitment marketing strategy may persuade a great candidate to apply to an open job but if they aren’t properly tracked within an easy-to-use applicant tracking system, you may not have the chance to hire them.

Additionally, the talent acquisition process doesn’t end after an offer is accepted. Some of the most successful organizations have automated their onboarding programs to further streamline their talent acquisition initiatives and increase their return-on-investment. Automated onboarding programs help to reduce preliminary recruiting costs while improving employee retention and productivity in the long run.

2. Use Metrics to Build a Winning Team

Like football, building a winning business is a game of numbers. Professional football teams are increasingly using analytics to call plays during a game and to evaluate a player’s performance. A data-driven approach to decision-making can also churn impressive results for talent acquisition professional. Some of the more difficult tasks of being a recruiter include determining which recruiting methods are working, which are lacking, and what these metrics mean for the future. Without a high-quality centralized reporting system, identifying important metrics can be both confusing and time-consuming.

Employers should look for a Talent Acquisition Suite that offers easy integrations for all of your talent acquisition tools. Areas such as background checks, assessments and HRIS integrations, which may have previously been initiated in separate systems, can simply part of their process within one, simple-to-navigate system of record. There is no need to log into separate systems to initiate these tools, and the results are brought right back into the platform as well. By centralizing all of the tools in one platform, it is easier to use and measure the impact of hiring solution investments.

If you want to improve your metrics and impress your company by delivering tangible results, look to technology that can make your life simpler and your hiring processes faster and more effective. With the right talent acquisition technology, you can easily analyze your own process and identify the specific bottlenecks that most need change.

3. Don’t Overlook Top Talent

Even in the NFL, top performers go undrafted or misused once on a team. A story that came out of this year’s Super Bowl bound team, reminds us of the importance of looking at the candidate’s skills and overall fit for the role. Chris Hogan, of the New England Patriots, broke out as a star player in this year’s AFC Championship game but before that game, he had been overlooked and misused his entire career. Hogan, who only played one season of college football at a small university in NJ, had a limited resume and went undrafted. Then three NFL teams gave him a shot to make the roster and cut him. He spent three seasons in Buffalo with the Bills before the Patriots recognized Hogan’s talent. Belichick, known for turning overlooked players into productive pieces of a team, gave Hogan a three-year, $12 million contract in 2016.

Don’t let top talent sit on the bench. Recruiters and hiring manager may already have great candidates hiding in plain sight. To avoid missing out on top talent, employers should invest in streamlined applicant screening and tracking tools to assist in managing applicant volume and identifying the best talent for open roles. Talent acquisition software can be configured to reflect every aspect of your hiring process and also connect to third-party screening and assessment tools to help you find the best person for the job.

An organization is only as successful as the people who work there, and talent acquisition professionals are at the forefront of sourcing and hiring those people. Don’t drop the ball, make sure you have the right strategy and technology you need to build a winning team for your company.

If you’re interested in learning more about ways to optimize your recruiting strategy, be sure to check out our white paper, The Recruiter’s Toolkit for Success in a Rapidly Changing Workforce.