I had an interesting conversation last week with some friends facing challenges in the hiring process. We got to talking about comparisons within the sports world. Last night's NBA Draft was a great snapshot of sport's "hiring process."
How companies (or in this case teams) evaluate talent is an interesting and varying process. Of course there are major differences between the two, but the parallels are relevant. There is always a pipeline of talent for NBA scouts and coaches to evaluate and they constantly monitor it. One of the interesting points in my conversation with some recruiters was that many companies have a "superficial" pipeline. They don't establish "real" relationships with prospective talent until there is a specific need, at which point they are placed in a reactive position. Teams ask themselves many of the same questions that companies ask. Questions like:
Do I have a specific need to fill or am I taking the best available?
Am I looking for immediate return or a long-term solution?
Do I take the safer choice or do I take a risk on higher potential?
Are there any red flags?
Will this person fit within my existing team?
Is this person coachable?
What is his or her reputation?
Will they support our efforts to create a healthy environment?
Intangibles like he's a "high-character guy" or a "relentless competitor" or "high basketball IQ" came up in draft commentary almost as much as performance. For employers of all types, the search is all about the fit and proactively building a healthy pipeline which requires carefully weighing talent and performance alongside the intangibles.