Why Your Business Needs to Improve Talent Like the NFL:  A Guide to Successful Talent Acquisition

In the world of American football, the National Football League (NFL) is known for its rigorous talent acquisition process, particularly when it comes to the younger players who’ve quickly established themselves and have made a difference for their teams. Players like Patrick Mahomes, Nick Bosa, and Josh Allen are just a few of the better-known players. However, there are many more out there who are early in their development process and will help transform their teams in the coming years. All these players were scouted, recruited, and trained, with the ultimate goal of building a championship-winning team. In the business world, the importance of acquiring top talent cannot be overstated and the same principles that make the NFL successful can be applied to your own company as well.

In this article, we’ll explore why it’s important for your business to focus on talent acquisition, how outside recruiters can help you build a winning team, and what steps you can take to quickly improve the quality of your team. We’ll also look at some companies that have successfully implemented effective talent strategies that includes leveraging the strengths outside recruiters offer . We will also provide social proof that demonstrates the value of having a strong talent acquisition process.

Why Talent Acquisition is Critical to Your Business Success:

In the business world, acquiring top talent can make the difference between success and failure. As the former CEO of General Electric, Jack Welch famously said, “The team with the best players wins.” Why is that? Because building a strong team of employees can help you innovate, increase productivity, and ultimately drive growth and profitability.

Under Welch’s leadership, GE was thought to be by many, the best run company in the world. Welch GE focused on “muscle building” by hiring the best people, training them, and giving them the resources they needed to succeed. This led to a period of significant growth and profitability for the company and set a precedent for the importance of having an effective approach to talent acquisition and professional development to the rest of the business world.

The All too Typical Approach to Recruiting:

When it comes to talent acquisition, many businesses rely only on internal HR teams to fill open positions to fill their open positions – which is much different than finding A players to “muscle up” the current team. If they properly used outside recruiters – like Ridgeback Business Solutions – they could leverage several added benefits that will help them succeed.

For example, outside recruiters:

  • Can bring a fresh perspective to the talent acquisition process
  • Provide access to a much broader pool of candidates
  • Can hunt for the talent and not just advertise for it
  • Help identify qualified candidates more quickly
  • Can free up internal HR teams to focus on other critical tasks

For instance, Ridgeback is part of a vast network of recruiters who work together to fill each other’s clients’ needs. This network has been together for over 20 years and has a candidate database of over 6 million candidates. This added pool of candidates along with the collaboration between its network partners, allows Ridgeback to access high quality talent more quickly and meet our client’s needs faster.

Steps to Improve Your Talent Acquisition Process:

If you’re looking to improve your company performance, then upgrading your talent acquisition process should be one of the major elements to improve. Some steps you can take include (not limited to):

  1. Create a process that’s not only good for your company but also good for the employee. For instance, Voyage is Marriott International’s 12–18-month, award-winning global leadership development program which provides resources and support for future leaders of the company. Not only does it help develop new talent for Marriott, it’s also a program that acts as a “magnet” to draw promising college graduates to Marriott. After hiring, this new talent is then formerly developed into future corporate leaders – a true win/win scenario for the company and its employees.
  1. Define Your Ideal Candidate: Before you start recruiting, it’s important to have a clear idea of what you’re looking for in your candidates. This goes beyond just skills and experience but should also include a cultural fit.
  1. Use Multiple Channels to Recruit: Many companies don’t give this much thought and simply post their openings on job boards to fill their open positions. This minimalistic approach doesn’t typically find the best candidates. Many of the top candidates aren’t looking to move and need to be identified, contacted and educated about the benefits of moving to your company – something outside recruiters can be very good at.  Other channels to pursue can include employee referrals, a well-planned approach to social media, and actively engaging outside recruiters who can help leverage their vast network to identify a broader pool of candidates.
  2. Screen Candidates Thoroughly: Once you’ve identified potential candidates, it’s important to screen them thoroughly to ensure they meet your requirements. This can include phone screens, skills assessments, inviting prospective candidates to team social functions, and in-person interviews. There is a belief that the more time you spend on the hire, the better the hire will be. Any good outside recruiter will have already performed these steps before submitting a candidate to its client which saves the client time so they can focus on other tasks.
  3. Keep Candidates Engaged: During the recruitment process, it’s important to keep candidates engaged and informed. This includes being transparent about the process, providing timely feedback, and making sure candidates feel valued. Many top candidates don’t last long on the open market as those competitors who move quickly, snap up great talent before their competition.

Case Studies and Social Proof:

One example of a company that’s successfully implemented a strong talent acquisition process is Google. The company is known for its rigorous recruitment process, which includes multiple rounds of interviews and skills assessments. In addition, Google uses outside recruiters for certain positions as well as data-driven techniques to identify and attract top talent.

Nvidia has a great slogan – Join Us and Change the World – and is a magnet to many just entering the workforce. They not only have a reputation as a high-tech company that will help shape the future, but they also offer tremendous benefits which they put front and center for all potential new hires to see.

IBM has long been known as a great developer of talent and today, it’s – Leadership, Learning & Inclusion aims to attract, identify, develop and promote candidates within the organization that are best suited for leadership roles. This program has acted as a magnet to attract great talent and build their future leadership.

If you’re thinking about “muscle building” your team, then contact Ridgeback Business Solutions, we take pride in being known as hunters of talent and not advertisers.

About the Author:

Tom Daly is a retired Marine Corps veteran who has successfully leveraged his 20+ years of military experience throughout his 20+ year experience in the corporate world. Tom is the Founder of Ridgeback Business Solutions and is known for assisting others in building their teams.  You can contact Tom at [email protected] to explore ways to help “muscle build” your team.