Thursday, January 31, 2008

Want to learn how to recruit? Look to the New England Patriots

If you want to learn how to recruit for your organization, there is no better example than the New England Patriots. Recruiting at its most basic is targeted marketing.

It's all about creating an attractive message about accomplishments, work environment, challenging work, your stellar team and then promoting that information to the marketplace.

Scott Pioli and Bill Belichick have put together a team without parallel in its excellence by using all the previously mentioned attractors.

Accomplishments: Three superbowl wins (and counting) this decade. Record setting offense..... you get the picture.........If you are a newly created company, the best data points you can provide your recruit prospects are the accomplishments of your team and the quality of your investors.

Stellar Team: MVP quarterback, top offensive line, best receivers in the league, quality and flexibility at every position. Individual accomplishment is subsumed by the team effort and knowledge that it takes effort from every member to achieve their goals..........Working with great people, that challenge and inspire brings out the best and raises the performance of the entire team. That is why, for a start up, the first hires are extremely important in determining the "DNA" of the organization and the quality of candidates the company can attract.

Challenging Work: What could be more challenging to an NFL team than attaining a perfect season? Imagine the difference in the challenge and motivation of playing for the Miami Dolphins or the Patriots. As a player, which would you prefer?.............Bottom line, going to work everyday when you are engaged and enthralled by what you do is very fulfilling. The hardest jobs can be the most rewarding.

So, lets look at some signs that a recruiting program is working?

1. Great candidates don't expect to be bought or opt for less short term compensation, so the team can attract more talent..... Randy Moss world class receiver and MVP quarterback Tom Brady both made decisions based on more than money to make the deal to bring Moss to New England.

2. Losing great individual contributors yet maintaining a high level of organizational performance. Remember Ty Law and Deione Branch, who?

3. You have created an organization that attracts talent: Bengals receiver Chad Johnson wants to play for Patriots.

4. Team members get even better in your organization. Wes Welker is a prime example with 67 receptions and 1 TD in Miami and 112 catches and 8 TD's with New England.

Admittedly, the Patriots are an extreme example of what happens when you have a highly successful recruiting program. In our industry, maybe Google has a similar image and resulting recruiting story.

For the rest of us, knowing where we are trying to get and what the ingredients are to achieve our goal is what we can learn from the Patriots. Figure out what is attractive about your company, make the work challenging and interesting and err on the side of caution when bringing in the core team.

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