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3 Hiring Lessons Learned from the World Series

There is nothing like going out for some peanuts and cracker jacks, especially around World Series time. Baseball is America’s number-one pastime because the sport is exciting and built on hard work and dedication.

These are also attributes companies search for in candidates when looking to fill open positions with top talent. Your company needs exciting, hard working, and dedicated employees to move the organization forward to meet goals and expand.

If you feel that your company keeps striking out when it comes to hiring, here are some tips from the World Series to help you hit a homerun when hiring your next star player: 

Sometimes the flashiest candidates are not the best for the job
There are few teams more popular in baseball than the New York Yankees. The boys in the pinstripes are acclimated to postseason runs at this point, which is no surprise considering the team has taken home the World Series trophy a staggering 27 times. Going into battle with the Detroit Tigers, the Yankees seem a shoo-in for victory. Instead, their bats fell apart and the Tigers handily defeated them.

Herein lies an important hiring lesson for any company: just because a candidate has an impressive background does not guarantee future value. A top-tier company name on a resume is just this, a name. It does not tell you how well the candidate will perform under pressure, how willing the candidate is to learn and take on new responsibilities, or what kind of team player the candidate will become. Instead of relying wholly on impressive credentials, use the hiring process to dig deep into a candidate’s background, skills, and attitude.

Utilize tests to make sure a candidate has the required skills for the position. Engage with the candidate on social media to ascertain communication levels and technological comfort. Get current employees to refer talent from their own networks so you have individuals coming to your company already vouched for by a current worker. Do not let the flash and dazzle of an impressive background blind you to the candidate’s actual abilities. 

Collaboration is key
Baseball is a team sport, just like hiring the best talent for your company. No matter how good the player, one athlete cannot win a World Series alone.

To secure their spot in the World Series, the San Francisco Giants pulled together as a team and communicated effortlessly to have a chance to compete for the trophy. They never gave up, taking their league championship series to seven games and coming back from behind before cinching their place in baseball’s biggest competition.

“The main thing is to play for each other, to give everything we have,” Giants outfielder Hunter Pence told the New York Times.

Just like the Giants, your hiring team needs to pull together to hire your company’s next MVP. With Simplicant, your entire team can collaborate seamlessly in the cloud, sharing candidates, notes, and evaluations. This makes hiring the best person a team sport and will lead your company to better hires. 

Learn from your mistakes
The Tigers clearly remember their errors during their 2006 World Series run and do not plan to make those same mistakes again. Likewise, your hiring team is bound to have made errors in the past. Do not shy away from these mistakes, but instead embrace them and learn from your past errors.

Perhaps your company did not use a social media recruitment system like Simplicant to promote your openings, and thus you received far fewer qualified resumes — or way too many unqualified ones — through traditional online channels. Perhaps you did not brand your career website, leading talented candidates to think your company was not committed to its workforce. And perhaps, you were never really able to collaborate with your team during the recruiting process or leverage their networks for great referrals, without a next-gen applicant tracking system.

Whatever your mistakes in the past, take a page out of the Tigers playbook and do not shy away from examining them. You never know, correcting your former mistakes may lead you to winning the race that really matters.

Similar to a World Series run, finding the best people for your company can be an exciting and stressful time. Take some tips from the World Series players and make sure your team collaborates to look at all the candidates critically and learn from your previous mistakes. If you do, your company will be running laps around your competitors when it comes to winning the race for talent.

What are some hiring lessons you can learn from the World Series? Share in the comments!

(Image Courtesy of Kevin Ward; Flickr)

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