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Talent Selection & The NFL Draft

Talent Selection & The NFL Draft

In less than a week, one of the biggest and most anticipated talent selection events of the year will occur.  Some of us will watch it, some of us will talk about it around the water cooler. The decisions made on April 27th will undoubtedly impact the success (or failure) of several organizations in the coming months.

You guessed it football fans-I’m talking about the 2017 NFL Draft.

The Draft gives each team the opportunity to infuse their rosters with new talent. Some players will provide an instant boost to the team that selects them; others won’t. But the chance that drafted players will lead their new clubs to glory makes teams compete over talent.

This isn’t so different from selecting talent for your own team. Each new person that you hire has the potential to contribute to your organization’s success…or not. And the competition is fierce for top talent.

Here are a few others things we can learn about talent selection from the NFL Draft.


Selection is Strategic

A draft pick is such a valuable asset that teams must select talent carefully. During the high stakes process, teams take into consideration what their needs are and which individuals have the talent to fulfill them.  Because it can take a few years to recoup or see the value of a draft pick, a wise selection decision requires a great deal of planning and strategy.

How strategic is your selection process? Do you view an open position as something that just needs to be filled or as an opportunity for team and organizational advancement? Is the ever increasing workload the key driver of selection or do you have long term success in mind? The upfront investment in time and effort in the captivation and selection process yields greater results for the team.


Depth and Development

A player’s depth and talent potential are carefully weighed during the Draft. For example, a team who is looking for a running back may need the classic running back abilities (speed, ball security, strength) but a player who has all of those things, plus third down skills is even more of an asset.  Or perhaps the player shows under developed potential in third-down skills. The team can determine that’s coachable and work to develop those areas.

When seeking talent, don’t dismiss ancillary knowledge, skills and abilities that are outside the requirements of the job description. Those are bonuses that have the potential to advance the team in new ways.

Hiring managers should have an idea of non-negotiable skills versus the skills that can be developed with coaching and make hiring decisions accordingly.


Team Wins

NFL teams seek talented players who can advance the club. Note the last part of that sentence “…who can advance the club.”  Teams need players who will help them win. It’s not about furthering an individual’s career or ego. It’s about team success. A beautiful pass from the Quarterback is meaningless without a receiver to catch it. The offense scores, the defense prevents the other team from scoring. The talents of different team members must complement each other. A healthy, shared culture across the organization also contributes to team wins.

Gifted leaders understand these ideas and use them as part of the selection process. It’s not enough for candidates to possess the requisite job competencies. For innovation to occur, each team member has to be committed to the success of the team.

Retention doesn’t exist without a shared company culture that team members understand and believe in. This is as important as job competencies yet is often overlooked in the selection process.


Looking for strategies for talent captivation and selection? Contact one of experts at (888) 529-0240 or Ask about our Smart Select Program.

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