October 1, 2014

What Fantasy Football Can Teach Recruiters

FootballAs the leaves start to fall and the cold air settles in, the beginning of fall is a joyous occasion for some. It’s the perfect time of year to go apple picking, carve pumpkins, and begin your fantasy football season. Some of us have already begun and others are still waiting for their drafts to take place. But most of us have never given much thought to how fantasy football can make an impact on recruiting skills. To some, fantasy football is a science, much like recruiting. Top fantasy footballers and recruiters approach their crafts with respect and diligence. And why wouldn’t they? Isn’t that part of what being great is all about?

For those of you interested in amplifying your recruiting skills this fall, let’s take a close look at how fantasy football drafting can teach recruiters a thing or two — actually five, to be precise — about how to become a better recruiter.

1. You Must Become a Master of Researching

Part of being a great fantasy footballer is being able to find and locate great talent. If you’re a recruiter, that means you’re always on the lookout for talent. Remember: 1 out of 3 employees are planning to job hunt next year. You have to know the ins and outs of your league — or in the recruiter’s case, what your talent pool looks like. Around 92 percent of companies are using social media for their recruitment process. Social media networks like LinkedIn allow recruiters to view candidates’ professional experience, skills, and accomplishments. Each are vital for determining if a candidate has the right stuff. Simply researching candidates on LinkedIn is not enough, though. Some recruiters have turned to viewing candidates’ social profiles on Facebook to determine if they possess the right character traits.

2. You Must Become a Master of Evaluating Talent

Every fantasy footballer uses their own techniques for evaluating talent, mostly based on personal preferences, but being able to evaluate talent effectively during drafts is everything. It’s the difference between finding hidden gems in the late rounds and drafting first-round busts. In recruiting, evaluating talent is the difference between boosting workplace productivity and increasing employee turnover. You become masterful at evaluating talent by building a science behind it. Currently, over 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies in the United States are using psychometric testing to build a better experience for evaluating talent. And why is this happening? Because building a better workplace and a team of employees starts by understanding people better.

3. You Must Become a Masterful Game Planner

Talent pools are different every year, and certain fantasy football positions draw more attention early on than others. As a result, fantasy footballers don’t always get to pick the top talent they want. The same concept applies to recruiting. Recruiters don’t always get to select their first-choice picks because other organizations are quicker to the draw. The point is, you need to have a game plan. Recruiters need to decide whether they will focus most of their efforts on attracting candidates through social recruiting or through traditional methods like calling candidates. Organizations are starting to recognize the benefits that social recruiting offers. So far, 73 percent of social media hires have been successful. This is an obvious signal that recruiters have to think strategically when they vet candidates. Some recruiters — 65 percent of them, to be precise — go as far as to compensate employees for referrals.

4. You Must Become a Master of Technology

On draft day, fantasy footballers have to be ready to make planned or unplanned picks. Top fantasy footballers train themselves in expecting the unexpected and using their drafting systems. The more tech-savvy they are when it comes to drafting, the more time they have on their hands to make adjustments. When it comes to using HR technology, recruiters have to do the same. Applicant tracking systems and cloud-based virtual interviewing solutions are designed to save recruiters time. Video interviews are able to decrease the amount of time spent filling a position by 38 percent, and HR technology increases efficiency by 64 percent. The better recruiters are at using HR technology, the more efficient they’ll be when it comes to finding and placing talent, even if it’s unexpected.

5. You Must Become a Master of Forecasting

Years ago, the talent pool for quarterbacks in fantasy drafts was slim. Drafting quarterbacks in the first round was crucial to your success. Now, because the NFL is a pass-happy league, the talent pool for running backs is a little slimmer. By watching enough NFL games, you start to see the direction of where NFL offenses are going, which greatly affects how players are drafted in fantasy football. Being a top recruiter is about knowing your industry and the talent pool that’s available to you. You also have to stay trendy and understand the state of recruiting. Currently, if you’re not in the social recruiting game, you risk not gaining valuable insights into candidates. Learn to forecast the state of recruiting by being active in recruiting and conducting research.

Read more in Recruitment

Fernando Ramirez is a social media and content strategist for TalentCulture. He's built social media strategies for Fortune 500 companies and talent communities in the HR and Recruiting Technology space. Fernando is a passionate blogger and fantasy football strategist. He is based in Boston.
Google+ Profile