Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Future of Recruiting = The Modern Sports Organization

Here’s a thought. What if recruiting evolved into what has happened in the sports world? What if due to the talent shortage in the workforce, recruiters were forced to start tracking students while they were in high school?

You look at how NBA scouts have progressed from evaluating college talent…to watching high school talent…and now, they are beginning to “drop” by middle school games. Why? NBA organizations value talent. To them, keeping track of these kids as early as possible gives them an “edge” against other organizations who don’t. You know the ins and outs of the individual. You know what they like. What they don’t like. You know what they can do…and what they might eventually be able to do. NBA organizations keep track of all this stuff because you never know when the next LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, or Tim Duncan is going to come along.

An extreme scenario…but is it really that far off for the business world? Corporations have begun to assemble competitions among business school students in increasing numbers. Do you think they do this for the heck of it? No. It’s a way to scope out potential talent at the university level.

Some companies have taken it further. They have high school competitions. Again, it’s conceivable that many have used these competitions with an eye towards the future.

Any thoughts?


Anonymous said...

A creative and apt analogy, Phillip. Yes, companies are already thinking along these lines, but it's definitely not as evolved. Think of more subtle programs like "take your child to work day", speaking at a career day at your kids' high school, or donating equipment/software for some educational program at the elementary school level.

The most aggressive thing I've seen on a measurable scale are the programs where businesses work with the vo-tech schools and community colleges in their area to modify or add new curricula to meet their hiring needs, effectively creating a farm system with multiple internships at a company, leading to full-time offers for the most promising student performers.

--Glenn Gutmacher

Phillip said...

Yes, I agree's still very subtle at the present moment.

It'll be interesting to see how the "farming" system pans out in the next 5-10 years. I'm already beginning to see firms like IDEO out in SF beginning to place their stamp on leading institutions like Stanford. When I first saw this, I thought "brilliant!" You're building goodwill AND enabling yourself to see high potential individuals outside of a work environment.