By: Mark Gress Jr., Prodigy Sports
Employers are fastidious and they have every right to be. They are in a position of leverage and we all know that – they have the jobs and a collective “we” want the jobs. Executive search firms are picky as well, if we’re being honest. That’s our job and we get paid to be particular and selective, whether it is following our clients needs, guidelines, or our own personal candidate interviews, conversations, and vetting. What we sometimes wrestle with and try to balance is the notion of finding the “perfect candidate” with realizing what proverbial boxes don’t need to be checked off for the imperfect, yet immensely-talented candidate.
Assuming you have specific criteria from a job description that must be met, add in how the candidate fits with your company culture, and factor in feedback you have received from multiple rounds of phone, Skype, and in-person interviews; consider the additional reference checks, assessments, and/or projects/assignments you might have asked the candidate to complete. After all of that vetting, why second guess? Why go against your gut? Why search for skeletons and dig for negativity ad nauseam?
Whether it is a Director of Ticket Sales, Vice President of Marketing, or Chief Revenue Officer, the importance of making the right hire cannot be understated. But there is a BIG difference between doing your homework and research and trying to locate and land a unicorn. This isn’t quite a paralysis by analysis situation…it is worse…it is paralysis by “over-analysis”. Stop trying to find reasons NOT to hire and instead push for reasons TO make a hire. Look at all of the positives that the new hire will bring the organization and focus on ways to aid where there are shortcomings. Think about the reasons why you were looking to hire in the first place and why you were initially intrigued by or sold on this specific candidate. Trust that instinct!
All of that being said, we cannot let candidates off the hook. We often talk about the “human element” of recruiting, which has many definitions and explanations, but it essentially points to the uncontrollable. Clearly we are not selling a season ticket or pitching a marketing plan…but the idea of trying to convince someone to take a new job, relocate their family, report to a new boss, adjust their career goals, and shift their earning potential is easier said than done. We know the grass isn’t always greener but candidates, like their hiring organizations, have to take a step back and look at what is most important to them and what is secondary, if not tertiary. The perfect job/company/employer/location simply does not exist – try not to seek out reasons to TURN DOWN that offer…find reasons to ACCEPT that offer. You have invested too much time, energy, money, and effort into the hiring process to say no when you are at the finish line.
As Big Tom Callahan (Brian Dennehy) once said – “Why say ‘no’ when it feels so good to say ‘yes’?
As Vice President, Recruiting, Mark Gress Jr. brings more than 10 years of experience in the sports industry. He initially joined Prodigy Sports in early 2015 as Director, Recruiting before being promoted in 2016. Gress’ experience in the industry has brought him success in filling positions for Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, World Rowing Championships, USA Curling, USA Table Tennis, USA Taekwondo, and many more.