5 Ways The Hiring Process is Just Like Fantasy Football

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Fantasy football season is in full swing, with more than 20 million Americans each week setting their rosters in hopes of capturing a coveted league championship.

While fantasy football is all about fun – and maybe winning a few bucks – it can also be instructive for those looking to hire top talent.

The strategy and skills required to run a successful fantasy football team in many ways mirror a successful hiring process. Here are a few ways how:

Preparation: A fantasy owner starts prepping well before the real season starts, assessing incoming talent and identifying which players might have a breakout year. Likewise, a savvy hiring manager prepares well before the actual candidate search begins in earnest, honing the job description, establishing the interview process, and working with HR partners and connections to make sure the best candidates walk through the door.

Research: A rack full of glossy magazines and even more Web sites are dedicated to the detailed analysis of fantasy football, breaking down stats, identifying trends and predicting outcomes. A similar level of research into potential prospects can help you identify solid candidates in and outside your company. Get the word out to business associates, colleagues and social network connections about the type of talent you are looking for.

Flexibility: Or course, draft day does doesn’t always turned out as planned. But let your heart not be troubled fantasy owner — a mediocre performance on draft day doesn’t mean you are doomed for failure. By being willing to make trades, adjust your lineup, or pick up new players, you can right the ship. Same goes with a candidate search. Interviews don’t always go as planned, and candidates can be fickle — particularly the good ones. By being flexible and willing to adjust to changing conditions, you improve your chances of landing one of your top prospects.

Follow-up: It’s the small details matter in fantasy football. If you fail to set a lineup in time or miss the fact a key player is on injured reserve, you hurt your chances of success. Paying attention to details after an interview can also be the difference-maker for a candidate that might be on the fence. Doing the little things – keeping in touch about the process, and promptly providing the candidate with requested information — can help seal the deal.

Perseverance: Some fantasy owners can go a few seasons without ever raising that treasured championship trophy. Same goes with the search for a top candidate. Yet persistence and focus pay off over time. Stick with your game plan and odds are that superstar candidate will end up on your team. Touchdown!

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