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Talent Acquisition – Why rebuild when you can reload? Just ask Coach Cal!

April 12, 2012

Imagine if every time an employee of yours left (quit or promoted) you had the #1, ideal, best possible candidate immediately available to step in as a replacement? What a luxury! Workforce talent acquisition made easy…

For this to happen, your organization would need to be considered one of the best possible employers with a history of success. You would need to be considered an outstanding leader who could virtually guarantee not only that the new hire would be wildly successful while working in that role, but that they would most likely be considered for a major promotion after working for you after only a short period of time. And year after year, this cycle would continue while you were at the helm! Sounds impossible right?

Photo from WildcatWorld.com

Last night, the #1 high school basketball recruit in the country Nerlens Noel signed with the University of Kentucky Wildcats.  Not a huge surprise. Two weeks ago, the University of Kentucky (UK) won the NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship. That was no surprise either. UK was ranked #1 all season and picked by virtually everyone to win this year. But why?

In 2011, they had three of the nation’s top recruits. Two of those three will be moving up to the NBA to play professionally next year. In fact, UK has had the #1 recruiting class in college basketball for 4 straight years now. Not only did this year’s #1 recruit sign on with UK, four of the top 100 recruits in the nation all signed letters of intent to attend Kentucky.  Life is good for Coach John Calipari. His top players leave, often after only one season, and the best players in the county are lined up to take their place!

Photo from CoachCal.com

In three years, Calipari has taken Kentucky to two Final Fours and is fresh off a national championship, the eighth in school history. He has taken three different programs to the NCAA Final Four (UK, Memphis and UMASS). As of today, 22 of his players have been drafted by the NBA.

Remember the John Grisham novel The Firm? Similar scenario right? A tax law firm, Bendini, Lambert & Locke, would hand pick the top recruit each year and fast track that lawyer to success.

While college basketball and fictional novels don’t necessarily represent reality, it is possible to consistently position your company for growth and continued success through your hiring processes.

Recently, men’s clothing retailer JoS. A. Bank was featured in Stores Magazine for their successful recruiting and hiring strategies. When the recent recession hit hard in 2008, JoS. A. Bank positioned themselves for growth. In addition to marketing strategies targeted towards interviewees who were looking for work, the company applied selection science and automation to their hiring processes to help identify the best possible sales associates. Starbucks has seen similar improvements in their recruiting processes, featured here, as they can both attract and identify quality candidates with their automated talent acquisition system.

Businesses can identify the top candidates that are most likely to be successful based on their skills and interests, which inevitably leads to lower turnover rates and top recruits becoming interested in working there.

There’s a saying that applies to successful teams in sports – They don’t rebuild, they reload. Employee turnover, when managed well can be an opportunity for growth and continued success.  Simply recruit the best possible candidates available, and position them for early success. Easier said than done? Just ask Coach Cal.

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