What Do the NBA Draft, Executive Search, and Michael Jordan Have in Common?

by Wes Lieser

Here we are…NBA draft day!

Other than the 4th of July and my wedding anniversary, (see what I did there?) today is my favorite day of the year. Not to mention the fact that my favorite team, the Minnesota Timberwolves, have the #1 pick this year!

As I was driving to work today listening to all of the sports talk on the radio, a question dawned on me: If your company had an open position, and you had the #1 pick, who would you select?

Imagine how different the world of sports would be if Michael Jordan had been drafted #1 or #2 overall, instead of taken #3 overall by Chicago.

  • How profitable has the selection of Michael Jordan been for the Chicago Bulls?
  • Now think about how much money the two teams that didn’t draft Michael Jordan (Houston and Portland) lost because of their choice?

Disclaimer: I know that Houston drafted Olajuwon and still won two titles…I’ll deal with that a little later.

I’m currently working with not one, but two incredibly talented Demand Generation experts in two completely different parts of the country. They’re currently employed so they don’t have the time to search for open positions, research the company, fill out the application, and hope to get a call back. Therefore, I’m working with them to put together a list of target companies, and I’m proactively reaching out to companies on their behalf.

Several times I’ve been told by companies that they’re not interested in the candidates because they don’t use outside firms. I realize companies have such policies for a reason, but I can’t help but shake my head because Demand Generation roles are normally tied to large net-new revenue numbers.

Once someone lands at a company, they’re generally off the market for a minimum of 1-2 years.

  • How much revenue are they driving for the competition in those 2 years?
  • How much revenue/productivity are you losing because you didn’t hire the rock-star candidate?

Note: You can still get someone that’s very good at what they do, and be successful. That being said, I don’t know anyone that would willingly take Hakeem Olajuwon over Michael Jordan after looking at their careers.

Executive Search exists because we understand the importance of human capital in a business – and we know all-star candidates when we see them. Think of executive recruiters like NBA talent scouts. They are qualified to be scouts because they watch a lot of basketball and they’re able to differentiate the regular players from the really talented ones. Executive recruiters work with a variety of candidates and clients every day. They know how to find what companies are looking for and are able to identify a great fit.

So, take advantage of what recruiters have to offer and find the next “Michael Jordan” to bring your team to the next level.

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CC Image courtesy of Acid Pix on Flickr

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