How To Recruit Gold Medal Employees

By JDXpert - April 03, 2016

With only a few days until the end of the 2012 Summer Olympics, I’ve been stunned by the shear excellence of these athletes.  Their strength, passion, and talent are apparent; each one of them striving to win the gold.  The goal of an HR manager is not much different than an Olympian’s coach; they want to recruit and work with talented individuals who they can develop into top performers.   There are a number of recruitment lessons to be learned from these talented athletes and the Olympic Games; here are just a few. 

Find Someone With Passion
No one can argue that the athletes of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games have passion for their sport.  The dedication they exhibit is remarkable.  It takes years upon years of hard work with a lot of sacrifice to get to the top.  All athletes will experience exciting highs and disappointing lows, but it is those who have a thirst to succeed the will succeed.  Look at the story of Jordyn Wieber who was obviously upset for not qualifying for the all-around finals, but handled her disappointment with grace and ended up helping her team win the gold at the team finals.  It was her passion for the sport and desire to succeed that got her and her teammates the gold.  Then there’s the story of South Africa's Oscar Pistorius, who is the first double amputee to compete in the games by running the men's 400-meter race.  Although he did not receive a metal, his story shows us that with dedication and passion, nothing is out of reach. Or as Jim Caple of stated, “Medal or not, the most important thing is that he is running and proving to the world that anything is possible, even running in the Olympics without legs.”  So when looking for a new employee, don’t just look for the most impressive resume, look for an individual with a passion for the job and a passion for your company.

Build an Attractive Brand Identity
The Olympic Games are considered to be the world’s leading sports competition with world class athletes.  Athletes often dedicate their lives to the games; every scrape, every tear, every sacrifice is for the glory of being a participant in the Olympic Games.  Thousands of people per day don’t just apply for jobs at Google or Apple just because of the paycheck; they apply to be part of something special.  If you can create an attractive company brand, you can recruit top talent.

First, determine what image you want to portray and what type of employee you want working for your company.  Without knowing who you are and who you want to be, you cannot promote your image properly.  After that is settled, use social media, the web, and your employees to promote your company brand.  When people see and hear positive talk about your company, recruits, including top recruits, will flock to join your team.  But remember, nothing happens overnight so continue to build your brand into one people recognize and admire.   

What Can They Bring To The Table Now
Just because an athlete was in a prior Olympic Games does not mean that they automatically qualify to compete it the current Games.  All athletes must first pass the Olympic trials before given a space in the Games.  A previous boss of mine used to ask applicants after an interview to go home and write brief letter of why they wanted to work for his company.  Surprisingly, very few would do so but those who did, he knew wanted to be part of the team and had the tenacity to do something about it.   You can also consider asking applicants to perform some sort of test during the recruitment process to determine if they are able to perform the job.  So don’t get caught up with what an applicant has done in the past, think about what they can do for your company today and tomorrow.  

What other recruitment lessons can we take from the 2012 Summer Olympic Games?  We’d love to hear from you so please leave us your comments.




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