If you’re a sports fan like me, you always have an opinion about a professional athlete’s skills and abilities. Whether you’re trying to determine if Kobe is better than LeBron, or if Brett Favre is the greatest quarterback of all time, every sports fan has an opinion. One of the biggest debates in the NFL recently has been if former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow will be successful as a professional, or if join the list of College Allstar turned NFL Bust.
Tim Tebow has arguably been one of the most polarizing college athletes in recent years. Often put under the microscope by every sports-media outlet in the world, he has proven he can play at the collegiate level by winning two BCS National Championships, a Sugar Bowl, and the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner. He also holds the record for the most rushing touchdowns in NCAA history (impressive as a quarterback…). On paper, he looks like a solid pickup.
However, one of Tebow’s biggest criticisms is his delivery of the football. His arm motion is very slow, and he drops the ball very low before his release. This scares a lot of NFL teams because defenses are much quicker and aggressive in the NFL as opposed to collegiate sports. He also comes from an offensive system that was built around his abilities, and doesn’t match any offensive system being run in the NFL.
NFL teams cannot just look at the stats when sizing up Tebow, they must look at everything, including his foundation. This is true in the workplace as well. When reviewing candidates to join your company, we all know there is more than just their “stats” to consider.
Let’s make an analogy with potential candidates. When you review a resume that has either been submitted, or you’re sourcing through resumes online, you’re immediately drawn to resumes that have good “stats” on them. You may come across a project manager with their PMP certification, or someone that is a SCRUM Master, or even the 4.0 GPA college candidates.
But to effectively conclude if the candidate will be a good fit, you have to take equal, if not more consideration in their foundation. Some of these characteristics include communication skills, ability to adapt, and eagerness to succeed. This can be tough to judge, but is critical in making the correct decision about someone.
There are multiple ways candidates can boost their “stats” to make a resume look superior. Take the PMP for instance. Unless you have applied PMP Best Practices to projects you have managed, the PMP is nothing more than a fancy title. The same with SCRUM Masters. And we all remember our college days. There was always that person you wonder how they managed to maintain a 4.0 GPA because you know they wouldn’t know better enough to come in out of the rain.
I believe this is why finding the top performing candidate is not always the best option for your company. Finding someone with a better foundation will be more successful than finding someone with the best accolades. Talk to that candidate. Measure their soft skills. Throw hypothetical situations at them and see how they react. Their answers and traits is the best way to find the next “Best Athlete” candidate.
It’s up in the air still whether Tebow succeeds in the NFL or not. So, when hiring people for your company, be sure consider that the top performing person at the last job won’t always be the top performer at your company.
About the Author: Jeremy is the Technical Recruiter for Cardinal Solutions Group in the Raleigh/Durham area. Cardinal Solutions is an IT Solution Provider that delivers custom solutions, strategic guidance, and training to Fortune 1000 companies in a diverse range of industries.
Jeremy is also avid sports fan (Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Reds, and Ohio State Football), professional condiment-ranker, cake connoisseur, Photohunt Champion, & your friend.
The point I was trying to make in the post is where there's smoke, there's usually fire. When most NFL and College Football analyst out there are saying, "Tebow was great in the college ranks, but we don't see him succeeding in NFL", are you more apt to take a chance on that person (and potentially pay them serious $$), or are you willing let another team take that chance? Risk to reward is somewhat low with Tebow based on public opinion.
If you compare that to potential candidates – if they have good “stats”, but when you talk to them, are missing things such as the items I outlined above, are you willing to take that chance? Are their previous “stats” enough for success with your company, even if they could have some potential foundational-flaws?
What are your thoughts? Do you think I’m completely off-base here? (And I don't think I should get into a full QB debate with my Cleveland Browns... that's probably for another blog...) Thanks for the feedback!
From what little I know of Tebow off the field, he is a stand-up guy, although I don't like his politics. How that plays out on a pro-football team is a much different question than college.
Sometimes you just can't tell who can lead until they go over the wall and the battle is raging. Sometimes you have a pretty good idea, other times it's some previous nobody finally standing in charge when the smoke clears, and thats why recruiting is complex and always will be.