I have just read on the BBC that Cardiff City (a Welsh soccer club just promoted to the English Premier League) have just appointed a 23 year old Kazakh as head of recruitment. He replaces a safe pair of hands who has helped the club recruit the quality of player that's got the team promoted. This youngster will be responsible for all player recruitment. He is a close friend of the club's owner's son. It's OK though because he knows the club well - he joined the club on work experience earlier this year and has been painting the stadium walls.
I am not joshing you, honest. Trust me. The cheque's in the post and I'll love you in the morning. Honest!
OK, but you still have to believe the BBC eh?....
And before you say anything, there's nothing wrong with 23 year old's - I was one once. And nothing wrong with Kazakhs - although I don't think I've ever met one. But this is doomed......
Now why would I bother to write the bleedin' obvious? Because I reckon it will prove my point that, despite what many half-baked experts are telling us that the internet will replace human contact in the recruitment process, it won't. People still want to deal with people who can speak their language.
This poor lad is about to get a very rough ride. The owner will fret when the club don't recruit the players they need to stay competitive. The supporters will start to whinge - loudly. The manager will walk out. The club will get relegated. Nobody will be win (although there will be some valuable lessons learned all round).
Don't believe for one moment that the human element will be removed from recruitment anytime soon. Reduced? Yes. Removed? - Not until algorithms are a great deal smarter and engage real people in debate and banter. (Here's how I think recruitment could look in 10 years time...)
In a very perverse way I'm going to enjoy the agony that's about to follow. Nepotism was never a good idea, but it will make for some great public entertainment over the next few months until the owner discovers what an arse of a decision he's made.
Nothing's so simple it can't be done wrong.
(Image courtesy of http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/)