Basketball Goal Hiring

Indiana Basketball And Hiring – What Can We Learn?

I live in Indiana, where basketball is king. Whether you attended Indiana University or not (I did not–I’m a proud Butler University Bulldog), IU basketball is a mainstay of conversations throughout the state, especially this time of year.

This year, however, IU basketball is the topic of conversation for the wrong reasons.  Over the past few months, no fewer than 6 of the 13 scholarship players on the IU squad have been arrested or suspended for run-ins with the law…that’s almost 50% of the team!

Naturally, many of the discussions about this among Hoosier fans (don’t ask what a Hoosier is, as even those of us from Indiana aren’t 100% sure!) revolve around how much coach Tom Crean should be held accountable for these incidents.  Regardless of any personal bias one might have for/against Coach Crean, I find myself thinking about the following:

  • He recruited and signed each of these players.
  • They each interact with him on a regular (almost daily) basis.
  • How they perform on the basketball court ultimately determines his success as a coach. 

Sound familiar?  If you’re a business owner or hiring manager, it should.  After all, what do we do in those roles?

  • Recruit talent (i.e., employees).
  • Interact with employees regularly.
  • “Coach” employees to perform at a level that ensures success for the organization.

Given that, let’s look at the IU situation by placing things into a business situation.  Assume that you hire 13 people over the course of a year or so.  Then, assume that those 13 people perform at a fairly average level (if you’ve seen IU basketball over the past year, you know this is a generous statement).  Finally, let’s assume 6 of those 13 people end up arrested or suspended over a period of a few months for various alcohol or drug-related offenses.  As the manager of those people, how likely is that you’d still have your job?

My point here isn’t to pile on as it relates to Tom Crean.  It’s fun to draw these comparisons, as there are some parallels between the roles of a coach and a manager/boss.  But, my overarching point here is how important it is to recruit/hire the right people. 

I know that’s a very simplistic and obvious statement.  “Right” means different things to different organizations.  Talent is clearly important, but it isn’t the only thing.  How well will the person “fit” the organization, the role, the team, etc.?  Will they be a good teammate?  It’s true in sports, but it’s also true in business.

Let me finish my basketball-to-business comparison with two examples relative to IU: the Duke and Kansas basketball programs.  Both programs are run by coaches who  know how to recruit those who “fit” their programs. They also have the respect of their players.  As you get ready to hire for your next opening, be sure to think about what you can learn from Duke or Kansas to more consistently recruit the right people for your team.

ExactHire provides hiring solutions that help organizations find and hire the best talent and the right fit for their company culture. To learn more about how ExactHire can improve your hiring process, contact us today!

Image Credit: Basketball Goal by prettybea (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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