Why should staffing agencies take inspiration from the Superbowl?

Feb 11, 2016

Management and strategy are important in each sport and football is no exception. The Superbowl final on Sunday 13 February seems to me to be the right time to be inspired by this iconic sport. Here are 10 principles that may apply to temporary or permanent staffing agencies.


1.Take Individual Differences Into Consideration


In football as in the staffing industry, switching teams can happen on a regular basis. Therefore, it is important to consider everyone. This is how the temporary staffing agency has every interest in knowing the strengths of its candidates and offering its clients employees they already know, having already carried out assignments there.


2.Build a Strategy and adapt to your opponent


Before each football game, it is important to evaluate the defense, strengths, and weaknesses of each team member, to adapt and to be able to face any moves from the opposite team. Having a strategic vision is also important for the manager of the staffing agency: you must know the skills of competitors … and try to create an even more powerful team!


3.Encourage Commitment


During a game, every move forward is a small step towards victory. A stepwise approach allows perseverance all along the game, by setting short- and long-term goals. In the temporary and permanent staffing industry, organizing regular meetings (to talk about employees’ performance, their integration, and their well-being), as well as events like training or corporate events, helps maintaining the team’s engagement and the corporate culture.


4.Create A Team Spirit


The sense of belonging is important for team spirit. During a game, players who do not have possession of the ball must protect and help the player who has it to break through. It goes the same way in agency: the staffing agency manager must encourage team cohesion, whether through conflict resolution or even by organizing corporate or training events.


5.Use The “Smash Mouth” Offense


This traditional football technique is essentially based on a strong running game and where most of the plays run by the offense are handoffs to the fullback or tailback. The Smash Mouth offense enables a slow but sure breakthrough, by controlling the clock. Again, this is a lesson to take. When it comes to recruitment, no need to rush. A stepwise process can help understanding the candidate’s profile and skills and minimize recruitment mistakes.


6.Adapt to Unpredicted Events


Reactivity and adaptability (evolution score, remaining time, weather, injury …) are important attributes in football. Human resources also must deal with unpredicted events. Good recruiters should be able to quickly adjust their strategy (new hires, improvement of the work environment, etc.) based on business and market developments. In sport as in the staffing agency, any decision must aim to maintain the team’s stability.


7.Using Experience on The Field


On the field, experience improves intuition, reflexes and decision making to face the opposite team. Similarly, it is by recruiting over and over that a good HR manager learns! Developing good methods to understand both candidates and employees requires a long-term practice.


8.Build a Trusting Environment


Trust is often the key to success in football as in staffing agencies. Just look at the way the two protagonists of this 56th edition of the Superbowl  have reached the last step. Both were trailing going into the fourth quarter. Both calmly rallied, trusting their defence as much as their players. The latter, like the managers of staffing agencies, have the task of building a climate of trust within the team, which guarantees that even through difficult times, employees will stay united and determined.


9.Encourage Perseverance in Any Circumstances


The previous example shows us the necessity to persevere, even if the situation is alarming, both on the field and at work. Indeed, the Cincinnati Bengals team was still down 21-3 halfway through the game! But the perseverance of the entire team led them to knock off one of the favourites. The latter can, however, take comfort in the fact that sometimes failure is the best way to learn, so that success can be achieved again. Human resources specialists must ensure optimism and team motivation in all circumstances through continuous support.


10. Rely on the mind to seek success: attitude determines your altitude


“May the best man win!” we say. But what decides the best between two teams that make it to the Superbowl final? Sure, both have talented players – individually and collectively, effective strategies and physical skills that have helped them get there. By what means, then, will one of them gain the upper hand? By the minds of its players and the people supervising them. Whether it’s the star wingman, the all-important quarterback or the coach, everyone will approach the final with a state of mind, a mind that will weigh in the balance. The head of a staffing agency, as a leader, must also be able to instill the right spirit in his team and convince candidates to join. In a sector as competitive as the temporary and permanent placement market, it is often the attitude that differentiates an agency that wins from one that loses.


Football Fan? You will no longer watch a game without learning from it!


*This article was originally published on February 11, 2016. The changes made to the PRIM Logix temporary and permanent staffing software since that date have led us to update it.


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