Shopping Product Reviews admin  

5 Winning Recruiting Tips to Avoid March Madness

March is a long-awaited moment for many. It’s a time when both sports fans and non-sports fans come together to join office groups. Confident brackets are put together with the anticipation of “I’m taking it all this year!”, until the little school you’ve never heard of gets an upset against your winning team. March Madness is called “March Madness” because anything can happen in the NCAA March Madness Tournament!

But what exactly defines a winning team? How come some of the teams you’ve never heard of beat your favorite team? As recruiters, there are a few characteristics that can be learned from winning teams in the March Madness tournament. From strategy, to determination, to finishing in the final moments, we’ll delve into each of these winning playbook features and more to learn how you can be a winning recruiter.

  1. Strategy

As teams prepare to play their tournament opponent, they study video footage, practice plays, and come up with an overall strategy to defeat the other team. Similarly, with each new job request, recruiters must come up with a winning strategy to find the perfect candidate for their client on time. Just as players study old footage of their opponent, you can start by taking a look at similar positions you’ve recruited for in the past to see the successful ways you’ve found candidates. You may already have some candidates in the pipeline from last time who might be good for this position.

Winning players also try to “visualize their game”. In their head, they see themselves dribbling past opponents, scoring points, and making game-winning shots. All top athletes, not just college basketball players, visualize their game, and science has shown that this mental strategy can actually work! While recruiters can certainly envision themselves finding a candidate their client could never have dreamed of, recruiters must more of Visualize your action plan and write it down.

Some important points to keep in mind when devising a strategy and action plan to complete your work order:

  • Where will you promote the work? Will you be using Indeed®, CareerBuilder®, LinkedIn®? What is the best platform for this particular job order to find the best candidates?
  • What type of candidates will you target? What experience will you be looking for? What skill set will they need to have?
  • How can you use your ATS to find candidates? Many times, you can immediately fall back on finding new candidates, however, your ATS may house hundreds or even thousands of candidates right in front of you! As soon as you determine the types of candidates you’re looking for, you can use the search capabilities in your ATS to specifically search for those types of candidates.
  • Do you already have a pipeline of candidates for a similar job you were recruiting for in the past? As with the previous point, inventing the wheel is not always necessary! Check to see if you already have a handful of qualified candidates that you’ve previously vetted for a similar position. If so, these candidates would be a good place to start.
  • Do you plan to put together an email campaign for this position, followed by a call? As you search for potential leads in your ATS, you can add them to a designated pipeline to make it easier to include them in an email or call campaign.

Proposing your strategy and the steps on how you are going to carry out that strategy is the first step to getting the perfect location. As Bobby Knight, former head coach of the Indiana University Hoosiers (1971-2000), said, “The will to succeed is important, but what’s more important is the will to prepare.”

  1. Leadership and teamwork

All winning teams have a leader. Whether it’s a particular coach on a team, a player, or even both, all successful teams have leaders who guide the team in carrying out its strategy to victory. This also includes teamwork. Leaders are not ball hoarders trying to do it all themselves. They work with their team to bring home a win!

As a recruiter, you are the leader of each job order. You are in charge of not only carrying out your strategy, but also “leading” a successful team. With each job order, you may not traditionally work with a team, but there may be other people you can work with to help fill the position. Is there anyone in the industry that you have a connection to who might know someone for the position or help advertise it? Or maybe there is someone at your employment agency who has held similar positions in the past. Work with them to see if they can offer you any advice; They may even recommend someone for the position. Using your connections can be extremely beneficial for recruiting. As I always like to say, “Teamwork makes dreams work!”

Teamwork can also come from the side of working with the client. At the beginning, you want to have a complete understanding of the type of candidate the client is looking for. You will also want to get the answers to the questions you have received. After that, it’s important to maintain a good relationship throughout the process so they trust that you are the right person to find their candidate. If all goes well, they will want to work with you in the future!

  1. Communication

Communication on and off the pitch is key to a winning team. Off the court, the team must clearly communicate the game plan so that all players know what their role will be on the upcoming plays. On-court communication is just as important to communicate what you’re seeing on the court, what game you’re playing, and more.

Effective communication is also extremely important for recruiters. When presenting candidates to your clients, you need to find the best way to present the candidate and “sell” them so that your client knows why they should consider this person for the position. Similarly, when you talk to candidates, you need to present the job in a way that makes them interested in the position so they want to learn more. Both initial communications are critical to starting the conversation off right. You need to be prepared to know what to say, how to say it, and the best format to present it (phone call, video call, screen share, email, etc.)

When communicating regularly with candidates, you also need to find out what is the best mode of communication for them. Is it email, text, phone call? Once you start an initial conversation with an interested candidate, find out the best way to contact them. That will make both your life and theirs easier. Slow response times can often be avoided as long as you communicate in the best way to get a timely response.

Video interviews are also a form of communication that has become popular during the pandemic. Some recruiters may not feel comfortable doing a video interview yet, however, it is just like conducting an in-person interview. The only difference is that the interview is conducted virtually. Recruiters want to have their regular interview questions ready, dress professionally, and have the right background/lighting. Before the candidate participates in the interview, make sure that the sound and image are working. You may also want to provide specific instructions to the interviewee on how to join the video interview and connect to audio/visual. Even if it seems straightforward, sending instructions ahead of time can help ensure it runs smoothly and without technical difficulties. The first interview with the candidate is like the “first impression” of her. While they may be nervous about making a good first impression on you, you also want to make a good first impression on them. If the interview doesn’t go smoothly or seems unprofessional, they may not be interested in working with you in the future.

Effective communication throughout the entire recruiting process is essential to get you closer to winning your perfect recruit!

  1. Determination

Never giving up is a trait that all NCAA winning teams have. No matter how many points they are down, they are determined to keep fighting because the game is never over until the end. Anything can happen and we have certainly experienced this while watching March Madness! Kobe Bryant, one of the greatest NBA players of all time, once said, “The moment you give up, that’s the moment you let someone else win.”

The same can be applied in recruiting. You may not initially find the perfect candidate and you may have ups and downs, but you should stay positive and keep looking. It’s easy to get discouraged if we fail, but staying determined to find the right candidate will help you succeed in the long run.

If you start to get discouraged, take a step back and see what might not be working and how you can fix it. Having trouble finding the right candidate? Are they missing something from their skill set that the customer wants? Are you close to filling out the job order, but the candidate does not accept the offer? Take a look at what’s going on and ways you can find a solution to take over the game!

  1. Ending in the Final Moments

Similar to the above, we’ve all seen matches where teams were down 20 points and managed a miraculous comeback to tie in the final moments! Or maybe it’s a nail-biting game right down to the last few seconds! March Madness is known for “buzzer wins.” Anxiety washes over us as we sit on the edge of our capes hoping our team will be the one to come out on top! How can teams “finish” in the final seconds? Sometimes it can be out of a team’s control, but there are also ways to prepare for these moments when you’re “tied at 88 with 5 seconds left.” One way is to practice for alert moments and have a game plan when they happen.

For recruiters, the “buzzer win” is when the candidate shows up on day one! You found the perfect candidate, the offer was accepted, and they show up to work on their first day. Hurrah!


But as recruiters, they often know that even if a candidate accepts the offer, it doesn’t mean they’ll show up on day one! Why did this happened? What makes a candidate “ghost” you? It can be for any number of reasons, but one way to help prevent it is evidence ways to prevent it. Check out our article, “Is Your Candidate Hiding It? Become a Ghostbuster” for tips and best practices to avoid being ghosted. Once you figure out the best practices and testing methods for removing ghosting, you’ll be able to finish off more of those buzzer shots for the win!

The teams in March Madness are relentless and everyone has the drive to be the NCAA March Madness Tournament Champion! As you can see, there is a lot we can learn from these teams about strategy, leadership and teamwork, communication, determination and finishing in the last few seconds. So, go out there, bring this recruiting playbook, and be a recruiting champion!

Leave A Comment