I’ve been working closely with a Club Chairman and a former Premier League Manager to design a new recruitment process to test Football Manager’s on-the-job skills. With strong reputations, fantastic CV’s and celebrity status, it can be difficult for Chairmen to differentiate candidates for management positions.
So what we’ve developed is a process similar to a pilot demonstrating his flying ability in a flight simulator. Here the pilot can choose the route and destination and fly anywhere in the world and select any type of weather condition to test his skills at flying. So what we did was to think along the same lines. Could we design a process that can showcase the potential candidate’s ability to do the manager’s role in modern day football?
The result was amazing! During this two-hour process, we quickly found the tangible and intangible differences between candidates. We also found out about candidate inconsistencies and contradictions between their attitude, behaviour, values and beliefs. It triggered some poor candidate reactions. It revealed how the best candidates responded to real life problems. Today, the selected candidate is highly successful and fulfilling the Chairman’s and the Club’s expectations.
We have established three important differences between the candidates using this process:
- The level of candidate hunger and drive
- The candidate’s ability to think clearly under intense pressure, especially when they had to deal with a conflict scenario.
- Each candidate’s ability to build strong relationships.
Not surprisingly, the front-runners were those candidates who could blend an appealing combination of these three success factors. We were able to get the “person-environment fit” seamless ensuring alignment between Chairman, candidate and the Club. Interestingly, candidates that attempted to showcase their ability when there was a clear misalignment of person-environment fit deselected themselves from this process.
An additional benefit was that the development areas for the selected candidate were revealed right from the start. The Chairman was, therefore, able to see where potential problems or pitfalls may arise in their working relationship. This was seen as a valuable element as most of the breakdowns in a working relationship are as a result of not understanding the key weaknesses between the manager and organisation.
The Corporate Recruitment Simulator
The “Recruitment Simulator” has now been repeated into the corporate sector where my clients are enjoying assessing candidates more thoroughly at recruitment stage. Being able to deeply see candidate’s strengths and weaknesses, exposing immediate development areas of new hires has been widely welcomed. It has resulted in Development Plans for the new recruits being implemented during their on-boarding and probationary period.
My genuine excitement that I wanted to share with you today is that the balance between the art and science of recruitment is being achieved.
The organisations using this process have improved their ability to select the “right people for the right roles”, saving time and money.
Using the “Recruitment Simulator” real high-flyers have been quickly and accurately identified.