The end of summer is upon us and that means something different to each of us. For the kids, it’s back to school time and deciding what to wear on that first day. For some families it’s about planning that last summer escape before the weather turns cold. For others including myself, the end of summer means fantasy football and preparing for my draft.

Football Fans

In a recent article written by Benjamin Snyder with Fortune magazine, fantasy football could cost businesses $13.4 billion a season! People spend a great deal of time making sure they draft the right players and according to a study by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., employees play fantasy football on the job for two hours each week. The result—$895 million lost each week. Still, the guilty pleasure has me thinking about the cost and preparation businesses incur when they’re selecting the right players for their organizations.

Drafting first round busts

Anyone who has been through the hiring process knows how time consuming and expensive it can be and how important it is to find the right employee fit. According to Joe Hadzima, a columnist for the Boston Business Journal and lecturer at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, the salary plus benefits like insurance and tuition reimbursement, usually totals “in the 1.25 to 1.4 times base salary range.”

Now’s the time to consider the impact on your business if the wrong person is hired. Unlike fantasy football, when you draft the wrong guy and he busts, all it costs you is your entry fee and a season’s worth of ridicule from your friends and coworkers. In reality, selecting the wrong person to join your team will cost you for years to come.

Consider the locker room

In addition to the monetary costs, a survey by CareerBuilder on the cost of a bad hire showed that 69 percent of employers reported that bad hires lowered their company’s productivity, affected worker morale and even resulted in legal issues. How long would it take your business to recognize a problem hire and then come to terms with it? Ask yourself questions like the following:

  • Does the employee interface with clients?
  • Could the client relationship be damaged if you fired the employee?
  • How many projects or tasks would need to be reassigned?
  • How many projects or tasks would need to start from scratch?

Digitizing your draft board

Improving your recruiting and hiring process is an important step in limiting some of these problems. Like fantasy football, there’s a number of cheat sheets and tools that can help your business draft the right players.

Applicant tracking software (ATS) allows organizations to collect and store candidates and job related data to track and monitor the recruitment process. The software can be used to post job openings, screen resumes, and create interview schedules. They’re also often used to build a virtual bench of candidates for whenever you have a starting spot open. Other features usually include the ability to customize screening questions, conduct background checks and analyze how candidates learn about or apply with your organization.

Social media is also playing a large role in the recruiting and hiring process. Collaboration between business professionals on sites such as LinkedIn have helped many companies and employees find each other. Social media is also useful to the overall screening process. Like you use the Web to learn about a football player’s past stats and injury history, you’d be surprised (or shouldn’t be, rather) how much information you can learn about a candidate with a simple social media search. Along with doing your due diligence, Here’s a few tips to add to your recruiting cheat sheet, provided by Christina Desmarais of Inc.com:

  • Always be interviewing
  • Take your time with the interview process
  • Fire quickly
  • Make sure you like the person
  • Don’t necessarily cast off the candidate who’s missing one critical skill
  • Hire according to your core values
  • Be a skeptic

What apps are you using to support your recruitment and hiring strategy? While you’re at it, what tips do you have for your fantasy football draft this year? I’m always looking for an edge.

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