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The Mike McDaniel Approach to Recruiting

March 8, 2023

Recruiting for today’s workforce is a unique challenge.

Jim Roy, our CEO recently detailed a correlation BETWEEN the recruiting and hiring landscape and the way Mike McDaniel coaches the Miami Dolphins.

“We have no blueprint for what we face every day, the conditions of the market are different than anything any of us have seen in history.  I have been speaking about the topic, calling it, “No looking back, there is no guide from history to show us the way to hiring.” None of us have lived through a pandemic and none of us have learned how candidates feel after a pandemic.

Our consulting work has been very interesting, as has our search work. We provide insight and feedback about candidates, but candidates have specific wants and needs that need to be met individually. However, mistakes continue to happen once a candidate accepts and starts a job.  We are seeing turnover for a variety of reasons, many of which are personal to the candidate.  While employers should study and adjust the way they onboard and develop new talent, they also should not beat themselves up for hiring the wrong person.

I am a lifelong football fan and use lessons I have seen in the game as tools in my consulting practice. Recently, I have been studying the style of Mike McDaniel, coach of the Miami Dolphins. Experts call him “an intellectual” and, many say, an x’s and o’s guru. But what makes McDaniel so different is that, unlike so many savants, McDaniel is no introvert. He has an uncanny ability to connect with people.

He cares about people and he’s not afraid to talk about it. McDaniel is not afraid to talk about anything. I followed his press conferences during the season and am interested in the way he leads his team, specifically his way of holding his players accountable for their mistakes. I feel it applies to the work we do with hiring and retention.

“You could ask the players that have gotten used to me, now, since I’ve been here, I will not hesitate to hold people accountable,” McDaniel said. “You don’t have to do it through [explicative]. You can do it like ‘Hey, here’s the issue. You’re doing this.’”

McDaniel wants his players to know that the mistakes they make could negatively impact the team and their teammates, and that’s a great way to teach it. It is a real-life application for these lessons. They are grown men playing a game for a living, they don’t have to be talked down to, to understand a point.

I feel this way about recruiting and hiring. Mistakes are going to happen; you will hire the wrong person or simply not give them the support they need to succeed. It is about being human for both the hiring manager and the candidate. But the way you react and learn from your hiring decisions will define your ability to grow a team. Each time you hire someone, you are impacting the future state of your business.”

Schedule a consultation with Jim today, our Human Resources expert with over 25 years of experience.

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