How do some organizations continually separate themselves from the pack? Why do some teams always win, while others continue to lose? Why do some companies struggle with day- to- day operations, while others make it look so easy? The simple answer is the people. Without the right people in place, nothing can be accomplished. Now this is something we all know, but I want to dig into this topic a little further.

I admire John Calipari. This year he won the National Championship with the Kentucky Wildcats basketball team. John is a terrific coach, but better yet, a phenomenal recruiter. What a win it was on April 2, 2012. What happened to his starting five players who played in that national championship game? They all declared eligible for the NBA draft. The very next day, after John won the championship, he went on a recruiting trip. In most preseason polls, Kentucky was in the top 5, and in some, ranked #1 for the 2012-2013 season. Currently, they are #8. This was accomplished without a single starter from last seasons roster.

That, my friend, is how you separate yourself from the other others. John may be able to coach, but without the right people in place, there was no way he could have accomplished that. He understands the importance of recruiting.

It doesn’t matter if your company is large or small, it all boils down to the people you have that surrounding you. Here are 7 reasons successful organizations recruit.

  1. You CAN NOT win with a losing roster. I’ll tell you why the Houston Astros lost over 100 games in consecutive years. Their entire roster was a AAA roster playing in the majors. They simply weren’t competitive.
  2. They understand the attrition factor. People will quit. People will get fired. People will retire. People will leave for better opportunities and more money. Don’t be an ostrich and stick your head in the ground. This will happen, like it or not! John Calipari certainly understands this.
  3. They understand fully that the only thing constant is change. The economy changes. The landscape changes. People will take on different skill sets and companies will go in different directions based upon customer needs and wants. A perfect example of this is Dell. They clearly understand that they can’t win the hardware battle anymore. They have to sell services and software if they want to compete and that requires a whole different skill set than the people they have hired in the past.
  4. You don’t know what you don’t have until someone has it. Think about Apple for a minute. You probably could have given their stock away in the early 2000’s. Then came itunes, then the ipod, then the iphone, then the icloud. Last I checked, they have a pretty solid stock price. Hire the best and brightest minds and always look for the next best thing.
  5. Someone, somewhere is continually recruiting and if you aren’t careful, you will find yourself in a loosing situation. Lets look at a winning football program like Alabama, LSU or Texas. They begin recruiting individuals early and when it is signing day, they leave the rest of the schools in the dust. They have worked hard to develop a roster that will best any school. Don’t get fooled, recruiting top talent is competitive. Step up your game so you can have a competitive team.
  6. You recruit for the right fit for YOUR organization. Sometimes that means paying more for people, sometimes it doesn’t. Michael Lewis said it best in his book Moneyball where he talks about the Oakland Athletics baseball team. He realized that the way you win is to get people on base. This didn’t necessarily mean having the best batting average. He realized that statistically the only way you can win games is to get on base the most, and that gives you the best opportunity to win. The Athletics did that well and continue to do so.
  7. Companies that continually recruit have a vision. They have a vision for today, tomorrow, and the future. Often times people don’t think ahead because they have “if it isn’t broke, why fix it”.

Take a close look at your organization, team, or your business. Are you constantly recruiting? Better start if you aren’t!