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Staffing Lessons from Sports

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Ok, time to confess again…I’m a sports junkie.  Especially for my hometown teams (stay with me this time, I swear this will relate back to staffing).  So when I heard that ESPN had released its annual Ultimate Team Rankings, I couldn’t wait to see how the Bills and Sabres did.  The Rankings include all 122 teams from the four major sports (baseball, basketball, hockey, football). 

The great thing about this Ranking is that it isn’t created by some writer or blogger just making up his own list.  They create their list by surveying the fans of each team on a number of categories:

  • Bang for the Buck
  • Fan Relations
  • Ownership
  • Affordability
  • Stadium Experience
  • Players
  • Coaching
  • Title Track

Because it comes from the fans, I tend to put a little more credibility into this ranking.  Two years ago the Sabres were ranked #1, and my civic pride couldn’t have been bigger.  Now, just a short two years later, the Sabres have dropped to #63 and the Bills a dismal #91.  Yikes!

What stood out to me is that both teams performed poorly in ownership and players.  Of course when your owner sends one of your eight home games to Canada you have to expect some low rankings.  But that’s another blog for another time.

The local sports talk show had a field day with this and they brought up a good point.  It would be easy to just blow this off and say “ehh it’s just one survey, what does it matter.”  But they made the point that if you were a corporation and your customers ranked you this low it should throw up some big red flags.

So, as a staffing firm, what can you learn from this?  If someone surveyed all of your clients and candidates how would they rank you? 

How would they feel about your “players” or “ownership”?  

What would your candidates say about their “stadium experience”, aka your office?

Would you still rank as well as you did before this recession?  Or have you taken steps to improve your customer service during these difficult times?

So why not take each of these categories and make up your own survey?  Keep it anonymous in order to get respondents true feelings.  

Of course there is no definite end in sight for this recession but now is the time to start planning to take advantage for when the economy does bounce back.  It could mean the difference between your firm being at the top of the rankings or down near the bottom, like the Bills. 

Now if you’ll excuse me I’m now going to cry into my Scott Norwood jersey.

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