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Are You Ready for Some Office Football?

In a typical football game, each team has 11 players on the field and at least 50 more suited up on the sidelines. That’s a lot of people to manage! The players all need to have highly developed specialties, and football coaches are always on the lookout for athletes who can fill these roles perfectly.

When you’re hiring, experience is very important. However, just because someone has an amazing array of skills doesn’t mean they can fill the right spot on your roster – you need to make sure they will work well with the rest of your first string.

Here are some “office players” you should be looking for to fill out your team, and how you can use social media to find them:

  • The quarterback: Of course you need a quarterback! The QB runs plays, touches the ball on nearly every play and is responsible for making decisions on the field. You need to hire employees who you trust to make decisions. You don’t want them running to you for every little thing – hire employees who thrive on autonomy. Strong, decisive leaders will only serve to make you look good as the boss. Quarterbacks are also great communicators. They convey the necessary information to their teammates. How can you find yourself a good QB? One way is to find out how the individual communicates. In addition to interviewing candidates, check them out on social media platforms. Are their LinkedIn profiles clear and easy to follow? Do they have a lot of connections, or are their profiles empty and sad? If a Twitter profile has a decent number of followers; interesting, thoughtful tweets; and a good description, it may be a sign that the individual can communicate effectively in the workplace.
  • Offensive specialists: The offensive players on a football team are responsible for gaining as many yards as they can on a play. They need to move the ball down the field without interference. Every office needs go-getters with lots of initiative, no matter the business. People who have the foresight to see how they can gain ground with clients and any project you toss their way are great to have in the office huddle. They are not afraid to try any avenue to gain traction. How can you find them? A good tactic might be to follow their lead and play some offense. Hunt candidates down on Twitter, using keyword searches that relate to a position and/or tweet details to people who might be a fit for the role. Search LinkedIn for the right experience and connect with people who meet your criteria. It’s a great way to find passive job seekers who may be open to opportunities that come their way.
  • Defensive specialists: On the field, the role of the defensive players is pretty simple –prevent the other team from scoring. In office terms, you need defensive specialists to keep up with what your competitors are doing. Are your rivals encroaching on your territory? Your office defensive specialists will know their every move. They are experts at reading industry trends, “listening” to what is being said about you, and transforming those findings into strategic insights that shape the way you communicate both online and offline. To find them, step into their skill set. If you’re using social media for recruitment, pay close attention. What types of posts and tweets are working for you? Let the top performers shape your content plan, and reach out with the most engaging posts in your arsenal to help draw in recruits.
  • Special teams: In football, special teams assist during kicking plays. While they may play other roles on offense or defense during the game, they have specially honed skills that help the team score extra points. Look for these types of players to round out your office roster. Office special teams players may be great at writing copy in a flash, designing an infographic, or knowing just what to say to soothe an angry client. They’re willing to step outside their role and do what’s needed to get the job done. To find those special teams players, consider expanding outside the major social networks into more niche ones. Looking for a fantastic designer? You might want to check out sites like Faveup.com, where designers show off their work. There are social communities for lots of professions. Even if they don’t have a special network, they may have a Facebook group or forum where you can connect.

When you’re drafting your office team, keep in mind that they all need to work together toward a common goal. What other types of “office players” or attributes are you looking for to complete your roster?

Kristin Clifford

About Kristin Clifford

Kristin Clifford is a marketing professional and pop culture enthusiast. Follow her on Twitter at @kristincliff.
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