In 1979, Michigan State University and Magic Johnson beat Indiana State and Larry Bird for the NCAA Basketball National Championship. I was 9 years old, living in Lansing, MI. My mom let me stay up past my bedtime and watch the game.
Michigan State won the game, Larry Bird cried on the bench. It was the best day of my young life. In hindsight, it might have also been the worse day of my life, because it ruined me as a Michigan State fan. At 9 years old, I figured we would just win every single year! I still feel that way today.
Last year, over 70 million people filled out NCAA March Madness brackets. Online, through office pools, at home — heck — I run my own neighborhood pool, of which a kid under the age of 12 has won three years running! If you are like me, you put some major time and strategy into making your bracket picks. ESPN has made an industry out of Bracketology! Picking the NCAA Bracket is now big business.
This leads me to a question. What do you put more time into on an annual basis, picking your NCAA bracket, or planning your recruitment strategy?
If you’re like me, you put way more research into your March Madness bracket than you ever put into researching what your recruitment strategy should be.
Let’s break down the steps to researching your NCAA bracket:
- It usually starts in late February and early March when conference play is getting to the end and conference championships are starting. It’s a Tuesday at 1 a.m. and you’re up “researching” some random bracket-buster West coast game between two teams you couldn’t find on a map.
- By early March — and league championship tournament weekend — you’re in full watch mode, probably watching more games in a week than you’ve watched all year.
- You begin talking about it at the office: “Did you see that Buffalo State game last night? That kid Kramer can really shoot it.” No one has no idea who Buffalo State or Kramer is, but they’re back Googling it within 13 seconds, mad you’ve suddenly got the upper hand on this year’s pool.
- Championship Sunday rolls around, and you can correctly pick all four top seeds, but you also know the sixth-place Big Ten team got way underseeded at 8th in the West, and any team in the Big East after the top three got overseeded.
- The brackets come out on Sunday night and by Monday morning, you’ve already filled out three: your real one, your upset one, and your fan one. You will fill out at least seven more, all with various pool betting strategies depending on what part of the country you’re in. Most people will take the local home team to win it all!
All in all, you’ve put about 240 hours of research into building your bracket which will be completely destroyed after the first two days. Unlike your recruiting strategy, which you had a meeting about at the beginning of the year. You scheduled it for an hour, but didn’t have much to talk about, so it went 45 minutes. You decided to “stay the course” and do what you did last year, even though your hiring managers hate you because you can’t find them candidates.
You think they actually like you because they come to you for advice on their NCAA brackets and you always give them a couple of possible Cinderella possibilities. The reality is, they know it’s the only thing you really have researched on getting better at in the past year.
So, what have you put more time into this year, your NCAA bracket or your recruitment strategy?
It’s worth investing time to build a recruitment strategy equipped to deliver your company the talent it needs to stay competitive. Download the guide to learn how.