As a startup trying to grow our sales team quickly, we were spending too much time recruiting but not getting great results. Time is our most valuable asset, so we had to find a more efficient way to hire. A large part of the hiring process is the same for each candidate: an introduction of who we are, what we do, etc. Realizing the inefficiency of this repetitive process, we at LeagueApps have scrapped it and replaced it with a “sports combine” approach.
What’s a Combine?
Sports combines are a way for athletes to display their skills and abilities for the coaches and scouts recruiting them. The athletes are all brought to one combine where they can showcase their individual and team skills. We’ve translated this into our sales recruitment process. In place of phone screens, we use a combine to bring in and evaluate our candidates all at once.
- Quick and efficient
Screening our candidates in person, all at once, allows us to evaluate qualities of a candidate we can’t get out of a phone screen and move onto the next step of the hiring process quickly. This saves us hours of work on phone screens and bad interviews, making it easier to select the candidates we want to bring back for a second interview.
- Helpful for candidates
The chance to interact with team members gives candidates a better understanding of our company culture, setting very clear expectations for what the job entails.
- Refresher for your sales team
Our team members get to hear the candidates’ excitement about our company. It works as a refresher for our current team of how great their jobs are.
How To Set It Up
The framework of every combine is the same, broken down into three one-hour segments. We invite the candidates, ranging from 10 to 20, to the office at the end of the workday. We also have our CEO, myself, and a couple sales team members there.
- Team introductions
We first have the candidates network amongst themselves, then explain the purpose of the combine and have everyone introduce themselves. This is followed by an introduction from our CEO about LeagueApps, and a short video from a professional athlete to pump them up.
- Set the agenda
We give a history of the sales team, how it’s evolving, and what a day in the life of a team member is like. The candidates are then broken up for groups activities, interviews, and presentations.
- Closing remarks and refreshments
We always take the opportunity to thank them for their time, explain the next steps and end with food and drinks.
It is difficult to coordinate 15 schedules and bring everyone into the office at the same time.
It’s tricky finding a balance between promoting both the fun and the seriousness of our work culture.
We’ve made the mistake of serving food and drinks first, taking away from the professionalism of the combine.
Run a Successful Combine
Here are some tips to successfully run your own combine.
- Identify your company’s goals for the combine
A clearcut schedule and agenda are essential for an organized combine.
- Pick a few, good team members
You don’t want to overwhelm the candidates. Make sure you trust the members you involve as they are the ones representing your company image to the candidates.
- Keep it fun, but professional
While the combine is meant to be a good time, it’s still an interview. The candidates need to sell themselves to you.
Follow these tips and you’ll be running successful combines in no time. Best of luck from the LeagueApps team!
This is a guest post by the Director of Sales Partnerships of LeagueApps, Chad Korpeck. LeagueApps is a recreational sports league management software that helps local sports organizations streamline their operations.
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