Recruitment lessons from Euro 2016

For us, Euro 2016 means one thing: the opportunity to use football as a rich, radiant analogy for recruitment. (Any excuse, right?)

Football fervour is sweeping through the office, and there’s no better time to unite our joint passions for the beautiful game and the beautiful world of recruitment. So, with that in mind, here’s the top 3 lessons recruiters can learn from Euro 2016.


  1. Don’t assess candidates on past experiences alone

We’ll kick off with a look at Wayne Rooney. (Bad pun intended.) Rooney is having his best tournament since his prime back in 2004 – and it’s become increasingly clear to anyone watching that the man belongs in midfield.

Our England captain was named as one of the squad’s five strikers, but he’s no longer made for attack. Rooney belongs in a deeper role these days, and his managers are acknowledging it too.

This translates into a recruitment lesson on looking beyond job history alone. Wonder-boy Wayne may have made most of his illustrious career up-front, but it doesn’t mean he’s still suited for the position.

So, never pigeon-hole candidates based on former experiences.  Look at their overall career curve, reassess skills and culture and screen with long-term goals in mind.


  1. Use all available resources

Playing against Russia, Hodgson made the mistake of using only one forward – Harry Kane. By the end of the match against Wales, Sturridge, Vardy and Rashford were all on pitch, and it’s pretty fair to say that they won us the game.

The point is: Hodgson has the great forwards, and when he used them, he struck success. For us HR ballers (yep, bad pun intended), this emphasises the importance of using every available resource during the recruitment process.

Don’t just stop at job boards. Use LinkedIn sourcing, social media posts, networking events, referrals, display ads, blogs, email campaigns, candidate attraction videos, competitions and whatever else you can think of – just leave no stone unturned. The more resources you use, the more candidates you source. Simple.


  1. Remember: raw talent trumps time

We’re blowing the whistle on age discrimination. (That was definitely the last bad pun, we promise.) This year, Hodgson named the youngest England squad for a competitive tournament for a whopping 58 years. In fact, the average age of our squad is just 25 years and 10 months.

And we’re loving the dawn of this fresh, energetic era. Let’s look at Rashford again, for example. His contribution during the Wales match was overlooked due to the fact that he didn’t score – but within a matter of minutes the 18-year-old starlet proved that he’s a key, clever player for England.

The lesson for recruiters is clear: don’t overlook inexperienced candidates. Lengthy time in a professional field isn’t necessarily an indication of talent, and experience doesn’t always trump natural ability.

Whether you’re a football fanatic or a total tournament novice, taking lessons from Euro 2016 can help you score fantastic recruitment goals. (Okay, we lied on the pun front, but we’re a soccer for a bad joke.)

Now, who’s coming to watch the next match with us? It’s all in the name of education…