Why Choosing the perfect player doesn’t mean choosing the Strongest one

In business and sport, the right choice is never easy. Right or wrong, we can list multiple examples linked to the concept of “Choice”. Talking about business, the selection of new talents by Recruiters is an important and fundamental landmark for the development of a company.

Most of the time in fact, behind specific choices, there is an ambitious growth project, with the goal to improve a department and its team.


That’s why HR and Recruiters’ job is an extremely delicate one.

From a Business-Sport comparison point of view, we can consider NBA Draft night as the main expression of those situations where the right choice has to be made. Choosing a talented player is like recruiting a new resource to enrich your organogram.

There is though a significant difference: Draft is based on a lottery defined by the previous year results of a team. The one with the worst core will have more chances to recruit the best player. This way, a better balance between teams can be achieved in order to have a general improvement in the national competition.

Things are a bit different for companies: better results mean better chances to recruit the best brains in the market.

However, not always the “strongest” player is chosen to perform the role is expected from him. And why is that? It’s easy: choices must be functional and related to the context, to the adopted strategy, and to the team policy.

Let’s try to analyze two completely different situations:


1)     Rebuilding: rising from ashes

After enduring stillness for some years, Philadelphia 76ers have decided to take on younger players with promising potential, laying the bases for a mid-long term development process.

Their motto is “Trust the Process” and, to be true to these words, they recruited some great players including Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons e Markelle Fultz.

This kind of recruiting approach – whatever nature this team is – can be adopted when there is the need to build from scratch or, better, to rebuild: train young talents and you will have future champions and a strong team.

Qualified trainers – and skilled managers on a business level – will form these players, giving them the knowledge they need to face any situation.

Also, other seasoned players who have been in the game since many years have an essential role for these young newcomers: they are a great example and can teach them “tricks of the trade”, fast forwarding this way the development of their potential.

Let’s talk about Sixers: considered a bit extreme, their management made a specific choice, a choice they are following with confidence and consistency. The team is improving year after year and, potentially, could have a leading role in the championship in a long-term period.


2)     The Boost

When a team has already reached a good competitive level, the approach is completely different.

In this situation, the worst move is to stop the growth of the team and to consider it fully formed and shaped.

Instead, it is necessary to keep adding new talents step-by-step to assure a non-stop development of the team: in other words, the management needs to recruit new players to bring added value without shaking the human and professional balance of the group.

To choose the best resource during the recruiting process, there are 3 steps you can follow:

  1. Choose the most suitable candidate: the one who can best interact with the rest of the team. The risk is to damage what you have built up to this time.
  2. Human qualities: skills are not everything. The newcomer must have the right approach and be able to join a close-knit team with its own specific dynamics.
  3. Added value: the new member must bring that plus quality that can help the company move forward.

As we can see in these three points, the new resource must be a nourishment for the team: what he can improve is the quality of the existing group, both on a game and a human level.

Every year, Draft NBA makes us think about the concept of Choice. Right or wrong, we must make decisions that will change the group balance and we must take them for the team sake.

A recruiting activity is based on your company goals, on the team dynamics and the managers’ expectations: but ultimately, the help and support between the employee and the company must be mutual in order to reach the best possible results. That’s what happens in the NBA.