If you're watching/following the NCAA Men's Basketball Tourney this year, your bracket is shot, your team is likely gone and there's only one thing left to do.
What's that thing you ask?
This year, that observation is pretty simple. If it's long term performance you're looking for, you're likely better off not chasing the top 1% of available talent, you're better off in the 75th to 95th percentile due to performance and retention considerations. More for the setup from the Newton Daily News:
If you take a peak at nbadraft.net to see who the top prospects for the upcoming NBA draft are, you’ll find a bunch of freshmen. We live in a one-and-done world of college basketball. The rules force future NBA players to spend at least one season playing college basketball.
In the day of the one-and-dones, the four teams left in the NCAA Tournament are doing it with grown men.
Oregon has three freshmen on its entire roster, which is probably normal considering coaches bring in players every year to balance out rosters. Five Ducks are averaging in double-figures and four of them are juniors or seniors.
Gonzaga is probably one of the more successful programs in the country that does it with older players every year. The Bulldogs have freshman Zach Collins, who is projected to be a lottery pick. But he isn’t even one of the four Gonzaga players averaging in double figures.
North Carolina is a program one would think would be able to roll with the one-and-done model, but head coach Roy Williams has built this current roster differently. The Tar Heels lost in the championship game last year and are back in the Final Four with a team full of juniors and seniors.
South Carolina has the youngest team of any Final Four teams. The Gamecocks have freshman standout Rakym Felder and sophomores PJ Dozier and Chris Silva. But two of their top three scorers are senior guards who weigh an average of 218 pounds. Grown men.
The lesson for most of us is pretty simple. Even if you can afford to chase top talent, it's probably not in your best interest. Extrapolate the NCCA Final Four to your business, and the parallels are there. You can chase top/top talent, but you'll likely pay more and have almost immediate retention concerns. But lurking just underneath that talent pool is a group of candidates for any position that can deliver 80% of the performance for 60% of the cost/risk. In addition, since the retention issues are diminished in this group, They'll deliver increasing performance over time because they'll stick around.
It's sexy to chase the rock star. The Final Four is reminding us that the 85th percentile of available candidates is a place with pretty good ROI.
I'd rather my company be Gonzaga than Kentucky from a talent perspective.