Some people love to hire jocks. Is that a viable hiring strategy?
I'm up over at Fistful of Talent today trying to answer this very question. Bottom line - you can't generalize and there are lots of great hires who come from non-athletic backgrounds. But, if I was asked to put together a hiring strategy centered around college athletes, here's where I'd look:
1. If the jock in question wasn’t that good, but they had to work their #$$ off in order to compete and survive in the sport in question, they’re not a Ken/Barbie, and they have the three attributes I’ve outlined above that can make a jock hire special, you should hire them.
2. Division 2 and Division 3 athletics are full of these types of kids – not elite, but grinders who love to play. And compete. And are capable of the consultative sale.
3. Hiring jocks from non-mainstream sports who fit all the above criteria is another great route. Everyone knows about Division 1 football and hoops, but who cares about wrestling? They still poured everything they had into it and had some success and achieved academically? Interesting hire.
Go check out the rest of the post over at Fistful of Talent for more jock talk. Athletes are interesting hires, but I think it's also broader than that - you're looking for people who are used to competing... and that could come from a lifetime of violin recitals as well as the gym.