What lessons can we learn from David Moyes when we recruit?

Michael Calvin wrote a book called The Nowhere Men that looked at how David Moyes recruited players at Everton. What struck me about this was the amount of planning and energy that Moyes puts into recruiting. Here is a look at what Calvin discovered.

Moyes uses four whiteboards to map out his recruiting strategy and activities.

On whiteboard one he lists the most promising new foreign players, containing around five thousand reports on approximately one thousand players. Arranged into positions on the field to determine if there are strategic weaknesses by positions.

On whiteboard two he lists Everton’s ‘real live targets’. The names in blue are potential free transfers, the names in green are potential on loan players and those in red have a high price attached to them.

Then on whiteboard three he gathers his five or six key staff members and asks them to list their favourite under-26, outside-the-top-6 Premier League players. They then create a league table of players and those that score high are looked at more carefully.

And, finally on whiteboard four he builds Everton’s best current starting eleven. He then tries to name the starting eleven for the next three years. The idea here is to map out the ‘strategic gaps’ across the next three seasons.

These inputs help him identify his recruiting needs and identify the best possible candidates.

What can we learn from this when we recruit?

I think we can learn quite a bit about recruiting from the way Moyes approached recruiting at Everton.

When do you start recruiting?

Recruiting does not begin when someone leaves the organisation. Just as Moyes does, recruiting is an ongoing process of identifying strategic gaps and identifying people who can fill these gaps.

Your Recruitment Team

Just like Moyes, the people you use to help recruit should have expertise in what you do, they should have experience in your industry, they should know the people within your industry.

How do you find the right person?

To find the right person you need to have a structure for identifying talent. Look at the orgainsations you compete with. Look to industries that have the skills and knowledge that you may need. Make lists of companies and individuals that are doing what you believe you will be doing in three years from now.

The most important lesson here is that recruiting does not begin when someone leaves. It is a capability that is built over time. It involves looking into the future and describing your organisation. It involves describing the type of people you will need and where you will find them.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about recruiting for the future please contact me paul@paulgreening.com

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