What you can learn from Gareth Southgate when recruiting a winning team

Inspired by the 2018 England squad, Cathy Bates shares what businesses learn in recruiting a successful team.

I’ve been coming into the office singing football songs all week, hyped up on the prospects of our tiny country achieving glory on the world stage.  I’m not a huge football fan, but I love winning, teamwork and success so I’m gripped.

The success of the England team shows the importance of talent and ability, as opposed to the length of service and experience. It’s something a lot of employers could learn from.

A lot of employers are very fixed in their ideas about the importance of previous experience, especially their length of service in an industry. We get a lot of requests 3 or 5 or 7 years of experience being a minimum for candidates to have. This isn’t just illegal as it contravenes age discrimination laws, but also suggests that more years of experience equates to more competence in a role.  But this isn’t necessarily true.

Just look at the brilliant England squad: a lot of the players don’t have a huge amount of experience in international fixtures – none of them even play for clubs abroad. The manager has never led an international team before at this level but perhaps it’s his tenure as under-21s manager, where players with vast international experience aren’t available.

Raw talent, ability and attitude are the most important – it’s a good manager’s job to leverage this to best effect.  Someone with lots of experience may have their own way of doing things, have let some of their skills stagnate, or even think they know better than you do.

And just like a wider net will mean more goals scored, if employers can think outside the box to recruit candidates based on their attitude and potential rather than what they’re like on paper, it would mean filling more hard-to-fill vacancies, and more successful teams.

We have a wealth of talent in Stockport, locked away in our young people – those with potential but lacking experience to secure the higher level jobs that will tap into it! If taking a chance on inexperienced players can work for the England squad, then why can’t it work for your business too?