With the transfer window now open, how can businesses recruit talent to a tight deadline? - Business Leader News

With the transfer window now open, how can businesses recruit talent to a tight deadline?

Virgil van Dijk signs for Liverpool for £75 million

The January football transfer window is now open and the merry-go round of rumours and ludicrous fees is in full swing.

Premier League and Football League clubs get the opportunity to buy and sell (or loan) players to improve the squad but only have until January 31st to do so, to prepare their squad for the second half of the season.

It’s a notable period, full of last minute deals and wild rumours.

Liverpool have already made a statement of intent by breaking the world transfer record fee for a defender, following their £75 million purchase of Netherlands international Virgil van Dijk from Southampton.

What can businesses learn from the football transfer window?

The pressures of a limited time frame will resonate with many businesses, that may need to recruit against a tight deadline.

So, what can business leaders do to ensure they get the right man or woman?

When looking for talented individuals to improve a team, employers often seek out qualified individuals who already have experience within their industry.

Whether these are obtained through reputable recruitment companies or through a carefully cultivated relationship, it is crucial to surround yourself with talent that adds a new dimension and skill set to what you already have.

Also, creating a desirable culture can make potential candidates seek your business out. This not only helps drive interest and competition for places – it also helps retain your top talent as well.

Google and Facebook

You don’t have to be like Facebook and Google, with their exuberant and impressive offices, but creating a reputation as a fulfilling place to work can make your business appealing to potential talent; and help you to steal a march on your competition when looking to bring in top talent, quickly.

Steve Preston is Managing Director of Heat Recruitment, a well-established Bristol and London based recruitment firm that specialises in IT and professional services.

On how best to recruit quickly, he comments: “If you are looking to employ quickly, you need to act quickly too. If you like someone and they fit the requirement, do not delay and put a competitive offer out straight away.

“Good people do not stay on the open market for long.”

To recruit in a limited time frame, it also helps to expand your search area too. Just as English football teams will look to Europe and further afield this month, many businesses will look to diversify their team through recruitment.

Sometimes the best available people will be in a company far away, another town or even another country. Having an extensive knowledge of the movers and shakers in your sector and building a relationship with them early, can lead to a potential future collaboration and speed up the recruitment phase.

Even if they are not available right now, you can still position yourself as the potential next step in their career and recruit them in the next ‘transfer window’.

Just like Liverpool kept in touch with Van Dijk after initially failing to sign him in the summer, it sometimes helps to play the long game too.

Creating and maintaining relationships can be a useful tool for quickly filling a role when it becomes available.

Leveraging your team

Bringing in other members of your team to endorse a move to your company could also help.

During the proposed £90 million transfer of Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United from Everton, Lukaku’s close friend Paul Pogba was dubbed ‘Agent Pogba’, as he appeared to help swing the deal in United’s favour, despite interest from Chelsea.


And much as modern football teams use ‘Super Agents’ – such as Jorge Mendes and Mino Raiola – sometimes outsourcing your recruitment can be the best way to fill a specialised role quickly.

Steve explains: “Where your budget allows you to, use a specialist recruitment agency. They are professionals, do it full-time and will save you money and time in the long run.”

Finally, it’s also important not underestimate the talent you already have in your team. Could there be somebody waiting for a promotion or would a certain person thrive in a new role?

Many football teams in England overlook young talent and instead of nurturing them and bringing them through the club, opt for expensive talent instead.

Developing young talent and equipping them with the skills they need over the long term may be a better long-term investment than going out to recruit for key roles periodically.