“You gotta give me one thing. I'm a scary judge of talent.” Al Pacino as Walter Burke in the 2003 action film The Recruit. *The Recruit:  © Touchstone Pictures/Spyglass Entertainment

It is kind of like head hunting but with a first-hand approach.
“You gotta give me one thing. I'm a scary judge of talent.” Al Pacino as Walter Burke in the 2003 action film The Recruit.
*The Recruit:  © Touchstone Pictures/Spyglass Entertainment
The quote from Pacino highlights the concept used in the movie of picking talent within the environment of a university or college.
If setups like the NFL and NBA have scouts searching for talent at high schools, colleges and universities, why can’t the same approach be applied to seeking talent for businesses? We can fine tune it and call it searching for future CEO’s.
In principle, the standard graduate recruitment processes do work. Companies campaign or market themselves while future graduates apply to businesses for a placement or job opportunity. Students go through a battery of screenings, interviews and tests before hopefully being made a contractual offer.

But think for about it for a little bit. Right. Ok. Let’s carry on. What if the sporting bodies’ approach – such as the NFL’s – applied to graduate recruitment? Imagine talent scouts from businesses went in search of potential recruits in their (the recruit) natural environment. This would give companies a real reflection of the candidate in lectures, seminars and classes. Even more information could be obtained from their lecturers and tutors, while academic performances, extra-curricular activities and work experience would also come into play. Objectivity of course would be needed during the early stages of this headhunting process.
The draft
The National Football League (NFL) draft provides a great example of how college players are grouped together to be picked by teams within the league. The same could be applied to graduate recruitment whereby the best talent can be chosen by companies.

Scouting for talent **Image credit: Shutterstock, Inc © Tony Bowler

Scouting for talent **Image credit: Shutterstock, Inc © Tony Bowler
In some cases, companies won’t pick the top draft pick – but will rather select the individual whose purpose would be more fitting to be a worker bee and may not be head hunted by the opposition down the line.
The individual’s test drive
Scouting and the draft all somehow place the focus on the company looking to find talent, ahead of actual individuals making a choice of which company they would like to work for. By flipping the process on its head, and allowing individuals to identify which company suits them best, the process could undergo a dimension shift. Workers could test drive a company, just as people do before buying vehicles. The idea is to ensure the enterprise is the best fit for the individual worker.
Future CEOs
Bruce Wayne is a CEO who was born into the position. However, most people don’t have that luxury, nor do they have a butler named Alfred and an alter ego that spends all his time in a state-of-the-art cave full of bats. The majority of graduates leave university and college with a bucket load of student debt in a race to take the next step in their career.
A change-up is needed where people enter the working world with the intention of working towards becoming the next CEO of the company that want to work for. It’s that simple. Yes, many people will say it’s an unrealistic approach, but it is achievable. New visionaries are needed at the helm of modern day corporations. The same should go for businesses. Instead of filling their staff just with worker bees, they should also be searching for the future CEO of their enterprise. There needs to be a dynamic way of creating paths to the top from a graduate level.
The bottom-line is that a great deal of talent slips through the cracks of many set-ups. However, instead of enterprises chasing talent and talent seeking employment, a more proactive approach should be implemented whereby individuals take opportunities by the scruff of the neck and make it their own.
After all, every career is unique, original and only one person can determine its path!
*Image credit: The Recruit © Touchstone Pictures/Spyglass Entertainment
**Image credit: Shutterstock, Inc © Tony Bowler