By Kevin Roth
“Best Athlete Available” is a term we relate mostly to the sports world, but can also be an extremely effective and intelligent strategy when hiring, regardless of the position.
For those that aren’t familiar with the term, it’s used primarily when drafting new players. If a team has multiple needs, the argument is that it’s better to take the best overall talent and leverage their skills however possible as opposed to taking someone slightly less skilled but who better fits a very specific role for you.
Let’s say you’re going to likely be hiring a few people on your finance team over the next year. You meet someone absolutely spectacular who can add value in a few different areas but isn’t necessarily the strongest for the exact role that you were going to hire first. Get creative!
This is when great management truly shines. If this person is that special and the plan is for additional staff anyways, then mold this first role around this person and adjust the others accordingly. Don’t become so beholden to a job spec, especially in a situation where the team is going to continue to evolve.
If you’re in an interview thinking how amazing it would be to have this person on your team, don’t overthink it. Go with the best athlete available.