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Free agency isn’t just for fantasy football

Posted on: October 1, 2018

Categories: Featured | Hiring

By Patrick Harkleroad, Account Manager, Sherpa

Every fall, I know football season is upon us, not only because of the prolific pre-season camps coverage, but also because I receive the email about the most important thing in my life at that time – the location, day and time of my fantasy league draft. Suddenly, it’s my time to become the star performer and general manager that I always knew I could be if it weren’t for pesky things like having to run a five second, 40-yard dash without pulling a “hammy,” being at all athletic, and/or truly understanding what a catch or “targeting” penalty is – but I digress. Even though my overall winning percentage as a fantasy GM is pretty pathetic (I would have me fired within a couple seasons if I were a real GM), I enjoy trying each week to determine which talent composes my best line-up and which players to put in what position to beat my fantasy opponent that week and come away with a win.

Having worked as a CFO for 15 years, I see many parallels in being the GM of a fantasy team and being a manager trying to fill the open roles across your organization with the right talent. Especially in today’s exceedingly competitive job market, where good talent is both hard to come by and hard to keep, it is important that companies have a dependable source of “free agents” to fill voids created in situations such as:

  • A key employee exits the organization.
  • A backfill for full-time employees that have been assigned to projects.
  • Organizational growth is creating stress on existing employees, thus diluting their effectiveness in the roles for which they were hired.
  • Emerging technologies and/or the constantly evolving regulatory environment requires expertise that isn’t available from current staff.

These “free agents” join the team, essentially on-demand, and support the business on an interim, contract or project-specific basis. Additionally, these employees can truly become game changers in that they can augment an organization’s full-time staff with hands-on subject matter expertise and knowledge transfer – making a lasting impact without a long-term commitment.

Regardless of the reason for a talent void, on average, it takes a company over 40 days to fill a vacant financial position and more than 75 days for senior-level financial roles. With today’s pace of business moving faster than a running back at the combine, your company has work to be done that can’t wait 40 to 75 days. This is where the flexibility of using contract and contingent labor can be invaluable in keeping your business on the playing field. Just like picking up a free agent for your fantasy team in a week when your No. 1 wide receiver is hurt, and your No. 2 is suspended, you pick up the best available talent that can step in and perform at a high level until No. 1 and two can return to the starting line-up.

The key for any fantasy GM, business manager, senior executive or hiring manager is to build a roster full of talented employees that give their team the best chance to win. Just like in football, however, team leaders need to have a plan in place to deal with performance gaps and talent shortfalls. Those that utilize a flexible talent strategy present their organizations with the competitive advantages of nimbleness, a balanced variable workforce and higher morale with current employees resulting in lower turnover to name a few.
Good luck – and may all your fantasy dreams (and strategic initiatives) come true through free agency.

Where do you find your next “free agents?” Sherpa has years of experience matching high-caliber candidates with local companies, and we know what it takes to build strong teams. To leverage Sherpa’s expertise, tell us about your hiring needs.


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