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"What If" Employers Conducted NFL-Style Combines Instead Of Interviews?

By Guest Blogger: Eric A Rice


Expert Author Eric A Rice

What if your future employers made you go through an NFL-style combine instead of a job interview process? Would you make it through? Imagine going into the interview room and being asked to show the interviewer how good you really are at what you do. Would that scare you or would it make you excited to show off your skills?

We, as NFL fans, have a cushy life. We get to drink and eat during the game while the players leverage their life for a tackle. But, what if that wasn't always the case? What if employers started taking notes from the NFL, one of the most efficient businesses on the planet, and allowed us a forum to display our skills right in front of those that could cut us a check? That time is coming.

One of the toughest jobs to get in the entire country is that of an NFL football player. Those that are hired for these positions are discovered based on the things they have done, then sorted by their abilities and potential and then ultimately hired based on their mathematical probability of success.

Through game film, NFL Scouts can assess whether or not they want to take a further look at the player, just like a resume sort of does. Once they have selected who they think will be a prospect they bring them to Indianapolis and runt hem through the ringer to see if those on field accolades match their actual talents. Players are stripped into skin tight uniforms, checked for body fat levels, timed in may events like the 40 yard dash, tested in their skill arenas and lastly interviewed by the owners of the teams.

This process may sound familiar to you, because you have been through it a few times in your life. The NFL Combine is essentially the equivalent of the hiring process in the real world. It allows the future employer the opportunity to see the true skills of each player and make a calculated prediction of their possible success with their company.

The one thing that is drastically between the NFL Combine and the traditional job hiring process is the transparency in the system. Players cannot even adjust their posture to hide body fat, yet alone impress the boss with a velvet tongue. Unlike the "gut feeling" job market that allows for the best interviewer, not necessarily the best candidate to take home the paycheck.

In the business world, there has been no game film, 40 dash or strength tests. There have only the written down accomplishments of the candidate and the gut feeling of the employer during an interview, until now.

We came across a company, SideSkills.com, recently that is actually doing something about this issue and making the work force more skill-based than interview-based. We instantly loved the fact that they allow people to show off their skills (through a profile, video and portfolio display) whether they are their day to day skills or a passion, for people to hire and collaborate with them. So we took the time to talk with their CEO and see what their thoughts were.

We asked Ryan McKenzie, CEO of SideSkills.com, if this scenario is a possibility in the working world and he told us, "It is definitely the trend of the future; employers are asking new candidates to show their work, which is why we created SideSkills". Ryan founded this community based on the premise of the best man or women for the job. They allow each user the ability to post their entire former work, skill sets and even a video pitch for the future employers to review previous to making a hiring decision.

"Just like the NFL Combine, we help both sides of the table establish what they are clearly good at. We help those that are really good at what they do and can show it. There is no shortage of work in the country for skilled people, even if it is just for side work, the best person for the job is always the best policy" says McKenzie.

The combine, though it seems harsh, is a better system in the end. The proof is in the results, the NFL gets better and better while the job market gets worse and worse. Perhaps this is the time for a career combine, a place for people to show what they can do, and not simply list it on a piece of paper. A career combine would certainly assure that the best person got the job at least.

So the next time you go for a new job and think to yourself, how do I get noticed, try showing what you can do, like an NFL player at a combine.