If I Were Running a Company…Personal Franchises

I always said my method to recruiting is this: recruiters look for the best talent for the position, they forward and rank the candidates to the hiring manager, then the hiring manager decides who to interview to see who is the best fit for the organization. I might have a change my tune on this.

Last week, Nate Silver agreed to join the ESPN/ABC/Disney family to expand fivethirtyeight blog beyond politics to sports weather, and other topics. Like Bill Simmons and Grantland, ESPN will provide a budget and resources for Silver’s site and most important, Silver will have editorial independence from ESPN.

Nate Silver is the newest trend in media where organizations are hiring independent bloggers/promoting their star journalists because media companies realize consumers don’t follow the brand; they follow the individual. Bill Simmons broke the mold with Grantland two years ago, then media organizations started using the Grantland model from Andrew Ross Sorkin’s Dealbook within the New York Times, Ezra Klein’s Wonkblog within The Washington Post, and most recently, Peter King started TheMMQB within Sports Illustrated.

On this site and many others, I have been discussing a lot about personal branding. Personal branding is good only to a point. What Silver and others, I listed, are part of the 99 percentile. They are incredible talents who have a loyal following. Consumers go to the person and the organization’s only benefit is their association with him/her.

Which leads me to my change of thinking that organizations need to hire for fit. We are living in a freelance/free agent economy where people get hired for a certain job and allows them to be more flexible in their schedule and frankly, this trend will continue when full-time jobs shrink and more freelancing/contracting opportunities come. It is now important to build up your expertise and knowledge of your profession and industry. Companies will not always find 99 percentile talent, but find people who have a voice and knows what they’re doing and let them run the show in their own space.

If you’re a recruiter and a hiring manager, do not think who you are going to hire because of fit, hire who do you want to be associated with. That’s the trend that will likely continue in a shifting economy.

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