Team Alignment According to Bracket Strategy

Published On: March 7, 20183.7 min read

It’s upon us again. That time of the year when grown men and women get excited about the 1 in 9.2 quintillion chance of hitting the jackpot of March Madness Bracketology.

People use all kinds of different tactics for choosing their favorites when it comes to March Madness and let’s face it, most are out of the game in the first couple of rounds. While the strategies enthusiastic basketball fans use to pick the perfect bracket don’t quite have a high percentage of success, some of those strategies could lead to picking the right team when it comes to your organization.

What can your March Madness bracket teach you about choosing the right employees?

Making your bracket is all about strategic choices and weighing the odds of different outcomes. Can UCLA’s offense keep pace against other offensive giants like Villanova without a decent defense?

And that’s just one potential match-up to evaluate among millions, each with a different set of variables and significant impact on the final outcome.

But if we take a look at some of the tactics serious basketball fans leverage to pick the perfect bracket – we see some great strategies to use in picking a killer team at work.

1. Perform Research

For any true bracket strategist, they know that the seeding is just one component to consider.  Some of the data that’s reviewed includes:

  • Strength of schedule
  • Injuries to key players
  • Potential Matchups

The same type of data can be reviewed when assessing an employee:

  • Strength of schedule: What other companies has the prospect worked at?
  • Injuries to key players: How integral was that employee to their previous teams?
  • Potential Matchups: How does a prospect’s skills match up to the types of tasks they’ll be asked to complete?

Even after this analysis of facts, there are still intangibles to consider – and social media profiles…


2. Take your Time

Let’s face it, serious basketball fans put more time and energy into creating their March Madness brackets then you likely did during the interview process of your last hire. What’s wrong with that picture?

Filling out a decent bracket can take days. As we mentioned, hours are spent often before a pencil is even picked up.

Even then, if there’s real money involved – or a particularly competitive group of friends – fans may even sleep on it a few nights and take the time to double and triple-check their choices.

It’s true that there is often a sense of urgency when it comes to filling a position – particularly if you have limited bandwidth, but this is one of the biggest decisions your organization will make.

To get truly A+ team members on board, you have to take your time getting to know the candidates and vetting all of the options.

3. Strive for Balance


Another lesson from bracketology that business owners should take into account is a balanced team. Just as bracket strategist don’t always pick the top 4 seeds to win, they usually balance their selections with pivotal upsets that change the course of the bracket.

When hiring for your team, take a look at their backgrounds and skill sets. It’s critical to make sure you have a staff that can approach problems from different angles.

Team dynamics can change for the better or worse with one new hire – make sure you are filling a gap and complementing the team you already have.

4. Go With Your Gut

Sometimes you just really like a team. Maybe they are on a winning streak, or they have a great story that gives them some grit or they play with a chip on their shoulder. Even though there’s no science or data to back up that pick, that doesn’t make it wrong.

Intangibles play a huge role in team success, so if you have two great candidates – at the end of the day trusting your gut can be just as crucial as doing your research.

Creating your bracket can be hit-or-miss no matter how you go about picking your favorite teams. Fortunately, your chances for a great hire are a little better than 1 in 9.2 quintillions.

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