Is this your transfer window?

With the new year well under way, it’s that peculiar time when Sky reporters hang around outside football grounds to bring the expectant public the latest in professional football movers and shakers; namely the January transfer window.It’s also traditionally the time many people look for new roles in all areas of employment, as Blue Monday rolls around and heads are turned by exciting new roles elsewhere. While not limited to a one-month time frame like the league clubs when the window slams shut (why does it always slam?), there’s still a sense of urgency while the year is young and fresh. Much like gym membership, enthusiasm wanes as time goes by.As with football, there are three, or often four, parties involved; the player or candidate, the current employer, the prospective employer, and frequently a recruitment agent helping to move the transfer along.

So the success of the potential move comes down to the attitudes and ability of these parties. Does the player’s – or candidate’s – team want to sell? What are the financial implications for the player, and how will it affect their reputation and CV? And is the grass really that much greener at the new employer, or will it be another exercise in bench-warming?

The current team

It’s up to the current team to decide if they’re willing to let the player go. Retaining the brightest stars should be a priority if they’re genuinely interested in winning, as rivals will always be testing and teasing employed candidates with roles that look better. So it’s crucial to create an environment that gets the best from the team, by making sure all the players are engaged, understand the tactics and the ultimate goal, with a strong set of values that run through the whole company. If that’s not clear, players will be looking to head out the door for somewhere that does offer the right combination. While we can’t all hope to earn the multi-million annual salaries of a top footballer, finance is only part of the equation, so employers should look at their total package and work/life balance to stop losing key players in rushed-through deals.

How to engage your players? There are a few key things to look at:

  • Create an environment of trust, respect and stability. Encourage ownership and responsibility, so the respect is mutual. Make sure employees know what they’re there for. According to not knowing was a cause of low or no engagement for 89% of employees questioned.
  • Focus on strengths – it can make workers 30 times more engaged.
  • Keep your employees in the loop – feed back, and be honest and open with them. Some 65% of employees said they want more feedback, and turnover rates in companies that regularly feed back to employees are 14.9% lower.
  • Appreciate what you’ve got – recognise great work. This doesn’t have to be financial – a simple thank you will often go a long way. And make sure you get your on-boarding right – poor experiences after joining can be a reason for employees to leave quickly, potentially costing the business thousands through the recruitment process.

The player

The player, or candidate, is clearly crucial to the whole deal. They’ll want to be in a winning team, so it’s up to the current team to make sure they’re doing enough to retain them. As discussed above, this is often more than just money. Things like team mates, the manager and the fans all have a big part to play, along with the work/life balance and recognition. If you’re that player, and you’re thinking of moving, make sure you do your research and know what you’re looking for – this is where a good agent (or recruiter) can help you.

The agent

There to find the opportunities for the want-away player, the agent’s role is to look for a suitable new team and prepare the player for a smooth move, with CV reviews and prep before interviews. Find an agent you can trust, who will guide you through the process and have your best interests at heart. Remember, they’re taking a cut of the transfer fee for helping you make the move, so you should expect them to be professional and give you the information and guidance you need.

The new team

Once you’ve found a new team, there will be the interview stage, where they get to know you. For a job opportunity this (thankfully) doesn’t usually involve treadmills or oxygen masks, just some good solid preparation and a desire to make the move. Again, your agent should guide you through this, so you’re ready for the interview and able to perform.

Closing the window

Of course, the careers market doesn’t have the same restrictions as the football transfer window. But it’s worth pushing for a new role while the new year energy is still with you. So if your current club isn’t giving you the opportunities you’re after, get yourself a good agent, keep your eye out for teams you like the look of, and make the transfer.

 Originally published by TD Group on LinkedIn Pulse

ArticlesMatt Penton