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When Hiring Talent, Don’t Go After JV Benchwarmers

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In respectful response to my boss’ latest blog on securing talent, I have something to add.

Don’t hire JV benchwarmers.

If anyone has been following our business blogs over the past few years, you’ll notice that we tend to follow a sports theme. Why? Because outside of having a passion to create strong relationships with our clients, we dig sports. Personally, I have a love affair with sports.

Growing up,  I loved playing hockey, soccer, golf and baseball. I was never inside. Whether it was practice or playing pickup games with my buddies, I was always on the go. The thing is, if you grew up with me, you’d know that I definitely was born without any physical prowess to speak of.

Screech Powers Delisle

I was Screech Powers but deep down, I wanted to be AC Slater.

I found myself working my tail off just to make any squad. I was never a first team anything, but I’d be the hardest working third liner you’d ever find. It was my tenacity and hustle that made me a serviceable high school athlete and it was my love for competition that made me work harder than anyone else.

So I never found myself playing college sports like others who work with me (Kyle York, Matt Toy, Phil Akilade, Mike Smith, Jeffrey Maier, Kevin Gray, etc.), but I still have the hustle and drive in me that made me reach my athletic pinnacle back in the day.

So I joined a profession that allowed me to outwork others: SALES.

Just like in high school, when I knew there were always much better athletes, I’m still working hard and hustling. By no means am I the best sales guy around. I’m good, but I can always be better.  If I don’t constantly fine tune my ability to create a stronger relationship with my clients, somebody else will. I’m always trying to improve, hoping to get off that third line.

When I hire, I look for hunger to be great and the drive to improve themselves.  I want a team that is going to push me to up my game, a team that I need to work hard to keep up with.

Here’s a few of the questions I ask when potentially bringing on talent to our team:

- Are you happy with only the minimum amount of flair?

- Are you available when your clients (who may be 12 hours ahead/behind) need you?

- Are quotas your minimum?

- Do you motivate others around you?

- Would you be happy with a tie if it meant you didn’t lose?

- Are you a self starter or do I need to kick you in the a$$ monthly?

- Do you rise to the top or sink?

One of the leaders I look up to is New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Even if he’s not the most quotable guy, there was one thing he said that has always stood out to me:

“I think everybody has to go out there and do their job. And regardless of who’s playing any position — quarterback or anything else — everybody’s got to try to do their job.”

We have a great team here full of “varsity starters” — people that are doing their job day-in and day-out and contributing to our success. We’re looking to sign on a few more starters, so if you’re looking to think big and contribute bigger, get me your resume.

Just remember: if you’re a JV benchwarmer, we can’t use you. However, our competition will be glad to have you.

Josh Delisle is the VP of Worldwide Sales at Dyn, the world leader in Internet Performance Solutions that delivers traffic management, message management, and performance assurance. Follow on Twitter (@JaDelisle and @Dyn).

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