Recruitment lessons to learn from the transfer window

By Charlie Knight |


I always get excited when January comes around. Although the Christmas festivities have come to an end, it marks the start of another exciting period on the calendar: The transfer window. I find myself glued to Sky Sports News, Twitter and fan forums just to get the latest transfer gossip. Being an avid football fan, I have always been intrigued as to how the window will play out.

When you take away the mass media coverage and fan reactions, it is recruitment which is at the forefront of all activity. Footballers / Candidates changing career paths, deals being made, start dates to be confirmed and the never-ending process of the recruitment cycle.

During my time in recruitment I have had my fair share of problems arise, and I’m sure many of these can be related to many problems for agents in the transfer market.

1. Salary

Often the most influential factor in any recruitment process. Will the candidate accept the salary? What salary is the candidate currently on? A prime example is the Ghanaian forward Asamoah Gyan. In 2012, Gyan moved from the Premiership, arguably the best league in the world, to the UEA’s Al Ain for a staggering deal that will earn him £36.5m over the next five years. Are your candidate’s just in it for the money? – If they are, you have to ask yourself if they are the right candidate for the role?

2. Motivation

What are the driving motivators behind your candidate’s move? There can be multiple forces behind their career choice other than money, maybe it’s location, job security or, more often than not, career progression. Take Robin Van-Persie, who moved from Arsenal to title rivals Manchester United in 2012 for a fee of £22.5million. Van-Persie’s decision to move was put down to Arsenal’s lack of silver-wear. The move soon paid off for the striker as Manchester United won the title the following season helped by 26 goals from the man, himself. A strong career move for the Flying Dutchman. – Find out your candidates real drive and motivation for a move and use this to your advantage.

3. Bidding Wars 

When you are dealing with a top quality candidate, they are more than likely being sought after by multiple companies, just like top players being sought after by the best clubs. Diego Costa took the Spanish league by storm in 2013/14 and was on the radar of every European super-club during the summer transfer window. Arsenal and Chelsea led the bidding wars with the Gunners bidding in at €31 million. Atletico managed the situation extremely well by waiting for another offer on the table. Chelsea’s £32 million pound bid sealed the Spaniards future and saw him arrive at the Bridge in time for pre-season. Control as much of the recruitment process as you can. More control equals less chance of the candidate slipping through your fingers.

4. Tax Implications 

Tax can be a major factor in the decision to move jobs. A candidate may have the opportunity of his career but his retention could well be less than 50%. In 2012 Radamel Falcao, had the opportunity to move to Real Madrid, the most decorated club in world football. The other option was AS Monaco, the recently promoted new boys in Ligue 1. It seemed like a no brainer for the Columbian striker. However, Falcao singed for AS Monaco in 2013 for £50 million, on £268,555 a week, £13 million a year. That’s £13 million that he would be able to keep due to the tax laws in the South of France. Always be clear on the tax implications for the country early on, you don’t want the candidate to find out later down the line and lose them.

The recruitment process is the sun of the transfer window’s solar system. Everything revolves around it. Lack of control can cause potential deals to collapse. What great football agents and recruitment agencies do is control the process from start to finish. Explore every avenue early, so if any issues do arise you can deal with them head on.

Source: Vine 12

Charlie Knight

Written by Charlie Knight

Charlie has 3 years experience in digital marketing, helping B2B technology companies grow their businesses through inbound marketing before joining Vine Resources as Content Marketing Manager. In his spare time, Charlie enjoys travelling and the great outdoors, and he recently hiked from Mexico to Canada for charity.


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