August 21, 2023

The Hirewell Hot Corner: NCAA Football Conference Realignment | Corporate Restructure and Acquisitions


Episode Highlights

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In this week’s episode, Dan and Louie highlight all the shake-ups in the NCAA Football landscape. The season is right around the corner and we are seeing the Big 10 add Oregon, USC, UCLA, and Washington and the Big 12 adding BYU, Cincinnati, Houston, and UCF in 2023. We segued all of these changes with companies that go through restructuring and acquisitions. Since Hirewell recently went through internal restructuring and the acquisition of the Collective Search, the guys gave their experience and what has changed for them in their day to day. They finish off with their tips for employees and job seekers and what to look for if a company recently went through a restructuring, and how to navigate a market where this is frequently relevant.

Episode Transcript

Welcome back to the Hirewell Hot Corner where sports and recruitment meet. I am your host, Dan Spittel, joined as always by my Ironman co-host, Louie Morici. Louie, great to see you again. Let’s jump right in. What’s going on in your world and the world of sports today? Football season right around the corner.

We’ve had one pre-season game, per team thus far. College football’s starting up soon, so the itch is coming back. That’s for sure. It has been a long lull through dog days of summer, even as a large baseball fan that I am, very excited for football to come back both professionally and collegiately.

As I’m sure, the viewership can tell, Louie and I are fans of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Football season starts for them on August 26th, so we’re not far off in Dublin, for the Shamrock Series against Navy. Yeah, that’s going to be a great event to kick off the season, add a little extra hype to it being overseas. A lot of things to look forward to, for Notre Dame.

New quarterback, Sam Hartman. Marcus Freeman’s probably starting to get more of his recruits up to bat, so we’re going to see hopefully a real strong team this year. I think a very high ceiling for them, given where they were last year, the improvements they’ve made on both sides of the ball.

High hopes for Irish fans across the country. Notre Dame, as part of the rest of the news in the world of sports, they’re staying independent. They’re still independent, despite the whirlwind of chaos that is college conference realignment for college football right now.

Louie, get us up to speed. What is going on? So some big shakeups and I think you and I both have our opinions on it, but to give people the info. So Big Ten, they’re adding Oregon, USC, UCLA , and Washington this year. Big 12 is adding BYU, Cincy, Houston, and UCF. 2024 SEC is going to add Texas and Oklahoma.

So we’re going to see some of these conferences that were very much set in stone for a long time, have some shakeup and start to see maybe more competitive games throughout the season. Instead of the David versus Goliath ones that we get pretty much every week one in some senses. So with that, I mean, it’s exciting. I personally, I like it. I still think there’s a lot of work to be done, to create a non-top heavy league or I guess, association or whatever. It’s very tough to do that with so many schools, but I think doing away with so many conferences and all these teams, Big 12, having 18 teams, it just doesn’t even make sense at this point.

I think, the move to the SEC of Texas and Oklahoma made a lot of sense for them, but I think it kind of spurred this domino effect. And we’re seeing conferences like the PAC-12 kind of get left in the dust here with all these moves and, it’ll be interesting for sure to see where the college football landscape goes, even within the next 2, 3, 5 years.

Louie, what does this have to do with recruitment? Yeah, so we’re talking about realignment within college football conferences. Well, to segue that to recruiting, we will talk about what that looks like from a corporate standpoint. Corporate realignment, acquisitions, similar to that of the transfer portal, in NCAA.

So, there’s a lot of crossover here and at Hirewell we’ve actually done some of this ourselves. Yeah. We’ve seen some reorganization restructuring internally, from the merger and acquisition side, Hirewell, a company within the Prytek group, continues to kind of grow and expand.

Most recently we acquired a company called The Collective Search, based out in the Bay Area. So expanding our West Coast footprint, adding some really impressive, professionals over there. And the realignment from the team’s perspective, it’s really just a move by our leadership to kind of signify where we’ve seen the company shifting to, adjusting with the market and kind of outlining a more concise, go to market strategy to kind of optimize what we do and how we do it.

Thousand percent. Yeah. None of this is reactionary to any negatives. It’s really just about being able to provide the best service, the best experience for our clients, and ultimately fill roles for them. That’s what we’re here to do at the end of the day, and we think getting more hands on deck per role, and having more people be versatile in their skills and abilities on what they can hire for.

It makes a lot of sense. So, as Dan mentioned, we kind of brought from what was our 10 or 11 different practices, we’ve kind of consolidated them to fall under three groups. The go-to market strategy, the tech, the corporate functions. So go-to markets like sales and marketing. That’s pretty much what’s consolidated there. Tech-

Tech is just so big, it’s by itself. And then corporate functions, that falls under HR, that falls under finance, accounting, a bunch of other different parts of our business and a lot of businesses. And it allows us to be more effective and streamline things that each of us as recruiters like to do, whether it’s driving more business as far as clients, doing more strictly recruiting, account management.

And we’ve kind of realigned our whole org comp structure, things like that, to match what we’re doing. Yeah, I think we maybe were a little siloed in the work we were doing. And this gives us an opportunity not only to collaborate with more of our internal Hirewellians, but just become more agile, more flexible in the market.

You mentioned, the business development side. One of the other big moves within Hirewell was the expansion of a dedicated growth team. We, as recruiters, we work with a number of clients. A lot of our business comes from, word of mouth referrals, people we’ve placed in positions of power, of decision making. We’ve gotten as far as we could with, just kind of having that naturally occur within the work we do. Moving to a more dedicated growth business development focused team, allows those who love to recruit, to continue to recruit. Those who love, client management to continue working with our clients and those who love to expand their networks, expand our growth and our network to focus in on that.

Yeah. Yeah. I think it’s a two-prong approach here. When push comes to shove, market kind of slows down and the warm leads, the referrals, all that kind of dry up. As a person who comes from sales, the people willing to pick up the phone and do cold outreach are more valuable than ever because they’re the ones developing these new relationships.

And, as a recruiter, I love that. When someone’s like, “Hey, I’m speaking with so and so about, a few roles. This is what they do, would love to loop you in.” And then I go to work on ’em. It’s nice having both sides of it, because both of ’em are full-time jobs. You can’t really half-ass BD. You can’t half-ass recruiting, so then you’re really just left with half-ass effort on both parts. So having teams dedicated to both, I think awesome move and something I’m sure will both reap some benefits from. For sure. And as far as day-to-day, the work we do, Louie really doesn’t change too much.

I mean, maybe a slight adjustment, different reporting structure for a few people. But otherwise, we work with our clients, we find top tier talent, we help companies grow and succeed. The mission doesn’t change. The day-to-day work doesn’t change. Just a couple slides on a PowerPoint maybe we’ve changed a little bit.

Personally, I had Ali as my manager. She’s kind of overseeing the whole go-to market team, so she’s taking a little bit less of the individual training, coaching responsibilities, and doing more top funnel top down type of stuff. and now I report to Jack. Jack and I have great rapport.

Someone that, big friend of the Hirewell Hot Corner. So we’ve worked together. I report to him now and very supportive like Ali. So again, just reporting, maybe having a different one-on-one with a different manager now. But, I still get to grow my relationship with Ali, and a lot more people now. Now that we have the marketing team under our go-to market.

Jack loves the HHC program. We love Jack Smith. We’re touching on the Hirewell stuff, and it all sounds very positive, we got to look at it more outwardly. Mergers and acquisitions happen all the time. Restructures, reorganizations, what does this mean for employees? What does this mean for job seekers, Louie?

It can go both ways. For current employees, sometimes, mergers happen, acquisitions happen and there’s people doing duplicate work and there’s just not enough of that work to keep two people. So unfortunately, that’s when you might experience some layoffs or channeling your role to focus in a different area than you’re used to.

And that could lead to, maybe you even leaving. So that’s kind of the negative side compared to what we’ve seen at Hirewell. But it can go either way. And as an employee, as a candidate, you got to look for the companies that seem to be progressing positively from acquisitions instead of being sold so frequently, because they’re not a non desirable company.

There’s things you need to look into before, maybe you do sign on somewhere. Yeah, I mean, you hear about it all the time, mergers, acquisitions, companies restructuring. I think it’s a pretty even flow between maybe positives and negatives. From a job market standpoint, people get kind of scared when they see reductions in force or they see a major company’s making major moves, whether it be for the better or for the worse.

But does it really change our outlook on the job market as a job seeker day to day? Probably not. There are still jobs out there. It might be with a different company now with a different name. But there’s still jobs. And like you said, every situation’s different, vary case by case. Keep an eye on what’s out there.

It might be a shift in industry. We’re seeing some booms in some very different areas than we did even a few years ago. Tech market, while there are still plenty of jobs in the tech market, it’s not quite booming as much as it has been, and it probably will again. The industrial side, manufacturing, we’re seeing a major boom in terms of open jobs, expansion of plants, companies growing, adding headcount.

There will always be jobs. The job market is, and it’s volatile now. It’s going to be volatile for a long time. I think it’s just kind of the nature of the beast. But like you said, just keep an eye out. And as far as the moves we made at Hirewell, were to kind of stay on top of the trends in the market.

And as a job seeker, you got to be able to do the same thing. A thousand percent, thousand percent. It’s, doing your research, as we always preach. Do as much research on a company before you join them as they’re doing on you and utilize that kind of tidbit as a way to vet through. When they’re going through these changes, have they come out ahead, come out behind or what is that situation and why?

I think it’s a perfect segue to the two minute drill. Don’t panic. Freak out because football’s coming back. That’s a great one. Don’t freak out because things are changing in the job market. Go back to your basics. Like I said, there will always be jobs out there. Just might have to find something different.

Yeah, keep an open mind, stay positive, especially if your company is going through an acquisition or a merger. Give it a chance, it could surprise you. So keep that in mind. Do your research first and foremost, find out as much as you can beforehand, so you make sure that you’re making the right choice.

If you are active in the job market, you think you might need to be active in the job market. And I know Louie, you’re a sales guy. It’s a numbers game a lot of the time. You apply to X number of jobs, you put your resume out to X number of people, you network and connect with X number of people.

Something’s going to kick at some point. Thousand percent. The squeaky wheel gets oiled. I think I’ve said that maybe 20 times on this. The person that reaches out the most, I have candidates that I work with that I’ve never actually placed, but have been pinging me and I love that as a recruiter.

I love the hungry nature and that leads me to believe that for a client of mine, they would be a good representation of my judgment. Excellent. Well, on behalf of Louie, and myself, thank you once again for tuning into the Hirewell Hot Corner. Go Irish. Join us again in two weeks for our next episode, and as always, stay classy LinkedIn.

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