September 14, 2023

The Hirewell Hot Corner: September Hiring Surge and Week 1 Football Evaluations


Episode Highlights

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In this week’s episode, Dan and Louie chat about the crazy first week of the NFL Season. Both their teams, the Steelers and the Bears, lost in pretty bad fashion and we saw two major injuries of Aaron Rogers (NY Jets- torn Achilles) and JK Dobbins (BAL Ravens – torn Achilles) happen shortly into the first games of the season.

We segue to recruiting by referencing the phrase “September Surge” and how these football teams may need to re-evaluate their rosters and do some “hiring” so early on in the season. Dan and I both explain what we think this “September Surge: recruiting phrase means and how if you feel behind the 8-ball going into the 4th quarter, what can you do to right the ship and hit those 4th quarter targets?

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? We made it. We have made it, not only to football, but through week one.

Both of us being, me being a Bears fan, you being a Steelers fan, it didn’t go well. Let’s just chalk it up to that. So that’s pretty much what’s going on. And then the afterthought is baseball coming to the playoff soon. Would love to just pretend that week one of the NFL season didn’t happen based on the way our teams performed, but it did. Fantasy football’s back in full swing, probably losing money on sports betting a little bit.

It’s how you know it’s the fall. Yeah. Greatest time of year, for me personally, obviously football starting means that hockey is also just around the corner. We’re back. We’re back. We are back. And big news already just with week one of the NFL season kicking off. Some big time wins for some unexpected teams like the Lions getting that big dub. Jordan Love at your expense looking really good.

But some big injuries already in week one. We’ve seen multiple season ending injuries, most notably Aaron Rodgers and JK Dobbins. Yeah. Those are two big losses to their respected teams. Not that the Jets didn’t overcome it. They actually beat the Bills, in an overtime, I think it was a punt return.

Correct? And, you know, I don’t see that going that way the whole year. But yeah, I mean, losing pieces like a JK Dobbins, who’s part of a huge Baltimore backfield that the team relies upon and then Aaron Rodgers being the whole reason they crafted the team in the offseason the way they did. Those are glaring holes in both those teams.

Absolute heartbreaker for Jets fans. Seems like they’ve got a cursed fan base, can’t have anything nice going for them. But the hype around Aaron Rodgers, the amount of people that came into that team to play with him, all signs point to them being a playoff team, if not contending for a Super Bowl this year.

Definitely a tale of two scenarios as far as these injuries for those two teams. For the Ravens, they tend to run the ball with a number of different backs anyway. I’m not going to say JK Dobbins isn’t a big loss for them, but he tends to be injury ridden in his career anyway. And they did a lot this offseason, especially in the passing game, you know, Zay Flowers, Odell Beckham. It’s not going to be nearly the loss that it’s going to be for the New York Jets. For the Jets… Jets fans are hitting the panic button. If I’m them after week one in four snaps and you lose your big time future hall of fame quarterback acquisition and you’re back to Zach Wilson under center, what’s going on?

You’re exactly right. The panic button is being mashed. I mean, Shannon Sharpe said even today that they should call Tom Brady. I think they even threw out Colin Kaepernick. They’re going to explore every option, every person that’s available and I understand that.

They have faith in Zach Wilson. That’s obviously the message that they’re going to convey to the fan base and to the league, but they have to be doing some sort of backend, you know, workings, trying to figure out what another solution, because going with this roster and the quarterback being “your weak point,” that’s not what you want.

Absolutely. Million dollar question as part of the show, Louie, how are we going to tie injuries to NFL players into recruiting? So, you and I both have been hearing what we call the September surge, which is just a kind of a ramp in hiring for whatever reason. So, we’re kind of looking at from these football team franchise or standpoints.

What do they need to do? Or who do they look to for talent at a time where they maybe didn’t expect to? And then on the recruiting side, obviously hiring in corporate America, like what is the September surge? What are some of the reasonings behind it? So I think that’s where we’re making that segue today.

Yeah. I feel like September surge is maybe a newly coined phrase. I think this is the first year I’m really hearing it from multiple people. I don’t really see a bunch of merit as far as like crazy hiring in the months of September. Maybe it’s just not in the industries that I focus on. Maybe you’ve seen it more than I have.

There are obviously key times a year for hiring. Start of the new year, new budget. End of the school year, bringing in new graduates. Those are pretty common, used to seeing those often. But for any company who is maybe experiencing September surge, seeing their competition bring in a lot of new people.

Maybe you didn’t act properly, when new grads came around. Maybe you’ve kind of fallen behind the eight ball in terms of making those key hires and getting a lot of people in to ramp up. I know we’ve done plenty of conversation about the fourth quarter and kind of ending the year strong. Maybe you’re not in a position to do that.

What do you do? Do you hit the panic button like the New York Jets might have to? I say in some cases, yes. And As always, I bring my opinion from the sales side and sales hiring. If you’re seeing that you’re not going to be able to maybe hit that number with the current headcount or whatever the case is, yeah, bringing in some talent, hitting the panic button saying, “Hey, two more account executives could get us revenue by the end of the year, to help us hit our goal.”

Now on the flip side, from just the hiring in general standpoint, it could have a lot to do with the next year. And it’s so you get hired or you start hiring. Let’s say you put the rep set out in September. Well, you’re probably not going to find someone until to start until October, maybe mid October.

Well, and we all know that come middle of November to January one, it’s holiday season. People are out, you’re probably a little understaffed. It’s not easy to train someone. So you want to get someone in there for a solid month where everyone’s around, they can learn. So come January one, they’ve had a good amount of experience and they can come out of the gates, ready to rock. In some cases it might be premature for a January one, but to do it in October makes sense because there is so much off time around the holiday season. Sure. And look at it from a budgetary standpoint, a lot of people wait till January one when the budgets kind of roll over, renew to bring in new talent.

Some people might be saying, well, I need to spend the budget I have available to me. If I don’t, it’s a use it or lose it scenario in some companies. Maybe I take advantage of that and I get someone in the door, spend that budget and get them ramped up for the next year. Outside of that, September surge just feels like a weird concept to me.

You know, again, we see it with new grads in the May, June, July’s, a lot of people ramping up their management training programs, early career programs. We touched on that a couple episodes ago, and just getting that new wave of the workforce in. Otherwise, outside of that, recruiting is open season.

I mean, come on, the job market is a free for all, all the time. The concept of recruitment is 365 days a year. So whether or not you consider yourself behind, or you’re missing out on the September surge. I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. It could be just from a planning perspective that this isn’t how the year has gone for you.

Maybe you thought you’d hire in September. Maybe you thought you’d hire in June, July, August. It’s just not working out the way you could, doesn’t mean you’re behind. But if you do feel like you’re behind, what can you do, Louie? What can you do to kind of right the ship between now and the end of the year, a lot of it comes down to prioritizing it.

And that could be the reason for lack of success in hiring before is you’re not going all hands. It’s very much something you need to dedicate 90% of your time to, so you do it right. In order to do that, identify what the immediate needs are. What are the roles and the types of folks that can come in and make an impact in the 4th quarter, and then obviously to start the next year. So I think those are 2 great ways for folks to if they feel they’re behind the 8 ball to not be behind the 8 ball.

For sure. If you have set deadlines, if you’ve promised a project timelines, deadlines, to clients and you’re behind on that because that’s maybe when you’re more on that panic button scenario. What do you need to do to get more up to speed with the project or the deadline or whatever commitment you’ve set? That’s huge. As far as bringing in talent quickly. Like you said, prioritizing recruitment, prioritizing those positions that you know that you need to get up to speed. If you’re local job fairs, open houses, anything to get the word out, extra marketing, social media, make sure people know that you’re hiring. Make sure people know what you’re hiring for, what the benefits of working for the company for, what the workload looks like, just find ways of getting people in front of you to get yourself in front of people.

If that’s not working, if you’ve tried your solutions your plan, recruitment plan, that you set out for yourself, maybe it’s time to consider looking outwardly. Hirewell. We are, you know, we’re a 3rd party talent partner. But, you know, from a full time direct placement hire, maybe you’re ramping up quickly and you need x people on a contract basis, look at staffing firms, look at contract staffing. I know we just touched on it in a recent episode, the on demand recruiting system we have. Search hiring. If maybe you’ve fallen behind the 8 ball and you want to end the year strong on demand recruitment might be a solution, 3 month contract, bring in an extra resource.

Because maybe you have managers that can’t prioritize recruitment during this crunch time, 4th quarter projects, ramping up, rolling out, finishing up by the end of the year. Bring in somebody else, maybe bring in that extra talent. That veteran quarterback, if you will, who can kind of take the reins and help guide you along to success, as you end the year. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, what we do is we take a lot of that responsibility, all of the legwork off of your plate.

And if that’s the solution, because you just don’t have the bandwidth and you don’t have the internal bandwidth to hire someone to help hire. That’s why some someone a partner like Hirewell, our on demand team, those kind of fit that mold perfectly. Yeah. And the September surge for us is all year round.

We’re working with clients who are pushing to make key hires. 12 months a year. Every day is a different surge, I think for us, especially depending on the work we do. You know, in the tech world, sales world, finance and accounting, you name it, we do it, it might be a different search week to week. But, we have a lot of companies who are coming to us and they need hiring help immediately.

This is what we do. It’s our specialty. Yeah, we hire well and we can do it on demand. It’s right in the name. Absolutely. Louie, two minute drill. Take us home. What do you think the Jets should do from here? What do I think the Jets should do? I would say definitely bring someone in. Maybe not to right out and just be the starter.

It’s not something you can do. They got to kind of groom themselves into being ready for that. I mean, Zach Wilson’s been in training camp side by side with Aaron Rodgers. I still think he’s your best bet right now, but if you can get someone who has that type of caliber, has that reputation, maybe more of a veteran that’s been there before, worked with veteran receivers and even young superstar ones like Garrett Wilson, like, there’s things to be done.

But I think right now, Zach Wilson is actually their best option. I wonder if Joe Flacco gets another phone call to come back to the Jets again. Someone like Cam Newton’s available, you know, someone with leadership experience. He’s been to a Super Bowl. But regardless of the injury, you still have Aaron Rodgers.

He’s on the roster. He’s on the sideline. He’s going to be there for you, despite not being able to play. Where do you think, Louis, their chances are at contending the way they thought they would with Aaron Rodgers with Zach Wilson this year? Their defense is phenomenal, first and foremost. So I think If their offense could manage to be mediocre or just nothing, it doesn’t have to be that special.

Zach Wilson just has to be a very serviceable quarterback. I think they’ll score enough points and their defense will stop enough points where I think they will have a chance, I don’t think they’re winning any Superbowls though. No, I kind of chalk it up to like rookie year Kenny Pickett for the Steelers last year, defense kept them in games all season.

You can be even decent on the offense. You can win 9 games. Maybe you can win 10 games. He got a playoff spot. I don’t really see much of a ceiling past that in my opinion. Yeah, it’s the biggest injury they could have had, quite frankly, and it happened four plays into the year. So it’s unfortunate, the woes of the New York Jets. They’re still there, alive and well, but you know, we’ll see how it shakes out coming up here in week two. No question there. Well, on behalf of Louie and myself, thank you once again for tuning into the Hirewell hot corner. Please do join us again in two weeks for our next episode and as always stay classy LinkedIn.

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