This year’s Super Bowl is one for the record books. Overturning a 25-point deficit, the New England Patriots completed the greatest comeback ever to win in overtime. After the Patriot’s offense hit a first-half wall, it looked all but certain at halftime that the Falcons would win. While fans and commentators will no doubt analyze the Patriot’s come-from-behind victory for years to come, there’s more to learn from Super Bowl 51 than just smart football strategy.

As a Senior Partner at Lucas Group specializing in manufacturing recruitment, I couldn’t help but see parallels between the Patriot’s fourth quarter offense and smart recruiting strategy. Recruiting top talent is a lot like playing football: hiring managers need grit and persistence. They need to remain positive and professional throughout the process. Most importantly, they need to be in it for the long haul and not come on too fast and strong like the Falcons did.

These are three important lessons hiring managers can learn about recruiting from the Patriot’s Super Bowl win:

Take it one play at a time.
New England’s first four drives ended with a punt, another punt, a fumble, and a third punt. That’s hardly the way any team wants to kick off a game, much less the Super Bowl. Rather than focusing on these shortcomings, however, the Patriots continued to take the game one play at a time and look forward, rather than backward. This same lesson applies to recruiting: if you focus too much on missed opportunities or past disappointments with previous job candidates, this negativity will impact your ability to successfully recruit future candidates.

Stay positive, professional and persistent.
Here at Lucas Group, we call these the “3 Ps” for recruitment success. Always strive to project a positive, professional attitude through every step of the recruitment process. The Patriots demonstrated their commitment to these 3Ps throughout the Super Bowl, refusing to let a disappointing start prevent them from achieving victory. Despite facing a significant deficit going into the fourth quarter, they maintained their pace and stayed focused. The Falcons, in contrast, came on too strong and simply ran out of gas.
I see this same scenario frequently play out with hiring managers who come on too hard and strong with job candidates. These candidates may not be ready to consider switching jobs and need additional time to consider their options. Hiring managers who are positive and professional can find that elusive balance between consistent candidate communication and overwhelming the candidate or coming off as too pushy. This gives candidates the space they need to consider their options and ultimately come around to the offer at hand.

Be in it for the long haul.
This lesson goes hand-in-hand with staying focused and being persistent. Coming on too strong – like the Falcons did in the Super Bowl – will exhaust your recruiting team. Remember, the long-term goal is not hiring a single perfect candidate, but building a winning team.
Professional executive recruiters like myself are in it for the long haul. With decades of specialized experience in a specific industry, we’ve spent years cultivating relationships and building trusted connections. We work with hiring managers to help them not only find the perfect job candidate on a one-off basis, but also to build a winning team over time.


To learn more about the benefits of working with a professional recruiter, contact me at