This post actually started on Twitter last week after I read a handful of point-counter-point articles on various sports news sites about why it would be good, or bad, for a team to sign Micheal Vick, after being reinstated to the NFL. I sent out a quick tweet that hiring Michael Vick might be the safest hire you would make all year – which, for those who tweet know, got some RTs and some @Reply’s from some of my Tweeples, mostly disagreeing with me (in which I replied you’re all dead wrong!).
- He will have higher appreciation than anyone elsein the NFL for the chance you’ll give him.
- He is a legitimate “A” player. Every HR person I know wants more “A” players – and while they can be tough to manage – you can’t deny the talent!
- You want your current employees to know that you give second chances. It will let them know they can make a mistake and the company won’t give up on them.
- It will let your customers know you are willing to take some risks to give them the best product– calculated risk, but risk none-the-less.
- Did I mention the talent piece…
Before PETA jumps down my back and starts sending me naked Ads of Khloe Kardashian, let’s point out the fact that Vick did do his time and is paying for his crime. The question we need to ask ourselves is how would we treat him if he wasn’t famous? You’re right, we wouldn’t hire him because the background check would show felony and we would walk away – for almost any opening in our country. We would basically force him back into a life that got him into this position in the first place. Is it right?No, but we continue to do it, because of risk.
That is my point, what risk does an NFL franchise have with hiring Mike Vick? Almost none! Sport fans are notoriously forgiving of their team’s players – just keep hitting home runs and throwing touch downs and you can pretty much get away with anything. Also, advertisers love both the bad-guy-done-good story or the bad-boy image that is created by such sports figures – either way they’ll find a way to sell his jersey!
In the end, I still feel that you have an individual who had one of the most coveted jobs in America – NFL starting quarterback – and it was ripped away from him. Now he is on the verge of getting it back – do you really feel that is a risky hire? Think about that the next time you are interviewing and someone has some hickeys in their past – if you both come into it eyes-wide-open, you’ll probably end up with a great hire.
If you Google “Tim Sackett” you’ll find our Tim, and a truck driver chaplain. Our Tim is NOT the truck driver chaplain, although how awesome would that be if he was!? He is a prolific writer in the HR and TA space who just happens to also run an Engineering and IT contract staffing agency (HRU Technical Resources) out of Michigan. He also writes every day at his own blog, the Tim Sackett Project. Weirdly, he’s known as an expert in workplace hugging, which was kind of cool years ago, but now seems painfully creepy, but we still love him and he’s fairly harmless. Tim is also on the board of the Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals (ATAP), lifetime Michigan State Spartan fan, husband to a Hall of Fame wife, 3 sons, and his best friend Scout. He also wrote a book with SHRM called The Talent Fix, you can find it on Amazon.