Philadelphia Eagles Talent Acquisition Manager Colleen Scoles Shares What Teams Look for When Hiring

By Brian Clapp | September 20, 2017

Work in Sports Podcast Episode 5 - Philadelphia Eagles Talent Acquisition Manager Colleen Scoles

Hi, Welcome to the Work in Sports Podcast – I’m Brian Clapp Director of Content for WorkinSports.

My job is to use my experience in the sports industry to share ideas with you on how to make your way in sports.

I like my ideas, I feel pretty strongly about my perspective on things and I feel a healthy number of people have said thank you and that I have helped them.

BUT, I’m always looking for fresh, current perspective on what the day to day world is like out there for sports job seekers. So, I asked around.Philadelphia Eagles Talent Acquisition Manager Colleen Scoles

I looked through my LinkedIn contacts and saw Colleen Scoles – Talent Acquisition Manager for the Philadelphia Eagles.  As we explored in the last podcast, talking about networking with Zach Hall of the Arizona Diamondbacks, I’m terrible and I mean terrible at asking for things.

I don’t like it. I don’t like feeling like I am indebted to someone, or that I need them. I have this stubborn independence streak. It’s a flaw …I can admit it.

But I was really excited when I connected with Colleen in LinkedIn… so I reached out. And you know what, she said yes about as pleasantly as someone can. All of a sudden my anxiety was replaced by excitement. I was getting a top of the line guest, just by asking nicely.

What came next was even more exciting – Colleen held nothing back. She shared with me what she looks for in resumes, how to determine if someone is a cultural fit, the biggest mistakes people make on their resume – and most impressively, that at the Philadelphia Eagles they look through each resume submitted manually.

That’s crazy.

Before we get into the conversation with Colleen, which trust me, you are going to love. Lets answer a fan question –

Anna from Denver has a follow up question on networking and its overall importance. Anna writes – “hey brian I love the podcast and am so glad you’ve started this up. I have a hard time knowing how to communicate with people in the industry – how do I make real connections with people on social media and other avenues.”

Just because networking isn’t my comfort zone doesn’t mean I don’t have things that work, and things I like when people do them to me.

Step 1 – determine where it is worth it to spend your time on social. LinkedIn is more professional than most other social networks and everyone has a business connection vibe, so it make sense to start there.

Step 2 – Have a purpose with every conversation you strike up. Don’t make a connection and do nothing with it. Say Hi, tell them you read a story of theirs and liked it, tell them you enjoy their employer page, or their group or their picture…ok the last one is creepy. But the idea is to say something…without asking for anything.

Step 3 – If you share their content, like their articles, and follow their business now you are in a position to talk to them. But it’s about how you talk to them that matter – don’t ask for things like a job or a referral – this person does not know you and will be put off if you do this… I know I am.

Instead ask a specific question – hey I’d love to be a production assistant and work my way up in sports television, any particular skill you think I should master? Or I’ve always wanted to work in sports sales… any resources you’d recommend  I read about becoming a better sales person?

Do not ask vague open ended questions – they will not get answered. If you say, I love sports what do you think I should do with my life… you will not get an answer. But if you can ask intelligent specific questions and start a conversation…now you are on to something.

Questions for Philadelphia Eagles Talent Acquisition Manager Colleen Scoles

What Are Professional Sports Teams Looking for in Employees?

*As the Talent Acquisition manager for the Eagles, when you post a job opening…how many responses would you guess you receive?

*I’m guessing many people just want to work for a professional sports team like the Eagles -- how many are actually qualified for the job they apply for by percentage? How frustrating is it to handle so many resumes of unqualified people?

*What is your process for weaving through all of those resumes to find a group of people worth pursuing for at least an interview?

*How does someone grab your attention for the right reasons?

*Let’s talk about telephone interviews – I imagine they are a first screening round for you – what is your goal in these conversations and how best does someone prepare?

*So many people think – I want to be the next Howie Roseman and be in charge of running team, that’s great to have big goals, but where are the majority of jobs teams like the Eagles have to fill?

*Sports management degrees are all the rage – almost every college has a program, some better than others. As someone on the hiring side of the sports industry, how do you value sports management degrees over a traditional business, accounting, economics etc degree?

*For entry level job seekers or people in college who will soon be seeking entry level jobs… what advice would you give them to make themselves the most desirable to be hired by professional sports teams once they graduate?

*We’ve talked a great deal about how people come to you when you have job openings – but how active are you in going out into the marketplace and sourcing the right people? Do you approach people that may not be looking, but are the right match?

*When I was news director at Fox Sports Northwest I was in charge of hiring, so I’d get all the resumes flooding in for our openings – I saw resumes on pink paper, with a fish background – I had one person who misspelled their own name on their demo reel – what are some of the common mistakes that you see people making in today’s sports job marketplace?

What’s the Scenario

You have a job opening – are you more interested in :

A: Promoting someone from within the organization

B: Hiring someone from the outside

Why? What are the benefits and downsides of each?

Finish Up With The Lightning Round

1: I just moved to the Philadelphia area last year --- what something fun I should do that only the locals know about?

2: More important historical event – George Washington crossing the Delaware…or Paul Revere riding through Massachusetts?

3: Best place to get a cheesesteak in Philly that isn’t Geno’s or Pat’s?

4: What is one thing that will push someone’s resume into the NO category immediately?

5: I’ve become addicted to Philly soft pretzels – do you think it is safe to buy one from the guy under the bridge on i-95?

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