Do You Like The Recruiter, But Not The Program?

Matches aren’t made in heaven, they’re made on earth – in real time, between real people. First, be clear, a recruiter’s job is to sell. They sell their programs, hoping to convince a prospect to select them as either a scholarship athlete or walk-on. Recruiters want the right individuals and relationships for their programs. But, what happens when a prospect doesn’t like the program, but admires the recruiter? Simple…dig deeper into the areas that are reason for concern or hesitation.

A prospect’s most important job is filtering – sifting through the salesperson and considering everything that comes with the package. These two critical actions must happen:

  1. Ask probing questions
  2. Verify information a recruiter provides

No program will be a perfect fit, but it must be comfortable. And, not just comfortable in terms of sports. Four to five years is an awful long time to be part of a program, when there’s only the sports factor to rely on. Prospects need to consider:

  • Culture
  • Academics
  • Coaches
  • Location
  • History
  • Exposure
  • Costs
  • Post-eligibility Support

With the proliferation of information through today’s technology, it’s easy to become biased for or against a program – without personal verification. The vast majority of the time, a recruiter’s demeanor and attitude mirrors the program they represent. Therefore, it’s absolutely critical prospects ask questions and verify information.

On the flip-side, programs understand reputation can be ruined or enhanced in the social media and technology landscape. Therefore, what a recruiter “sells” must align with what’s actually taking place on the campus, in the locker room and within the team atmosphere. In other words, the experiences must match.

Recruiters have gotten both too much and too little appreciation for tracking down quality talent and individuals for their programs. Ultimately, it’s the quality of the program that becomes the deciding factor for prospects. So, prospects must do their part to understand the programs under consideration and match its qualities with their goals and motivations.

Conversely, prospects must remain credible and honest about programs, even if the recruiter or program decides to go with another individual. Because it can work in the other direction – prospects spreading untruths can travel just as fast and may be picked up on by other programs that can derail potential landing spots.

Communication is necessary among everyone involved. Fairly assess recruiters’ information, programs’ qualities and prospects’ needs. If filtering has been done correctly, prospects are better equipped to determine which program or opportunities are best aligned.

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