Supporting Hiring Managers, ft. Dick’s Sporting Goods

We had an insightful fireside chat with Rick Jordan on how Dick’s Sporting Good’s leans into creating both a great candidate experience, but also a great hiring manager experience.


Ty Abernethy:

I know a big stakeholder at Dick’s is your many hiring managers, and I wanna spend a few minutes there, just what you’re thinking about, what you’re working towards, and just the importance of supporting that manager in this total equation.


Rick Jordan:

So we think about our hiring managers as, ‘we bring 50% of this equation and you bring the other 50%’, true partnership. I can’t hire without you, you can’t hire without me. So I think the first thing for us as TA professionals, we have to make it really easy for our hiring managers.

And then when it is easy, we expect them to show up. But you are a partner, you’re side by side with us. And then we strategize.

I think our brand gets the candidate’s interest. You love sports. You played sports, your kids play sports. So the brand gets us in the door, but then we join and stay with a company because of the people we work with and work for.

That all starts with that hiring manager. We are in this together and one of the things we look for, and then what we expect is building really dynamic teams.

It’s part of your job as a leader. And we’ve got hiring managers here that really get it, and we look at them like, ‘you are an asset to us as we’re trying to recruit talent’.


Ty Abernethy:

Yeah, making clear the importance of hiring, and their role in that. And so making sure that experience. Isn’t just great from the TA team and then stops once they get to the store. So that continuity-


Rick Jordan:

Ty, specifically for our stores, we’ve been working on this journey where we’re changing that mindset. Your role as the head coach of our store is always thinking about your team, and recruitment has to be a priority.

Now, we have phenomenal support at our most senior space at the organization that talks about talent all the time.

Building inclusive, diverse, engaged, inspired teams. That’s one of their top priorities. So it takes a shift that recruiting might not be your day job, but it’s gonna be a solid piece of your day job.


Ty Abernethy:

Yeah, that makes total sense. And when you’re thinking about supporting those store managers effectively, I imagine you probably have a whole other set of challenges to implement technology to help support those stores from a recruiting standpoint, because all the stores maybe do things a little bit different.

Is that then a factor here, or is it more about just meeting the store manager where they are or, more about standardizing everything and making sure they just are brought up into the fold?


Rick Jordan:

We do understand all the dynamic pieces of running these massive Dick’s Sporting Good stores. We never take that for granted that there’s so much going on in that store, that we can’t just push technology. We can’t just say, ‘Hey guys, tomorrow start doing this’. So it does make you really empathetic, really in their shoes.

So when we go out and spend time in stores and realize, wow, there are a lot of competing priorities, so we think about that quite a bit. And anything that we do out in our field organization, we’re gonna test, we’re gonna pilot, we’re gonna get feedback from people that are doing it in that space, before we would take something out to our entire chain.

It’s not as simple as rolling something out to a recruiting team of 50 people. We’re talking 850+ stores that we wanna change the process.

And it does go back to ‘just make it really easy for the hiring managers’. Help them build their teams, don’t overcomplicate processes. Don’t overcomplicate systems you have to click 13 times just to get the candidate’s resume.

How easy is it for them to bring their 50% to the table?


Ty Abernethy:

Yeah, it’s almost like you’re doing the same type of work for the candidate journey as you are for the store manager journey, right? Ease of use, eliminate friction, keep it simple, it’s just like a mantra over and over.


Rick Jordan:

It’s the story of life in recruiting, and people that have done it know it, you’ve got so many stakeholders. You want a great candidate experience, but you need a great hiring manager experience. And neither one is more important, everyone has to feel the love from the TA folks.