Welcome back Hochuli! After weeks of the replacement referee situation – some may say debacle – an agreement has been reached between the NFL and the NFL Referees Association that will bring the regular referees back to the field. Can we get a “hurray”?

This is not a blog post bashing the replacement refs for missed calls. I feel for the replacements. They didn’t go into games with the intention of missing calls. They didn’t hope for controversy. They were simply doing the job they were hired to do to the best of their ability. It just happens that their best still wasn’t as good as others, and the NFL found this unfortunate fact out on a national stage.

Perhaps one of the biggest lessons learned during the past three weeks is the importance of having back-ups. The NFL didn’t have any refs in the pipeline who could quickly step in, so they were forced to accept “warm bodies” from small colleges and high schools who were not prepared for the speed and complexity of NFL football.

Luckily, the NFL seems to have learned its lesson and, while we hope to not see another strike for a long time, the terms of the agreement included a training and development program so the NFL had qualified replacements they could call up from the bench when needed.

Now, think about your business. What would happen if you lost one or two employees tomorrow? One of three scenarios could take place:

– To quickly address the hole in your front line, you hire the next person who walks in the door asking about a job. This addresses your immediate need, but this new employee may not be suited for the job. This person may try his/her best, but still not perform at the level you need, leading to frustration all around – for you, for your employee and for your customers.

– You take your time and strategically hire a new employee. You post the job opening online and in your store; receive and screen applications; contact applicants; set and conduct interviews; and hire, train and onboard new your employee. During this time, your existing employees may have been working overtime to cover shifts, customers may have noticed a service gap and your bottom line could take a hit.

– If you’re a proactive franchisee, who posts jobs on an hourly-focused site that allows you post jobs, year-round by location, you have a full pipeline of pre-qualified applicants from which to choose. You quickly contact the best candidates, set up interviews and have a new, right-fit employee in place in half the time it would normally take.

The NFL didn’t have much of a choice. They couldn’t leave the games without refs while they searched for replacements and they didn’t have a pipeline of qualified candidates to call on when they needed them. The NFL had to settle for option one, and many would say they paid the price. You, on the other hand, don’t have to.