Everyone knows the quality of a company's employees are directly proportional to its potential for success. But there's a particular trait hiring managers should be looking for when evaluating a job candidate's merits: Athleticism. That's according to Lisa Strasman, president of NCSA Athletic Recruiting, which uses big data, predictive analytics and high-level data science to match high school student athletes with college coaches. Here's why she says athletes make the best employees.

1. They excel at time management.

Any athlete gifted enough to play at the collegiate level has mastered the ability to do well academically while balancing the time, practice and travel a sport requires. "In the workplace they are the ones that can really focus on set tasks, be self-sufficient with managing their schedules, and hit deadlines," she says.

2. They have a rock-solid work ethic.

Excelling at a sport involves practicing for countless hours, waking up early for practice or games, and pushing oneself physically to earn and keep a position on a team's roster. "They don't flinch at hard work, or working longer if needed to complete a task," she says. "They understand that success doesn't just come by showing up."

3. They persevere through adversity.

Athletes know how good it feels to win, but also how to pick themselves up from a loss and remain committed to a team's goal. "They know how to respond to setbacks and remain poised... which is a key indicator of future success," she says.

4. They're teachable.

Not everyone in the workforce is as coachable as their bosses would like. Athletes, however, are accustomed to receiving feedback and criticism from coaches and adjusting their behavior accordingly. "They've also experienced a variety of coaching styles, playing on many different teams over the years," she says. "So transitioning to an environment where they receive manager input typically isn't culture shock the way it might be for people who aren't used to receiving feedback that that athletes do."

5. They play well with others.

Athletes who have been competing for years possess a team mentality which is invaluable in the workplace. "If a team needs to stay late for a big project they'll be the ones rallying everybody together and ordering the pizza, not sneaking out early to go home," she says. "They're super committed to helping accomplish a task and achieving a team win even more so than an individual one

Published on: Nov 25, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.