Baseball is about Stats– Talent Acquisition is about Benchmarking
As the 2015 season of Major League Baseball enters its final week, I’m enjoying watching players chase some statistical milestones. This season, for example, we have the opportunity to watch Dallas Keuchel trying to be a perfect 15-0 at home and Manny Machado attempting to join the 20-20 club.
One of the aspects of baseball I enjoy most is the statistical tracking. It allows fans like me to compare the achievements of today’s players against players of over 100 seasons. In business terms, there is a robust database of information for us to benchmark the achievements of today against other current and past players.
Today’s TA leaders also need benchmarks. They need to take a more data-driven approach to HR and can no longer stick with gut feelings or what they’ve done in the past. They need hard statistical data to create and execute their strategy.
There is a great book by Michael Lewis called Moneyball, the Art of Winning an Unfair Game. If you watched the movie starring Brad Pitt, it’s easy to assume that it’s a baseball story about the 2002 season of the Oakland Athletics. However, the real focus of the book is how Billy Beane, the General Manager of the Oakland Athletics, used unique statistical modeling to optimize the organization’s spend on players. The A’s were a small market team, with an equally small budget, facing competitors with three times more money to spend. Under Billy Beane, the team used statistics to identify undervalued players with high potential ROI. Many times, the statistics challenged and even contradicted traditional thinking and ways of working (gut feelings), but the result was baseball history.
Today’s Talent Acquisition leaders have a lot in common with Billy Beane and the Oakland A’s. They have minimal budget and need to be strategic about choosing to spend the available budget on the opportunities with the highest ROI.
One of the bigger challenges is the lack of available data. When looking at the historical context of a Dallas Keuchel being an undefeated 15-0 at home or a 20-20 season by Manny Machado, there is plenty of depth to the numbers While both accomplishments look (and are) impressive today, historical benchmark data tells us that the 20-20 season is not that rare, while achieving 15-0 at home would put Keuchel in very special company.
Today’s TA leaders don’t have that in-depth insight over 100 seasons but to make the most out of their budget, they need to take a similar approach.
Leaders need access to real, industry-wide data from the ATS, not survey driven insights. The information must be easily accessible and able to be filtered, allowing the leaders to create their own actionable insights based upon hard facts. With better insight into data, maybe we’ll find the Talent Acquisition equivalent of Billy Beane…
Engage Afton Consulting Group today to become an analyst and get big league information and benchmarking statistics.
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