Moneyball for business
How do you go about building an effective team? Do you just close your eyes and hope your new employee works out? Or do you use a systematic data driven approach to supplement your hiring decisions and create high performing teams? Do you use Moneyball for business?
We live in an age of algorithms
The Moneyball approach taken by the 2002 Oakland A’s of using “sabermetrics” data to build a successful baseball team has been well documented in Michael Lewis’s 2003 book and the 2011 film adaption starring Brad Pitt. It revolutionised baseball management. Despite having a fraction of the payroll of the top teams they made the playoffs and set a record of 20 wins in a row.
The reason why is the A’s were able to use data analytics to make better decisions about team composition. To craft a team using data driven insights of a consistent algorithmic approach. The success of Moneyball for the Oakland A’s exposed the traditional gut feel “expert scout” approach to player selection as subjective and flawed.
In the business world hiring and selection is also subjective and flawed far too often. Many still seem to think that you can’t accurately measure people. That effectively relying purely on gut decisions to choose the people who are going to be responsible for the success or failure of your business is rational. It’s not. The problem is:
- as humans we’re just not very good at making selection decisions. As Nobel winner Daniel Kahneman identified in Thinking Fast & Slow, our brains are wired to take shortcuts and have great difficulty weighting the factors that are important to predicting performance. Our reliance on intuition often leads to overconfidence and its often weeks or months before we get feedback on the actual quality of our hiring decisions. By then often the damage has already been done.
- bad hiring decisions are incredibly expensive and damaging to the engagement levels of the rest of your team. Bringing in a poor performer or a bad cultural fit negatively affects productivity which in due course affects profitability. If unchecked disengagement can spread like a virus and even drive your best people to leave. Hardly a recipe for success.
Many would love to be able to take a similar data driven approach to selecting great people and crafting a team in their own business. The good news is there is proven technology available that uses a weighted algorithm to increase the accuracy of your hiring decisions, increase your speed to hire and develop your team. Predictive hiring technology as developed by Harrison Assessments allows you to easily implement a Moneyball approach in your business.
Now you can gather validated data on the traits required for high performance in a specific role and match a candidate’s fit to this Job Success Formula. The job specific weighted algorithm to calculates an Overall Predictive Score across 175 factors of their likelihood to be successful in the role. It’s about obtaining accurate data on which to base your decisions and getting valuable insights into the candidate prior to interview. You still get to choose the person you want to work with. It’s just that you can now quantify their:
- Eligibility – “can they do the work?” – experience, skills, qualifications
- Suitability – “do they enjoy this kind of work?” – personality traits, values and motivational drivers, communication style, risk profiles, engagement & retention factors and work environment preferences
- Cognitive – “do they have the ability to problem solve?” – quantitative critical thinking
- Structured Interview Guide – identify the specific yellow and red flags to be probed further in the interview with suggested behavioural questions
- Are they likely to be a good fit with their manager and fellow team members?
- And the ability to add any other third party assessment metric – typing speed, workplace skills assessment
Individual Talent Development
Many talent development programs are not tailored to the needs of the individual and apply a one size fits all approach. To be more effective we need to understand an individual’s strengths and weaknesses as compared to the requirements for high performance in their specific role and have the ability to measure them against their fit for other roles within the organisation. The last thing we want to do is turn a fantastic sales professional into a really poor sales manager by promoting them into a role that is just not a fit for them. Unfortunately this happens all too frequently. The two roles have very different requirements.
The Moneyball for business approach that allows you to get to the crux of individual talent development. Understanding the individual strengths and weaknesses of your team means you can more efficiently allocate resources and projects to those who are most likely to excel and to identify areas where they will benefit from specialist coaching. It’s like a “cheatsheet” for your people. You get a plain English description of how to get the best out of them that you can provide to your managers.
Building Organisational Culture & Benchmarking Performance
Before you can take definitive steps to build a high-performance culture you need to understand the existing culture. Rather than rely on overly presumptuous ideas of what you hope it is, we recommend you assess all your people and use Organisational Analytics to measure what your organisational culture actually is. Management can often have a very different perspective to the front-line employee and this disconnect can become very expensive. Like so many other aspects of business we need to measure and understand what it is, before we can take effective steps to address it. Then we can drill down into the real drivers of culture and implement programs that have true value.
The same Moneyball for business approach allows you to benchmark what is driving high performance in specific roles and then custom build Job Success Formulas that are unique to the requirements of your business. Using a statistically significant sample of high, average and low performers can create a continuous improvement process to boost the quality of hire across your teams.
Take the next step
The days of thinking we can’t measure our people are over. Harrison Assessments is an award-winning ISO 10667 job specific psychometric tool designed specifically for the workplace and it integrates with existing Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS). In as little as a 20 minute assessment you can start making accurate decisions about your people. Stop relying on luck for your people decisions and start using data and the power of algorithms.
Request a Demo and ask Forsee how we can help you implement Moneyball for business in your workplace.