Yesterday, I wrote about how recruiters view data. This post is how some utilize data to their advantage and for that, we have to revisit one of many recruiter phrases out there: “The War for Talent.”
Let me get this out of the way: “The war for talent” is the biggest scam in recruiting. “The war for talent” is based on companies cannot find skilled people to fill the positions. There are two reasons this is a farce.
The first reason is companies are saying that to get immediate results and give a false sense of doom for their competitors. Businesses are focusing on the now instead of the long-term, so success has to happen sooner than later, which in turn, can cause chaos for your recruiting/HR department to find talent.
The second reason is the recruiters are programmed to look at face value. As I mention yesterday, most companies want recruiters to use tests and experiments to see who has the highest scores. The tests do get talented people, but it is a thin audience because of the biases it creates from the start. This why in most business, their slogan is “Results Matter.”
Let’s take “Moneyball”, for example. Why businesses love the concept of “Moneyball” because it has evidence-based analysis and it heeded immediate results. “Moneyball” is saying that data speaks for itself. The problem, to me, why the Oakland A’s have won division titles, but have not gone beyond the League Championship series is because the whole organization is too analytical in their approach.
Which leads me to the Tampa Bay Rays. The book, The Extra 2% by Johah Keri, describes the team’s struggles in the beginning and how they became a World Series team. The Rays rely on SABRmetrics, like the A’s, but unlike the A’s, the Rays was (and probably still is) a collaborative workplace. Beyond the players, management had video games, sports psychologists, surveys, parties to create a positive workplace in the worst location possible. In addition, the Rays use fielding data to know where each hitter is likely going to hit, and use PITCHf/x to not only see how effective the pitcher is, but see which throwing motion and mechanics suits best for them.
When people come to me about “Moneyball”, I tell them to look into the “Extra 2%” because it focuses on the process and how you control your own destiny. It also helps that the Rays manager, , can decipher the data and how to use it to his team’s advantage.
How could businesses utilize the “Extra 2%” methods in their workplace? If you look at surveys of why people are leaving their jobs, one of the top reasons is “career opportunities.” When I hear “career opportunity,” I think learning. Some employees want to be challenged in the workplace and if they run out of challenges, that’s when you know they are looking elsewhere. Organizations have to create the challenges so their employees can be engage in their organization. That’s a sign of a proactive organization.
This is why a few companies are now looking into 75-80% matches for the position because there is room for growth, learning, and retention (in the company’s mind). Look at licensed practical nurses (LPN). To be hired as a LPN in the 1970s through the 1990s, you have be highly educated with a medical school degree and a lot of experience before being a LPN. Now with rapid, maturing technology, anyone can be a LPN, if they are willing to learn about the job and the equipment.
I blame “the war on talent” on most companies trying to create a utopia of top, talented, highly skilled workers. That’s not going to happen anytime soon. You do need superstars to keep your workplace afloat, but you also need talented job hoppers to compete, but most importantly, you need people who are willing to learn and want to work for your organization.
You know what’s better than getting “A+, Superstar Talent”? An organization that creates “A+, Superstar Talent.”