How watching a movie over Christmas could revolutionise how you build your team in 2019

How watching a movie over Christmas could revolutionise how you build your team in 2019

 6 Dec 2018

If you haven’t yet watched the movie Moneyball, it’s a must watch over the Christmas period.  It gives us a valuable insight into the impact of objective recruiting as Billy Beane the manager of Oakland As baseball team uses a systematic data-driven process developed by a young Yale economics graduate with radical ideas about how to assess player value. 

The movie, starring Brad Pitt, is based on the book written by Michael Lewis called ‘Moneyball – The Art of Winning an Unfair Game’.  It focuses on building a winning team on a limited budget – relevant for so many of us today.  The innovative approach was considered radical and initially faced much opposition and hostility – but often the best new ideas initially do across all walks of life. 

Rather than relying on the experience of his scouts and on intuition, Beane and his team employed what is now known as sabermetrics, a method of selecting players based on critical in-game measures.  And those measures were often different than the traditional ones valued in baseball. The analytical process took away guess work, dismissed pedigree and athleticism and didn’t rely on intuition. 

Of course, the system was a success as the Oakland Athletics, the team with the third lowest payroll in Major League Baseball, won as many games as the New York Yankees – the team with the highest payroll. The A’s won more games than they lost in every season from 1999 through 2006. They had successfully recruited nearly all their first-choice players, players that others had overlooked but ultimately turned out to be high performers.  In many ways, it revolutionised player assessment and recruitment.

So enough about an enjoyable Hollywood movie – how does this translate to those of us working in the North West?

  1. Narrow down job descriptions and key requirements

Job Descriptions are often long and ambiguous.  Do you categorically know the top three requirements to be successful in the role?  Not the things you think are important, not the ‘nice to haves’ but the absolute defining abilities that make the difference between a high performer and not?

  1. Have you included the key behavioural traits needed to be successful?

And by that, we don’t mean past experience, length of time in a particular role or background but the key behaviours and traits essential to the role and to be successful within your organisation.  And post-interview, whilst reviewing, measure candidates against these traits.

  1. Trust the analytics

Hard as it might be to admit, our intuition and attraction to a particular candidate may be misplaced, perhaps shaped by our previous experiences and our own unconscious bias.  We might be reacting to traits we see and feel in interview that impress us but may not be wholly related to successful in-role job performance. 

A well validated game-based psychometric assessment will reveal whether the required traits and behaviours are there.  They may back up our intuition or completely refute it.  Either way it has been substantially validated and is highly likely to be more accurate!

  1. Are you (consciously or unconsciously) overlooking untapped talent pools?

Many groups of people are unrepresented within the workforce and with 50% of companies  currently reporting alarming talent shortages.  Offering a role to a candidate outside the traditional pattern may seem like risk, like taking a ‘punt’ but in an analytically driven process they aren’t.  The objective data is there to support their suitability and as a hiring manager you can offer with confidence.  In this category we include those over 50, candidates with long career gaps (perhaps child-care related) or those with no degree or a degree from a non-traditional University.


On behalf of all the Tindall Perry Family, we would like to wish you a very happy Christmas and a prosperous and successful 2019

Joanne McTiffin                                         Dan Simmonite

Tindall Perry Insights                                Tindall Perry Finance









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