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Moneyball and Selection Science - Pre-employment Testing

by Joseph Murphy

Lance Haun of TLNT wrote a great article about Moneyball.

What Moneyball brings to light is the same discipline I/O psychology brings to staffing process improvement.  In Moneyball the various qualifications of the candidate pool are supported by rigorous data collection and HR analytics.

ATS profile questions often gather proxy data.  Interesting but not valuable data.  Careerbuilder recently posted the average 'Look" at a resume was less than 2 minutes.  How much hard data was collected?  How much data was entered into a data base for analysis?  What scoring algorithm was used to drive the Yes, Maybe, No sorting process that took place.

Proxy data are the easy to capture but often substitutes for evaluating the underlying trait or characteristic.  In Moneyball, a scout asserted one player lacked confidence. The proxy measure used was the arbitrary rating the scout attributed to the player's girl friend.  Well intended recruiters deploy proxy evaluations with little or no substance behind them. I'd be happy to describe a few we have helped organizations debunk - just ask.

It is common for a robust validation analysis to capture and analyze 250,000 data points to examine the relationship among candidate evaluation data and on-the-job performance.  Companies that engage in this level of analysis create a workforce that delivers superior results.  Better candidate data supports better decision making.

One of the best lines in the movie was the job offer scene in Boston.  It went something like this, You got just as many wins as NY on 25% of the salary.  Anybody who does not take note of that will be watching the Series from their sofa.

Footnoted - Boston went on to win the Series two years later.

One of the hardest lessons to learn from Moneyball was that it is not about hiring the superstar.  Quality of hire is all about consistently and objectively raising the average.

Stop in and talk about this at our booth at ERE in San Diego. I will have a gift for you if you mention this post.