Talent Technologies

Taking your Talent to a Higher Level!

We’ve seen before how chronic employee disengagement is affecting companies’ growth prospects, so we thought the time was right for a post on one approach companies in general and HR departments and managers in particular can do to better manage the malaise.

This works for companies of any size, and draws its inspiration from the 2011 movie Moneyball starring Brad Pitt.

This is also an approach that can help make HR more strategic. But first…


The 2011 movie described how Brad Pitt’s character (Billy Beane) took a team that was ‘the runt of the litter’ and whose ‘heart was being cut out’ by bigger sides poaching their best players, not only to a Championship-winning team but also breaking all US major league baseball records en route.

How was this possible?

It was possible because:

1. He took a scientific and data driven approach to player performance and ignored what ‘the experts’ were telling him – and what was ‘received wisdom’ in baseball.

2. With the help of a colleague, he broke this performance into key factors

3. He was not afraid to ‘cut’ players when they didn’t fit these performance criteria

4. He had the courage to follow through with his convictions

What was also interesting was that Billy Beane chose numerous players that were either washed up, raw, or ‘defective’ in the eyes of his fellow recruiters, and thus he was able to secure their services at favourable rates.

Here’s one way you can apply HR Moneyball


Beane’s magic, if it can be called that, was playing the players to their strengths. What’s interesting was that this had little to do with their ‘overall’ game. Instead, it was about what drove their performance in key areas. He ignored past performance as a whole and players’ background.

It’s interesting to see how (from this piece of research) many recruiters patently follow none of the factors above when hiring!

We’re sharing a graphic that identifies the key employee lifecycle phases (or ‘bases’) below. Have a look:

What we’re looking at are the employee lifecycle stages

How to use employee lifecycle stages to make yourself a Moneyball manager!

As either a manager or HR practictioner, you will know that every employee goes through the above stages.

If you’re in a business where talent is at a premium, you need to ensure that:

· He or she does so as quickly as possible, and

· He or she does expands his/her capabilities at each base

Let’s start with the latter point first. As in the movie Moneyball, ‘cutting’ an employee is not necessarily a bad thing – this is stage 11 in the graphic above.

The key point here is to reach an amicable separation – either way. If the employee has benefitted from the development and support in your company, then that is also great. Victor Kiam used to say that he was delighted when staff were headhunted from his company, because it meant his hiring and development strategy were clearly on the money.

And Wells Fargo have for years supplied competing banks with their ‘C Suite’ talent! No harm there either – because Wells Fargo is now clearly regarded as the leading US Bank and turns in above average profit per employee ratios…

What is it that Wells Fargo does differently? Well, one area (while not using the exact graphic above) is managing their employee lifecycle. ‘Moneyball’ for banking, if you like.

At every stage of the above graphic, employees are played to their strengths and supported so that they can make the biggest impact possible. For a major employer, that’s impressive, and puts in the shadow such claims we hear from smaller companies that ‘we just couldn’t do that here’.

How to apply HR Moneyball in your company…

It starts with a clear understanding of Talent.

‘Whether someone is the ‘right person’’ Jim Collins wrote in Good to Great, ‘has more to do with character traits and innate capabilities than with specific knowledge, background or skills.’

The good news is that we offer a complete service from talent assessment, to success profiling, career pathing and employee lifecycle management. Have a look at our talent assessment service above or, our one day Talent Factor programme for a team development version. Alternatively, please contact us following the link below…

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