How to foster greatness in unorthodox employees

Have you seen the Brad Pitt movie Moneyball? Pitt plays Billy Beane, general manager of professional baseball team the Oakland A’s in 2002. The A’s are facing the brutal off-season challenge of replacing three superstars they’ve just lost to big-market teams.

Beane’s solution? Data.

He does some hardcore number-crunching and ends up building a team out of older, overlooked and unorthodox (but still effective) players he can get for cheap.

The result? The A’s take the division that year—and set a major-league record by winning 20 games in a row.

Big data is coming to HR

There’s a lesson in there for business. Some companies have discovered that the latest data analytics are helping them find and advance the right people, even if those moves appear counterintuitive at first.

Henri de Romrée, Bruce Fecheyr-Lippens and Bill Schaninger make this point in a recent article for McKinsey Quarterly, “People analytics reveals three things HR may be getting wrong.” (Incidentally, their article also begins with a baseball analogy.)

The authors tell this story:

“A bank in Asia had a well-worn plan for hiring: recruit the best and the brightest from the highest-regarded universities. The process was one of many put to the test when the company, which employed more than 8,000 people across 30 branches, began a major organizational restructuring. As part of the effort, the bank turned to data analytics to identify high-potential employees, map new roles and gain greater insight into key indicators of performance.”

One of the key takeaways from the restructuring was that “in many instances, previous assumptions about how to find the right internal people for new roles were upended.”

The central argument of the McKinsey piece is that big data, which has been such a powerful tool for finance and marketing organizations, is about to reshape HR as “chief human resources officers are starting to deploy predictive talent models that can more effectively—and more rapidly—identify, recruit, develop and retain the right people.”

Still, there’s a big challenge.

An overwhelming flood of data  

The volume of data filling public and private servers and moving across the Internet has reached an unprecedented level, and information continues to multiply astonishingly fast. The size of the digital universe—which industry analyst firm IDC defines as “a measure of all the digital data created, replicated and consumed in a single year”—now doubles about every two years.

As a result, many organizations are rethinking their traditional approach to storing, managing and analyzing data. Yet only a small fraction of the digital universe has been explored for analytic value.

A tool to unlock opportunities

This is where Mindtree can help. Mindtree’s Decision Moments, the first data analytics platform to apply continuous learning algorithms to large data pools, can help you harness the power of big data to unlock hidden opportunities and insights, especially in three key areas:

Sourcing: Measure the effectiveness of your efforts to find candidates.

Cost of hiring: Get a clear picture of the effectiveness of a recruiting source and discover the true cost of finding the right hire.

Tracking hiring trends: See how particular recruiting campaigns meet the needs of teams in your organization.

Toward a better, fairer organization

Big data is changing everything. It’s only a matter of time before it changes HR.

Compared to traditional hiring and retention practices, it has enormous potential. According to McKinsey, “When well applied, people analytics is fairer, has greater impact and is ultimately more time- and cost-effective.”

People analytics can make your organization great. Just look what it did for the Oakland A’s.

Visit our Decision Moments page to find out more about how Mindtree can help your hiring organization.

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