Would you ever find a relief pitcher from the stands? Four ways baseball teaches us how to leverage our internal talent to fill key roles.
Picture this, you’re enjoying a summer’s afternoon at the ball park. It’s the sixth inning and the starting pitcher is struggling and needs to be relieved. The manager decides to forego his bullpen and posts an ad for a relief pitcher on the scoreboard. It reads: Relief pitcher needed. Must have 5+ years pitching experience at college level or higher. Fastball a minimum of 90 mph with breaking, off-speed pitch a must. Left handed is a bonus and the candidate must be able to start immediately. Please report to concession stand A to apply for this position.
Wouldn’t that be a bit wild?! Could you imagine the crowds of people rushing to the concession stands? Alternately, the next Greg Maddux or Jason Verlander may be sitting in the stands waiting to be discovered. How effective would this process be though? The screening might take the rest of the afternoon and there is only a slight chance the applicant from the stands would be ready to pitch in the game.
Unfortunately, this is a common trend we see with companies when hiring. Instead of hiring managers and recruiters working together to get the most out of their current talent and find the best fit candidate, we tend to see open requisitions starting at square one by posting a job externally by default. True, bringing new skills into an organization and finding a steady balance of A players from competitors and diverse companies is a key part of recruiting, but not every open job needs to start with an external posting. There is so much depth among an organization’s internal talent to leverage. Using internal talent along with mixing in necessary external talent is the key to success.
Here are four ways we can learn from baseball on how HR and hiring managers can work together in identifying the best internal talent.