HR Tips from the Major League Baseball pros.

Business and baseball are two American passions that have been immortalized in countless movies and books. From the upper levels of management down to the waterboy, successful businesses share many characteristics with successful teams. Both require engaged management leading a group of skilled individuals pursuing a shared goal. Both depend on teamwork as a key factor in competing and winning.  And, most importantly, both depend on the right hires at every level of the organization. As baseball season gets underway, here are five hiring and HR strategies that we can borrow from the boys of summer.


Field a Winning Team

Athletes and employees want to join winning teams. Organizations want the best talent they can afford. For hiring directors, it is an endless quest to find players that will knock it out of the park. For the same money, you may be able to hire one superstar or three unproven candidates with great potential. Find the combination of superstars, rookies, and generalists that will work best for your organization and seek them out through recruiting, word of mouth or professional placement services.

Track the Stats

A true baseball fan can quote a dizzying range of statistics about their favorite teams or players. The world of HR also has trackable statistics that can impact an organization’s competitive edge. Identify which metrics will make your operation more efficient and begin tracking them. Some examples include cost per hire, turnover rates of new hires, retention rates by a manager, or percentage of top performers who have left the company. Studying past performance is the best way to identify areas of improvement.

Handle Curveballs

Just when you think you have the perfect team in place, something changes. Key employees leave unexpectedly, managers move to different cities, salespeople have babies, or the entire department wins the lottery and resigns! The key to surviving an HR curveball is the ability to adjust quickly and draw on your resources. Can existing employees be cross-trained? Is there a referral program in place? Do you have access to a hiring agency that understands your needs that can provide contract employees?

Don’t skip practice or workouts

Athletes must practice to hone their skills and stay in shape. Business leaders also understand that to remain competitive; their teams must have access to ongoing training, development, and feedback to stay at the top of their games. Despite the cost and time involved, employee training increases retention, morale, and productivity.

There is no “I” in team

In baseball and business, collaboration and teamwork will ultimately lead to more wins than a team that relies on only one superstar. HR professionals should look for players who fit the company culture and share common workplace ethics and values.

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