Brad Pitt film has lessons for HR managers

Sep 27, 2011

Business leaders and human resources consultants can learn how to hire the right people by seeing the movie Moneyball, which stars Brad Pitt and opened at cinemas September 23.

Simon Fraser University Beedie School of Business professor Peter Tingling told Business in Vancouver last week that the movie is based on a true story of how Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane has used computer generated analysis to field a competitive major league baseball team since he was appointed to the post in 1998.

“What Oakland looked at when drafting players was on-base percentage and slugging success,” Tingling said.

“They measured the extent to which players actually earned or delivered runs, as opposed to getting out a stopwatch and tracking how fast players ran.”

Tingling’s research focuses on decision-making in sport, although he has also helped business organizations like the British Columbia Innovation Council make decisions on matters such as what companies should win at last week’s New Innovation Awards.

He said the key for hiring the right candidate or selecting a winner in a contest is to be clear on exactly what metric is important for the job.

Once the employer works backwards from the question, “What are the characteristics of the job?” it becomes clear what skills or traits the candidates should be measured on.

“It’s not about collecting more data than the other guy,” Tingling said. “It’s about highlighting the right things.”

Glen Korstrom
Twitter: GlenKorstrom

Click here to read the complete article on the Business in Vancouver website.

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