Talent Circles

Friday, October 17, 2014

How Recruiters Can Learn From Baseball & Talent Development in the Minor Leagues

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

I’ve mentioned before that talent is the number one priority for CEOs in 2014 from the Conference Board. Two strategies really exist in order to recruiting either you recruit already qualified candidates to your organization or you develop and implement a strategy for engaging and developing raw talent to grow in your organization just like baseball has done and the minor leagues.

I realize that planning and recruiting for the future takes a herculean amount of money, time and effort. But as I mentioned before, insanity is defined as continuing to do the same thing over and over again without any change. That’s exactly what we are doing in putting all our eggs into the action of recruiting already qualified candidates who have the exact set of skills that we need. We need to establish a minor league for our company.

That minor league goes beyond just campus recruitment and entry level hiring efforts. It means establishing a training and development program for highly competitive and technical areas particularly STEM positions. We give these candidates stability, resources, education and experience using a formal program in exchange for a signed contract for time spent at our company.

When candidates fall into a pipeline and are given an opportunity to learn and grow within a company it’s important that they’re given the necessary tools to succeed. Minor league baseball teaches us that practitioners are able to create programs and grow candidates through programs that enhance training and development.

There are two major reasons to create these types of programs with the final result as a signature on the dotted line:

Build education and knowledge for the company/franchise: Within the baseball reference, the idea of the minor leagues allows players the ability to learn the franchise and understand the basics of the game before signing on the dotted line and growing into the major leagues. The same works for the workplace. Understanding how a company operates and the dynamics involved gives candidates the opportunity to learn the industry before being offered the permanent and official position within a company.

Exchange resources and sharpen skills: When a company offers an internship it’s usually to see how they deal with adapting to a current environment with the resources they’re given. Whether it be mentorship or different opportunities within a company, companies are looking for interns to develop their skill set before a final job offer is granted. The minor league in baseball works just like an internship does, but without the promise of making it to the major leagues.

No matter what you’re looking for when it comes to working in the human resources field it’s important to understand the major benefits of creating programs with the idea of having that signature on the dotted line at the end of the program.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell


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