“Adapt or die,” is how we hear statistical mastermind Billy Bean -- played by Brad Pitt in “Moneyball” -- describe the application of analytics to baseball, and it is time HR managers heard the same thing. Here are just three of the many ways HR managers and leads can turn to baseball-inspired predictive analytics to improve their efforts and break existing talent biases.

Promote to the Majors More Effectively Before analytics arrived in baseball, Peter Brand saw a world based on player affection when what a team really needed was wins. In the film, we hear how pitching star Chad Bradford’s submarine style pushed his acquisition cost under 10 percent of his value because it “looks funny.” Without statistical predictions on performance, his future and that of the Oakland Athletics’ would have been troubled.

In hiring and managing our talent, there are plenty of attributes that may keep someone from making the promotion cut. Predictive analytics can help remove those roadblocks and support the people who deserve it by judging based on performance data since their hire.

Objective ranking of candidates on their past successes help HR managers promote people who consistently knock it out of the park. Analytics doesn’t remove gut instinct, but can provide a reason to look past it.

That same Big Data baseline also helps HR talent add new people to the roster based on known leading indicators of job performance. When a top candidate is found, they can be fast-tracked through the process to move quickly and secure them at optimum value.

Learn What Your Roster Needs Organizations that have very specific indicators can also use baselines to determine which skills combinations play best. “Moneyball” views wins above replacement (WAR) as the most important stat for a player’s performance, and it’s a complicated thing to incorporate innately.

WAR is essentially a numerical representation of how valuable a player is -- based on a review of nearly every available stat -- relative to a below-average replacement from the minors.

Businesses with lengthy data recordkeeping can create their own metrics similar to WAR thanks to modeling and predictive analytics. Performances based on certain categories or characteristics can be evaluated historically, limiting the need to make changes to learn outcomes.

Just as in baseball, these metrics are always relative to the position you’re looking to fill, so a strong hiring model can point out candidates that are the fit you need.

Scout the Right Talent Knowing what you’re looking for doesn’t always mean you find it, but predictive analytics has a benefit here too.

By analyzing past successes in individual hiring and hiring events, HR can optimize placement relative to job responses. Firms can generate high-quality responses by precisely targeting posting locations and determining what characteristics -- such as current certifications, title or employment duration – must be listed as requirements.

A deep dive into existing HR data often provides a clear look at past time-to-fill and fill ratios. Predictive modeling here can help HR managers reduce overall search time and improve candidate ranking. That means the right talent is found, matched to the proper position and offers are made sooner and more afford-ably.


Always Update Your Playbook Past behavior has its best chance to guide future success when companies implement predictive analytics. Because of its historical nature, data paradigms need strong collection and retention strategies plus the talent to maintain and improve models.

Adopting an analytics mindset will help businesses to incorporate traditional achievement characteristics as well as specific talent management attributes, behaviors and activities. Updating this data with new attributes and requirements, such as social media expertise, can help prevent any company from misjudging their players or mismanaging their teams.

Predictive analytics can optimize any talent management team by helping them -- as Peter Grant would say -- stop buying players, and start buying wins.

The best way to keep your statistical playbook up-to-date is to keep learning from the best in the industry, like the analytics heads for the giants of baseball, the Texas Rangers. Join them and other Rangers executives for a thought-provoking discussion on where analytics performs best and what is needed to help it thrive at BPI's annual Conference.

The Best Practice Institute strives to deliver high-quality services and support for companies of all sizes as they optimize talent and encourage growth from within. We hope you’ll join us at the home of the Rangers for this unique collaborative experience designed for talent acquisitions specialists, development executes, and CHROs.

Many corporations are not satisfied with their high potential leadership development programs. The problem for some organizations is that their approach is too linear and programmatic. You can’t make leaders the same way you make sausage.

  1. A company should not define “high potentials” too rigidly. Managers know at a gut level who many of their high potentials are, including ones who may not fit the mold.
  2. Developing high potentials should be a stand-alone program, not part of the mainstream leadership program. The C-suite needs special leaders, and prospects for the C-suite should be identified and trained differently.
  3. A high potential today should be a high potential tomorrow. If a high potential was correctly identified but is not advancing, the problem is in the development process.
  4. The high potential training process should not undermine the motivation and productivity of the rest of your workforce. If your high potential program for 3% of your workers is counterproductive to the motivation of your other 97%, that's not smart talent management.

Developing high potentials requires more than checklists and timelines. It is about cultivating the exceptional talent of unique individuals. Those high potentials need unique and custom-made development plans.

For more articles like this visit Best Practice Institute's Leadership and Management blog. Use skillrater, our anytime 360-degree feedback tool: and develop your high-potential leaders in an open and transparent manner backed by a researched methodology in feed-forward, anytime feedback.

Google Glass did a nice job of introducing the concept of augmented reality to eyewear several years ago. And, a host of innovative entrepreneurs and their companies began to pop out of the woodwork. Then, something great happened. Much like the app revolution, which according to Tech Crunch "died several years ago," innovative companies began to see the applications to their own workplace and come up with AR - "Smart Glasses" of their own. And now, the Smart Glass app revolution has begun.

Take Francesco Giartosio's GlassUp technology as an example. First of all, it’s a crazy-good-looking pair of glasses. Italian design and Italian technology. When used in an operating room for example, their new technology app can show the surgeon images and data he needs during surgery. This is a far cry from pulling up a youtube video.

This particular software is designed to interface with the surgeon’s hospital, and she can see images of how things are supposed to look, as she is performing the actual surgery! It’s rather like having another experienced doctor in the room with her, advising on what to do. Now, I don’t suspect that this will allow all of us to become sidewalk-surgeons, but it will prove helpful to the medical industry.

Other developers, like Percy Stocker of Ubimax GmbH, Ankur Gopal of Interapt Glass, and Corey Mack, CEO and Head of Design of LAFORGE Optical, and Alberto Torres, CEO at Atheer Labs are all busy bringing new apps to market for these exciting new glasses they are developing as well.


Take a look at the future of Augmented Reality and Smart Glasses in this video

Ubimax's xAssist features are at the core of the future of real-time coaching and assessment of technical competencies. Imagine your glasses at work allowing you to show what you see, to a parts repair company 3000 miles away, as you prepare to install their new gizmo in your current industrial machine. During the install, they can send you the images of what you should do next, as they watch right along with you, as you do it. You can converse with them, and the results would be a tremendous savings in time and money, as it always get installed right, the first time!

xAssist Component

Perhaps something is not working correctly? Just put on your smart glasses, and show the tech in Japan what you see and hear. The possibilities are endless for advancing productivity worldwide.

Then apply yet another layer to assess and develop the technical skills of employees in all industries - from insurance adjusters, front line employees, to phlebotomists, surgeons, engineers, oil rig drillers, truck drivers, chefs, and the list continues... Imagine a way for the expert, patient, or customer to assess the work of the technician, engineer, doctor, or other professional on their own glasses.  The field of assessment and development will become deepened with real-time coaching, and immediate feedback on specific activities and tasks achieved.

Workers on an oilrig are often servicing pieces of equipment or working at height. Smart Glasses enable them to access relevant information and interact with it, while keeping their hands free for their critical task without compromising safety.

Warehouse professionals now have an optimized and streamlined workflow to guide them through packing lists, pick and pack tasks, and real time inventory management. Augmented reality allows for quick and easy part identification and hands free barcode scanning.

The application to the field of Human Resources are endless. Imagine providing the exact instructions for training an employee on the best practices in rolling the perfect taco at your favorite fast food Taco restaurant. Do you hear the eponymous bell ringing in the background?


Welcome to the future. The only impediment to applying Moore's Law of improving this technology and its applications is your imagination, and bravery in placing your investment dollars and teams to take part in achieving excellence in practice.

For more articles like this visit Best Practice Institute's Leadership and Management blog. Use this tool to apply the kind anytime feedback that can be applied to real time activities at work: and develop your high-potential technical leaders in an open, transparent, and just-in-time manner.

As a Human Resources executive, you already know how important a technical competency model can be to your organization. For those who are in the process of developing a technical competency model, and already have an existing centralized talent management system, this article will give you some great tips to help when implementing your model.

What can an effective technical competency model do for you?

Technical competency models have become an important part of organizational leadership. This type of framework can do many things for an organization such as the following:

  • Provide specific skills and experience of what is required in order to be successful within a particular job;
  • Find the right person for the job;
  • Facilitate better employee performance;
  • Set clear requirements for performance management;
  • Identify which employees can be promoted and recognized; and,
  • Improve the organization’s bottom line.

Best practices

It is essential to be able to successfully designed, developed and implemented a technical competency model. Some of the most important elements are that these models are at the center of a successful Human Resources Department. These elements include being able to understand the specific knowledge, skills and abilities (KSA’s) that are most needed in a specific position. Recruiting should be looked at as a type of art form and people outside the Human Resources field don’t understand the importance of this.

Here are some tips to help with the integration of a competency model with your overall talent management system:

  1. Analyze the different HR processes to see which ones need improvement such as recruiting, performance reviews or disciplinary procedures.
  2. It is helpful for the company to consider implementing a main competency model and then adding on to that.
  3. Take the time to set the criteria for the model based on what the organization needs. Don’t forget to consider the overall strategy of the entire company as well as identifying the key positions. All of the other positions should be built around this.
  4. Once all of the jobs are identified, it is essential to define the measures of performance for each job.
  5. Use the model to create a compensation to structure the different pay differences between the each individual job and employee (based on skills, education, experience, etc.)
  6. Think about who the key users will be and build the model around that.
  7. Decide how much data collection needs to be done in order to have a successful model. It is critical to know what you want in a clear plan in order to achieve success.

Technical competency modeling is an innovative way to improve strategic management decisions.

Case studies

Planning and implanting technical competency models has sharply increased over the past few years. Organizations all across the nation are seeing that it has become a necessary part of strategic planning. One such company is Devereux Cleo Wallace, a health care organization located in Colorado. Turnover became so bad that it had a rate of 60 percent. The Human Resources Department had been doing an excellent job of recruiting and hiring some of the best candidates who had the right experience and education for the job; however, that wasn’t enough. The company designed and implemented a competency-based candidate selection process and the turnover rate quickly fell between 15 percent and 20 percent. This is an excellent example of how important this process is for any organization, and competency-based interviewing is one of the most frequently used interview styles used in companies all across the U.S.

There are many Fortune 500 companies who are designing and implementing these policies with excellent results. Some of these companies include AT&T, PepsiCo, General Electric, KPMG and American Express, just to name a few. In fact, AT&T had a major transformation recently in its HR Department. When the company had to go through many hard transitions in the late ‘90s, they lost many employees and had a very high turnover. After much analysis, the company found that they were able to make positive changes that ended up having a great change. They also found that they were able to locate the right candidates by looking for those who are good with people and are also competitive and high performing.

Taking the next step

A recent study by Towers Watson revealed that competency models are vital to an organization’s culture, and this particular competency framework assists with attracting the top candidates and retaining the talent who has already been hired. Once the appropriate analysis has been made for your organization, it will give you a better idea of what would work best. Designing and implementing a competency model for any organization will bring about a positive change that will in turn help the overall strategic planning.



Businesses are constantly changing structure and policies because technology also changes and becomes more and more pervasive in the workforce. Social media, something that managers encouraged employees to watch out for and avoid posting on, is now a driving source for employees as brand ambassadors. Everyone from entry level workers to managers are encouraged to post company news and accomplishments on their own social media accounts.


            According to a Forbes article from earlier this year, over 57% of employees value their employers sophistication and use of technology. The change in how the work place interacts with tech and utilizes it for productivity has made it so that businesses have not only considered using the likes of Facebook and Twitter, but HR apps as well. Many people already rely on mobile applications for accessing a car service, paying bills, checking their bank accounts, and even ordering food. Having cloud systems and applications that conglomerate many aspects of an HR department is here now.


Some widely used HR applications in 2015 include:


TargetRecruit- A recruiting app that is designed to facilitate various firms with a large range of tasks including sales, accounting, social media, and sales. Features include allowing recruiters to easily organize information from potential employees and set up interviews as well. The app also enables timesheet organization and filing, and even setting up a payroll.


Talent Rover- Another application that uses a straightforward approach to managing tracking software and simple interfaces. The app also allows for email and phone integration, a resume manager and job boards, organizing expense reports, and online chatting.


Litmos- This is more of a training management app that allows employees to access learning materials at any time and anywhere. Litmos also lets companies get ahold of partners and certify contractors easily and quickly. A lot of leading brands and companies currently use Litmos including YouTube, Exact Target, Zumba, and


Box- Though this is not a recruiting app for HR, it allows for easier collaboration and information sharing in the workplace. It allows for file sharing and editing, managing community commenting, and assigning tasks. It’s used by major brands like P&G and GAP and has gotten rave reviews from publications like INC and Fast Company for its ease in usability.


Skillrater – an anytime 360-degree feedback tool that is designed to formulate social circles within organizations that enable real-time advice for actual work activity. It is based on an appreciative framework for feedback in the form of advice that takes the sting out of traditional performance reviews and is based on real events rather than generalizations about the employee’s performance.


Regardless of what industry a company encompasses, communication and efficiency are always going to be important, especially when meeting the needs of customers and employees alike. Apps have the potential to make management easier, increasingly organized, and more efficient. Expect to see a growth in HR related apps throughout the rest of 2015 and into 2016.


Corporate executives have been trying for years to tear down the silos and achieve integrated talent management. It is something most companies want to achieve. However, if a company cannot integrate its talent management functions, how can it hope to achieve full integration and standardisation across business units?

The benefits of integrated talent management (ITM) include streamlined talent processes, cost savings, and improvements in collecting and sharing talent data. But that’s just the start. ITM leads to a more skilled workforce aligned with company strategy, and the right workforce is the key to boosting productivity.

Several software-as-a-service ITM suites have emerged to provide technological help in integrating talent functions and data.

Despite the emergence of these technologies, many corporations have found talent integration difficult. ITM is often described as “holy grail” and an “elusive dream.” The problem is not the software; the problem is that software can only do so much. Here are three other essentials to achieve talent integration.

1. An integration mindset

Some people like their silos. Cooperation and collaboration do not always come easily for us humans. ITM suites provide a new wealth of data, but if leaders and managers are not sold on the value of integrating, all of the data in the world won’t make it happen.

Leaders must adopt an integration mindset. And the way to change minds is through meaningful conversation, which is the second essential for integrating talent management.

The benefits of integrated talent management (ITM) include streamlined talent processes, cost savings, and improvements in collecting and sharing talent data.

2. Meaningful conversation

Cooperation and collaboration require conversations. Organizations must not only integrate talent data; they must also unite their leaders and team members. Leaders who are sharing data must connect with each other. Managers across an organization must have ongoing meaningful conversations about strategy and work.

The good news is that a new wave of business social networks have emerged to facilitate meaningful workplace conversations. On such networks, team members from across the hall and around the world can collaborate about work in real-time.

3. Return on investment (ROI)

Finally, ROI is a huge issue in talent management.

ITM promises big dividends but requires a major investment in technology, as well as the always difficult work of changing mindsets and processes. When a company introduces its first phase of ITM, it must be able to prove ROI, or else continuing integration efforts will hit a brick wall.

Proving ROI is another reason business social networks are invaluable. The skillrater social platform enables leaders and managers to communicate about victories and challenges of the integration process. The victories reinforce the value of the change effort.

The challenges, when shared socially, present opportunities for leaders to work together to find solutions. By providing a platform for meaningful conversations, business social solutions create qualitative feedback that supports the ITM effort.