How Simulating Work Loyalty Could Help Drive the Winning Output

“The No. 1 thing we want to do is create competition, create opportunities for guys to show what they’re capable of.” —Jack Del Rio, Head Coach of the Oakland Raiders

Only one starter started for the Oakland Raiders in the last preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks. This isn’t unusual in preseason since the point is to tryout your rookies, your trades and your returning players to find your team depth, who will eventually start during the season and what will the final league mandated 53-person team roster look like.

I’m a Raider fan to the last. That said, I’m also fascinated by the seemingly efficient way in which professional players from nearly every professional team sport are sourced, recruited, vetted and offered a job. Star power and media gawking aside, these are multi-million and multi-billion business that strive to win and thrive when they do so.

The team itself is about the output – the output of winning. You could put all the predictable player and coach rhetoric in a blender and serve it up every game day and it will still only be as sweet at the win itself.

This efficiency is refreshing, because if the franchise isn’t winning, then the players and coaches will continue to be changed up until there’s consistent winning output. Of course depending on what’s been agreed on contractually, the teams can look for new employees and the employees can look for new teams.

It’s business. Everything inside and out is continuously transactional and transitional and you’re only as valuable as you are contributing to the winning output. So all these brands we read about including Amazon and Netflix where the cultures are tough and if they no longer need you, then you’re no longer needed. We shouldn’t be shocked then by only measuring the winning output. Employee loyalty and hard work have little impact on tenure anymore in these companies.

And yet, employer investment in building winning teams doesn’t always impact tenure for the better. Either way, companies still need to source and screen for the best regardless and offer a better recruiting experience. According to Talent Board’s Candidate Experience Awards data – now in it’s fifth year with 130,000 completed surveys from North America, 100,000 from Europe and 20,000 from Australia and New Zealand – most companies are using a variety of automated screening and assessment activities and most applicants today expect these screening practices and for the most part are either satisfied or extremely satisfied with their experiences.

This is critical in such a competitive global environment – pro teams constantly recruiting for continuous winning outputs. So instead of trying to screen out the kitchen sink and on the front end via an arduous application process, why not get outside of your own requisitions and get more applicants in the door early on to create the proverbial talent pipelines (or people pools – whatever you call them). This means reducing the time it takes to get people in your door.

I know, I know, I’ve talked about this before and too many companies today already get too many resumes per open job – over 200 on the average per the latest CandE data. But by shortening the length of the online application process, and depending on the recruiting technology in place, employers can assess and develop talent pipelines around job types, skills and competencies to which they can turn to fill key roles.

Because of all the people data, we can easily aggregate and maintain it on all external and internal candidates. Add to that the myriad of skills-based, competency-based and role-based assessments on the market, and the magical recruiting and talent management software available to companies whether integrated platforms or stand-alone recruiting systems, and the computing power available to make the magic work – people pooling makes competitive fiscal sense.

Co-chair of the Human Resource Executive’s HR Technology® Conference, Steve Boese, wrote recently and shared with us on the TalentCulture #TChat Show that a continuing theme in 2015 has been the realization and maturation of the importance of bringing more analytical approaches and rigor into the HR discipline. The importance of data; the strategies to gather, compile, assess, and make meaning from that data; the role technology plays in support of these efforts, and the ways that data enhances our understanding of people and talent are all hot topics being explored by organizations big and small and will be one of the major themes at this year’s HR Technology Conference and Exposition.

And with HR and recruiting technology companies taking in over $2.3B in private investment funding since 2009, where are the virtual job tryout platforms?

Seriously. Why aren’t there more realistic job previews and virtual job tryouts (some of what we’ve called gamification in the past)? Even with how far the industry has come with sourcing and screening technologies, talent analytics and the like, why aren’t there more virtual playing fields where rookies and veterans alike can challenge themselves to whether or not they can fill a specific role? What’s wrong with creating a little competition and mock career opportunities so that individuals can show what they’re capable of?

The most progressive of companies are incorporating virtual job tryouts, like those showcased as the CandE Winners or others that have been working on elevating their recruiting experiences, but adoption is still slower than what I would’ve anticipating a few years ago. This is an opportunity to educate candidates on a variety of workplace conditions and demands of the performance environment and inviting candidates to self-select out. This kind of preview gives potential employees an understanding of what they’ll be doing and more likely to increase their commitment to the winning output.

And there it is again – the winning output. We’re free agents loyal to the work we love to do first and foremost, then those we do it with, around and for. And if we had the opportunity to simulate how that “loyalty” could help drive the winning output, combined with the past hiring data, quality of hire data, and the talent analytics we now have today, it would add another important dimension to people pooling and talent pipelines and could be yet another win-win for the recruiting world, and the companies, rookies, trades and internal transfers.