Recruiting Should be More Like Baseball

The film Moneyball tells the true story of how scouting for baseball players evolved in the 21st century (we’d recommend reading this book or seeing the movie if you haven’t already).

It describes the transition that talent scouts made from recruiting players using personal judgments — which were impaired by cognitive biases and lacked regard for scientific data — to instead, employing computer-generated statistical analyses. The first team to implement this change was the Oakland Athletics. Having a fraction of its competitors’ budgets, the Oakland A’s were the League’s underdog. By beginning to use data and analytics to more effectively recruit players, the Oakland A’s catapulted to the playoffs and permanently changed the way Major League front offices do business and the overall experience for scouts, team managers, and baseball players.

Much like how scouts work in baseball, headhunters in the recruiting industry work with employers to create “dream teams.” Industry incumbents typically will work with employers on a specific “search” by manually evaluating, contacting and curating lists of potential candidates. These candidates get placed in nontransparent pipelines — where a candidate may not receive an update on their status for weeks, months, if at all. If and when a candidate reaches the employer, candidates are filtered based on HR or a hiring manager’s personal preference. These dated recruitment processes, unfortunately, do not promote a positive talent experience, and thus many of the best candidates remove themselves from recruitment processes before they ever reach the employer. Hiring managers may never see the right candidate for the role. And headhunters are put in a difficult position as middlemen in a broken process.

These problems persist mainly because:

  1. Headhunters are not financially incentivized to work for talent.
  2. Headhunters in many cases cannot maintain a consistent pipeline of similar searches in order to place talent in several open pipelines.
  3. Much of the time, employers are unsure of what the ideal candidate is until they see them in interview.

Careerlist’s story is much like the story told in Moneyball.

We bring the Moneyball dream to the professional recruitment industry, with a mission to make recruiting better for everyone - headhunters, employers, and talent.

Our talent industry, however, surfaced some challenging nuances as we compare ourselves to professional baseball:

  1. Talent do not have a dedicated ‘agent’ that represents them
  2. Talent has the final word in closing a search, and compensation is not the sole determinant when evaluating a job offer
  3. Traditional hiring styles and job interviews aren’t going anywhere (yet)

These factors create an opportunity in the space. That is why our approach is to partner with the best headhunters (“scouts” in baseball) and provide them with business development support, advancements in computing processes, and access to actionable data. With these value-adds, we are able to provide our headhunters (we call them “Insiders”) a path to create more financial value and a flexible working environment. A flexible, remote staffing structure provides cost flexibility and creates the opportunity to tap into more diverse and specialized talent networks.

Careerlist seeks to improve the talent experience by minimizing the administrative time and energy required in a job search (prospecting, scheduling, emailing, follow-ups, etc.) and pairing them with an Insider to lead them through the process instead. This way, talent can focus on their current careers while Careerlist looks for enticing career opportunities for them. Additionally, talent doesn’t need to worry about being ghosted in an interview process or being out-of-the-loop in a particular job search because all of it is transparently evident within a platform.

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