Hector Bellerin's Way of Picking A New Sports Team Could Indicate The Future of Recruitment

It seems that no matter where we turn these days, we hear of companies using advanced data analytics to help in the selection and hiring of employees.  They do this in the hopes that they can increase their success in finding people whose talent is a unique fit for their firm. Those who will perform at a very high level of success. 

It’s not only employers who are accessing data to find the right employees. Data is also accessed by savvy job-hunters to understand the potential fit of an employer.  No doubt, as data analytic tools become more common, their application will become crucial for anyone who wants to guarantee the highest level of performance.  

This week we find a unique example on display in the world of sports. Hector Bellerin has become one of the latest players to turn to data analytics to help inform his next footballing decision, after moving to Real Betis this summer.

The Key to His Arsenal

Bellerin's decision to broker an exit to Betis might have seemed to be based only on gut, intuition, and emotion, as his father has been a long supporter of the club.

“The truth is that we have always talked about it. I have had it in my head,” said Bellerin after arriving at the Benito Villamarin stadium. “My father told me, ‘you have to go to Betis’.”

The reality is, that decision was also backed up by data. Bellerin employed football data consultancy Analytics FC to help him find the best possible club.  The mathematics and research applied by the company deciphered the playing style of Betis manager Manuel Pelligrini, who tends to field his team in a 4-2-3-1 formation would maximize Bellerin’s abilities.

They also considered the current footballing context and landscape around the club and Belelrin’s clear goal and vision to break into Spain’s international squad for the upcoming 2022 World Cup in Qatar.  Given this, the choice to move was obvious.

While Bellerin is reported to be one of the first to take a data analytics approach to help him achieve his sporting career goals- he is unlikely to be the last!

Cracking the Code to Recruitment

As the CEO of a data analytics company focused on helping customers decipher the best employees with which to build their companies, I am deeply interested in the evolving science of talent.  For many decades, the world of psychographics has allowed us to gain a deeper insight into the traits, skills, and attributes that combine to make up a person’s unique ability to do a job and thrive in particular workplace cultures. It’s only recently, however, that the true power of talent optimization has taken off. Previously unknown precision is now possible by combining psychographics with the vast amount of real-time employee data available on actual performance.  By analyzing these data streams it is now possible for a company to predict pre-hire how someone will perform.

For example, how much revenue they’ll likely deliver per quarter, how long their ramp time will be, or how many appointments they’ll book. Although I see these results delivered daily for our clients who say things like, “This is freaky good”; I still sometimes find it difficult to believe it is possible!  Of course, if you had told me 20 years ago that we would be able to have a dynamic map held in our hand that could direct us to any location on the planet with turn-by-turn directions, I also would have found it almost impossible to believe… something I now perceive as routine when using my iPhone. I’d never think of going back to my Thomas Guide maps.

I believe it won’t be much longer before companies no longer use crude approximation tools such as Objective Management Group, Aptology, or Culture Index which merely suggest a fit in one bucket or another for a role.  Decision-makers will want the most precise predictive data available when making bets on the talent they bring into their organization.  In fact, I would submit that if they want to stay competitive, they’ll require the best data and intelligence they can get, or they’ll increasingly lose out on the battle for the best talent.

What Bellerin Reveals About the Future of Predictive Analytics

Seeing the news of Bellerin’s use of data made me think about a unique use case for the future of predictive talent intelligence.  How might we utilize the deep insights we are gaining daily into the workplace and how the people there interact to better enable job-seekers? To give them the power to understand where they might find their next role to best maximize their unique combination of skills and attributes? To assist them on the path to whatever they see as the ultimate career success? What if we were able to do this not only at the company level but also at the manager level?  Letting a job-seeker know that “X” leader/manager at “Y” company would have the best possibility of leveraging and increasing their skills?  That would be a unique opportunity!

It’s an exciting time for people and companies. Imagine a world where the arena in which we spend the majority of our time (work) is no longer just a gut and intuition decision or happenstance but a data-informed choice that gives us the largest opportunity possible to get it right.  Sign me up!

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