The other night I had the pleasure of being on the HR Happy Hour show with Steve Boese. I'm a bit of a fish out of water when getting heavily into HR talk because I'm not an HR guy. I'm a recruiting business guy. However, it was fun and there were several topics that came up that I think are worth exploring in much greater detail. As an aside, one that did not come up was the story of the night Tracy Tran missed the game of the century in order to save the planet. A night I'll never forget and will share the memory from my perspective, probably on the eve of the next Pitt Villanova basketball game.

One topic most interesting to me was a discussion of the model for success for sports franchises in different circumstances as it relates to business. We talked about the Florida Marlins, a baseball franchise with a very limited budget who in their short history (started in 1990) have won two World Series Titles. We compared them to the Pittsburgh Pirates who also have a limited budget, but never win. In my mind, I always compare them to the Cubs who have not won a World Series in over a hundred years. The Marlins clearly have a success model that works for them. The basics are they build up tons of young talent trading away star players for more talent and more draft choices, then as that talent peaks they make a run at the title. In subsequent years they trade the new stars that will demand higher salaries to rebuild with more young talent and more draft choices. There is a lot more in the details, but for the most part the formula seems really simple. So why can't other teams follow the same model and achieve similar success? It's a great question. The Pirates don't, the Royals don't, even the Cubs don't with a much higher budget.

No matter what business you are in.....if you are a recruiter, an agency owner, or you sell widgets.....there are models for success. Find those models and put their practices and processes to work for you. There are big billers out there that have been successful through thick and thin (the thin part would be now in case you were wondering). There are incredibly successful businesses in all industries and at all levels in those industries.

My business was modeled from the beginning after one of the most successful recruiting operations I have ever seen, an operation that separated client managers and candidate managers inside of a high end firm. We've expanded on that model and tweaked some things and I'm always looking for additional traits to model and incorporate.

Todd Kmiec
Todd Kmiec & Associates

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Views: 34

Comment by Steve Boese on August 30, 2009 at 1:20pm
Todd, thanks again for coming on the show and sharing your insights from the recruiting space. I totally forgot Tracy was saving the planet when the Pitt-Nova game was on. That was classic. I think you made a great point about understanding what business models are proven in your field, then adapting and modifying those models to suit your own skills and interests. Great points.
Comment by Tracy Tran on August 30, 2009 at 1:38pm
Ah, the Pitt-Villanova game. I remember as the best college game of the tournament and I missed it. I pity on myself.

Seriously, I agree there are many models of success, it's up to the recruiter and the client to find that. It is also important that the Owner/President is fully supporting. In the Marlins and Rays, they have great scouts and managers to develop the players because their owners/presidents want to win, while the Royals and Pirates have owners who want to save money and never care about their investment. You can have great managers and scouts, but it's up to the owner/president to give it the green light.
Comment by Todd Kmiec on August 30, 2009 at 1:55pm
Tracy, I think you hit on one of the great points of that whole conversation. Success means different things to different people, and that is perfectly fine. If you are correct, and I think you are, then the Pirates and Royals don't define success as winning a World Series. Or, they don't put as much importance on it as profits or conservative spending or something else. Not everyone wants to be a big biller or a super profitable business, at least as their top goal or as something they are willing to follow the success formula to get. That's okay. The coach of that second tier basketball program in our neighbor town, Coach K. likes to say "never let anyone else define your success". He's absolutely right. Define what is success to you and then model those who are able to achieve what you want to achieve.
Comment by Charles Van Heerden on August 31, 2009 at 4:26am
Good points Todd, particularly on building young talent. A great measure for any HR Scorecard is the ratio of internal vs external appointments. Should be less than 5% at senior levels, and at entry level exceeding turnover rate by a healthy margin, to provide a pipeline of talent.
Comment by Saleem Qureshi on September 1, 2009 at 9:24pm
Funny you mentioned the Marlins... I think that sports scouts would make amazing recruiter because they put in the most effort in assessing talent.
Comment by Greg on September 3, 2009 at 4:27pm
great points. the really hit home for me as i have been trying to look into my next role and have been challenged by spending my time as a candidate person which i always have done vs. getting more involved with clients which is not my strong suite. in doing so, i have been accomplishing nothing and spinning wheels and now i do realize, i am a candidate guy and good at it and happy to be doing it. i am going to stop trying chase after clients when there are strong client-side guys like yourself out there who just need the canddiate support from good recruiters focused on doing one thing.


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