Psychometric Assessments and Moneyball

If you have not seen the movie Moneyball, I highly recommend it.  The movies concept took the baseball world by storm and turned 100 years of scouting on its ear and ushered in a new way of assessing players and assembling a team.  The Oakland Athletics Gneral Manager Billy Beane, used Bill James’ sabermetric method of assessing baseball players, starting with the concept that a team is not buying players, they are buying wins and as such, are really buying people who can get on base.  The basis of the argument was that scouts had their own inherent biases that would often have them overlooking quality players and putting too much stock in the high profile slugger.

This new approach and philosophy created a team with a $41 million payroll that could compete with the $125 million + payroll of the New York Yankees.  At the end of the season, Boston Red Sox owner and multi-billionaire John W. Henry II told Beane that “if every person in baseball is not trying to copy what you have done Billy…well, then they are simply dinosaurs”.  Henry then took his own words to heart and built a team that won the 2004 World Series and thus, broke the ‘Curse of the Bambino’.

Now, let’s take this breakthrough approach, apply it to the current hiring environment and see if we can play a little Moneyball.  The current scouting method weighs the resume and the interview as the biggest factors when selecting a new employee.  If we take into account that 40% of people exaggerate on their resume and in interviews, then really, the candidate is the one in control of the hiring process.

Psychometric Assessments change this balance of power.

Prevue HR’s motto is that “a candidate is hired based on the interview, but fired based on fit and skill”.  We remove the unknown about a candidate by testing General Abilities, Motivations and Interests and Personality (all scored on a bell curve) through our psychometric assessments. The candidate’s answers are then compared to an aggregate Prevue Benchmark1 that is built specifically for the job that you are hiring for.  The result is that employers hire the most highly motivated and skilled employee – the candidate who sticks around because they fit the job.

Moneyball changed baseball forever as most teams are now employing the philosophy.  I believe that there is going to be a massive change in how industries go about hiring employees, and psychometrics will lead the way.  The early adopters will hire better, reduce turnover and be in the best position to dominate their sector over the next 20 years.  The companies who ignore this, well, then they are simply dinosaurs.


1 A Prevue Benchmark is the profile of a top-performer for a specified job. It identifies the required cognitive abilities, occupational interests/motivation and personality profile for top performance in that job.
  2. Majoring In Moneyball by John Manuel
  3. In Defense of Moneyball and Sabermetrics
  4. Billy Beane’s Perfect Draft: A Baseball Revolution? by Richard van Zandt – guest column at (April 13, 2006)
  5. Roberts, Russ (January 29, 2007). “Michael Lewis on the Hidden Economics of Baseball and Football”EconTalkLibrary of Economics and Liberty.