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Why HR Departments should Take a Leaf out of the NBA’s book



The success of any business is reliant on the people who work for it. This has long been known by no other organisation than the National Basketball Association (NBA) Read on to learn why this example is so apt.

Recruiters rely on personnel turnover: providing candidates for roles is literally their bread and butter. But high turnover does not recognise the value that longstanding employees can bring to a business: the depth of not only their knowledge and expertise but also the loyalty they feel for the company.

Therefore, any human resource management should run along a twofold process: firstly, recruiting carefully from the best new talent, but secondly, and importantly, investing in the existing workforce. Employees who are happy and enthusiastic about their work can bring in a lot of business and the joint advantages of fresh talent alongside experience can double a company’s profits.

Too many companies today focus on recruitment over retention: why is this the case when high turnover is a known issue that could be relatively easy to deal with? The answer is – as so often – simply because it is an aspect of business that is neglected, sometimes purposefully, as the rights and protections offered to an employee increase over time with their length of service. Less diligent companies find it easier to allow turnover to rise in order to keep responsibility for providing these protections to a minimum…

Which brings us to the NBA: what is their business model, how does it work and why is it effective? Within the NBA, often teams will end up with a reputation for being the first pick of a highly desirable candidate, but, instead of snapping up that new talent, they will offer the opportunity to a different team in exchange for a more experienced player. In this way, the team can enjoy the benefits of some new talent while not being left entirely reliant upon young and inexperienced players.

Older players not only bring their wealth of experience and prowess to the game, they bring a steadying influence on youngsters who otherwise might let their newfound wealth and fame go to their heads – at a cost to not only the game’s reputation but to the NBA’s balance sheets too. The NBA is a business and their resource is talent, whether long-established or new and untried.

Every business should work to this principle of balance in the recruitment and employment processes. Yes, new, fresh, and exciting are always desirable – but it should not come at the sacrifice of all experience, wisdom and stability.

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