What if HR Managers Were Major League Baseball HR Managers?

Jason Pankow HR, Jason Pankow, Sports, Uncategorized

Ah, it’s April!  Spring is in the air!!!  The sun is shining, flowers are blooming, and I have to actually start mowing my lawn again.  But, it’s also time for something else.  Today is Opening Day for Major League Baseball!

Yeah yeah…I know there’s a lot of sports talk at FOT.  But, I will spare you all the jibber jabber about the team stealing NBA.  Baseball is America’s pastime!  If you’re not watching baseball…you can move back to the Soviet Union!  Or…just join my wife over at the other side of the room.  She’s not watching, either.

All this excitement brewing for baseball season has me thinking: wouldn’t it be awesome to be the HR manager for a major league baseball team?  Now, I’m not talking about the front office HR guy.  I’m sure teams have HR people in the back room hiring administrative staff and people to throw the peanuts.  I’m talking about an on-field HR guy.  See, in my role, I sit with the client group, I meet with the frequently, and I am always accessible when needed.  This is how HR should work on a baseball team.  Kinda like the bench coach.  You’re there and you contribute your two cents when asked.  But, otherwise, you just sit around and make notes off all the things that could be done better.

Think about it…in this HR role, you don’t have to worry about how diverse your organization is!  Baseball is possibly the most diverse sport in the United States.  You’ve got black guyswhite guysAsian guysLatino guys…heck, you’ve even had guys with disabilities.  Just look at that diversity!  There are even more guys I could add, but you get the point.  Every single kind of guy is represented in Major League Baseball.  What do you think of that, ladies?

And, think about recruiting.  It can’t be that different from the corporate world, could it?

Me: So…we need to replace our 1st baseman.  Tell me about the person who previously held the job.

Baseball boss: Well…he was left handed and he played first base.

Me: Excellent…so, what are the basic qualifications for this role?

Boss: Let’s see…they need to play 1st base.  Left handed is preferred, but not required.

Me: Okay, great.  What are some things that are missing from the current team that might be important in a new first baseman?

Boss: Umm…we would like to improve our hitting.  So, he needs to be able to hit the ball.  And, he should be at least okay on defense, too.

Me: Excellent.  So, we’re looking for a 1st baseman who hits well and is an adequate defender, and we have a preference towards left handers.  Well, it looks like we’ve got about $15.5 million dollars to spare.  I’ll start by reaching out to my friend Scotty Boras.  Maybe he knows someone who’s looking.

And, finally…performance review time!!!  There is no grey area in baseball.  So…when an unnamed player signs a contract for $9.5 million per year, you can expect him to play some $9.5 million dollar baseball!  Of course, if you find that said player only hit .188 with 1 home run and only 15 RBI, you know it will be time to call him into your office and have a well documented discussion about how, if next year’s performance isn’t better, he may find himself taking his $36 million and looking for another team.  However, if he performs well, you pat him on the back, tell him great job, and then start the paperwork for his $10 million 5th year option.

See!  This job could be awesome!  You get to travel, stay in nice hotels, mingle with talented athletes!  I only see one downside.  In my current role, I hire people that only make twice as much as I do.  I suspect it could weigh on one’s self esteem when that number increases to 150x what one makes.  But…at least the soda is free!  Except in Oakland.

Jason Pankow

Jason Pankow realized long ago that he wasn’t smart enough to actually program video games and game consoles. So, he found another way to participate! In between bouts of pwning newbs in Halo or scoring mad gamerpoints, Jason spends his time as the Staffing Program Manager for Microsoft’s Devices and Studios Division. Jason’s day is spent running programs that help recruit the obscenely talented developers, designers and engineers that have blessed the world with the likes of Xbox, Kinect and tons of other rad stuff, much of which he can’t tell you about. So, don’t ask. In non-nerd speak…what this means is that Jason has the coolest recruiting job in the world! Look him up as “Satchmo Baggins” on Xbox LIVE. But, watch out for the dreaded headshot!