What is your Plus/Minus?


I teach Recruiting to business students in an MBA program. We spend a whole class on statistics each semester. Time to fill, Cost per hire etc….

Businesses and sports have a lot in common in this area. One measurement that always interested me was the Plus/Minus used in basketball, hockey and soccer. Sometimes you’re not the big scorer, but you play great defense. Or your presence and attitude impact your team.

I am not sure how organizations can measure plus/minus in a business setting. I do know that sometimes stars can be detrimental and utility players can be difference makers.

When my daughter was younger, she played competitive soccer. As a goalie she had stats: shots on goal, saves, and save percentage. She had 2 defenders that played in front of her that almost never hit the stats sheet, but their play more than anyone elses impacted outcomes. They rarely got the accolades of the goal scores or even my daughter when she had a good game. But take them away and your almost certain to lose…

Do you have unsung heroes on your team. What is their plus/minus? Maybe it is time to figure this one out.


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