Of late, not only India, but the entire world is abuzz with news of the Indian Premier League. Being the most attended cricket league in the world, IPL amasses spectators from around the world to watch 8 teams battle it out over 60 matches. IPL is a 10 seasons old league with one of its key features being the player auction which determines the team compositions. Sounds very similar to the recruitment function of the HR department of an organization, doesn’t it? Let’s find out…

1) “You get what you pay for”

The IPL 2018 Player Auction was held over a two-day periodIs recruitment like an IPL auction? in Bangalore, and resulted in 169 players filling up the 182 slots that were available. A parallel can be drawn to the staffing requirements of organizations and the continuous cycle of retire-hire that determines the number of “slots” available in a company. A total of Rs. 4,31,70,00,000 was spent on acquiring the players across all the teams, by the end of the IPL 2018 Player Auction. As it is with the auction, the HR department has to fix an amount to disburse on acquiring new talent for the company. The HR department presets a specific budget with which to make their “bids” on candidates. All the players who go up for the bidding process have a set base price which is the lowest price at which the player can be bought. In company recruitment, the pattern is somewhat similar with players with experience, tending to have a “base price” higher than those of freshers/ players without experience.

2) “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”

Preparation for the auction is key and makes all the difference on the final day. Some teams even hold mock auctions in order to get a better hold of things and reduce their margin of error on the final day. To prepare for the auction, each team individually delves into strategizing in order to optimally allocate their budget on the besIs recruitment like an IPL auction?t players for them. When the day of the auction finally comes around, the players who go under the hammer are segregated into different categories, on the basis of their “specialization” i.e. batsmen, wicket keepers, bowlers etc. and the bidding is commenced when a player's name is announced, with the base price of the player. Then the bidding battle begins with the highest bidder taking the cake. Hence, teams need to be thrifty and choose wisely at the auction, while having the team composition in mind.

Companies hold an implicit auction of their own which is known more commonly as recruitment. A need is first identified in the company, based on which the number to acquire is determined. In recruitment, as it is with the IPL, strategizing is the most important aspect. When you have a fair amount of batsman already retained in the team, buying another batsman would not only be a bad idea, but also poor usage of budget resources. Candidates apply to multiple jobs at the same time and, at the end of the day, get acquired by the company offering the most in terms of job role, CTC, perks etc.

3) “Play your card right”

A new game changer was introduced to the IPL 2018 Player Auction, but one which has been in existence since a long time in the recruitment world: The Right-to-Match cards. A team is enabled to ‘match’ the auction price offered for its player, who was not retained by them pre-auction, by a rival team in order to retain that player. This is nothing new for the HR department. If a company wishes to retain a star performer, they use their “Right-to-Match card”, offering the same salary and benefits as that which the new company is offering to their employee. Some companies even go beyond the scope of the Right-to-Match card and offer raises and perks, depending on how much the need for the employee to be part of their company is. But unlike the case with IPL players, the employee decides which “team” to pick.

In the final analysis, though recruitment and IPL auctions revolve around two different planets, they seem to have a similar core i.e. finding the right man for an entity. A lot depends upon successful auctions and recruitment processes. In the case of auctions, the teams get fixed for the entire season with no changes which can be made. Predictions are formulated based on the outcome of the auctions as to which team will clinch the title. As for recruitment, the functional efficiency and overall profitability of the company depends upon successful hires.

In the words of “captain cool” aka, M S Dhoni,
“Your franchise pays so much money for you, you should at least make the semi-finals.”
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