Recruitment lessons from the Gabba test match


What a series!


The recently concluded Australia-India test series is one of the best for India. It is being touted as one of best ever comebacks in Test history


To all my friends in non-cricket playing nations, Cricket is similar to Baseball but a slightly more challenging game. There are 3 versions of the game and one of which, Test Cricket is played over 5 days, and it is a game of skill, resilience, grit, teamwork and planning.


There are quite a few lessons that we can take the test match in Brisbane.


1. It is a team effort

One of the critical aspects of this game was the contribution from both the batters and bowlers. There were contributions from everyone. After all, Cricket is a team sport, and this game set a great example.


Recruiting is a team effort, it is no longer just the recruiter’s responsibility to fill roles. Great organisations have everyone in the hiring team contributing. A mature talent acquisition function will facilitate this.


2. Sense of urgency

An innings of great character, Shubman Gill’s 91 was all but rash. His partnership with Cheteshwar Purajar was a work well planned and executed. It wasn’t a mad rush to reach the target, never gave a semblance but got the team so close for a final flourish at the last session.


Contrary to popular beliefs, I think speed is not an ally to recruitment, a “sense of urgency” is. To have a sense of urgency is to act with the intention to make things happen effectively and efficiently. Speed, just wanting to fill roles at the shortest possible time will only lead to lower quality of hire and poor experiences. Try and reduce non-value adding steps in your recruiting process, better screening, clear communication and setting the right expectations will ensure you run an efficient recruitment process.


3. It is not the skillset but the mindset that matters

This team was not meant to win the Gabba test, at least with so many injuries. To beat a full-strength home side with a set of rookies shows this team’s mindset.


Recruiting for the right behaviours is far more critical and should carry a higher weightage in your selection scoring than mere skills. Understand the core behaviours that define success in your organisation and in the role. Allocate a separate weightage for these set of behaviours. Then your selection process is more balanced.


4. Building a strong pipeline of talent

A second-tier team winning on foreign soil can only be a dream come true. This was possible only because the bench strength was always ready, albeit the format. So when the players got their chance, it was just about adopting a different mindset required for that format.


Your pipeline is key to winning on talent. This is true not just while recruiting externally but more so internally. Recruiting teams should start focusing on building the internal talent pipeline to help reduce recruitment timelines and increase hiring quality. Start by having a hotlist of candidates for frequently hired roles. Work on building talent communities


5. It was a great experience

The game went down to the wire. It was a pure entertainer in an era when test matches end within 3 – 4 days. I am sure the TRPs would have shot over the roof. All the social media was abuzz.


Staging great candidate experiences is one way to get your organisation to stand out. Try and define a theme and design great experiences using tools like candidate journey map and service blueprints. There is a clear economic benefit to staging great experiences.


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