Changes in Sports Recruitment Revealed at Leaders in Sport
"The sports recruitment market is changing and the sports world is getting better at using it."
This was the overall conclusion of a survey of over 50 UK professional sports clubs and national governing bodies.
At the exclusive Leaders in Sport networking event, held at La Manga Club in Spain in March, one of the conference sponsors, Sports Recruitment International, conducted market research with over 70 senior executives. 55 were directly involved in professional sports of which 27 were Football Clubs, 17 were from other sports ranging from Rugby (both Union and League) and Cricket through to Basketball and Skiing, and 11 from Sports Broadcast and Media, Agencies and major corporate sports sponsors.
Questioned about their approach to Organisational Development and recruitment strategy, there was overall agreement that this was largely "unstructured" and "reactive to crisis”, but there was a clear trend towards a much more "strategic" and "planned" approach. There was an interesting caveat that sport should guard against becoming "overly bureaucratic" and "bogged down in process" in its commercial management and HR functions.
There was further evidence that the sports world was reacting to new technologies in the attraction of management talent. The old attitude of "if I don't know somebody in my sport then by definition they can't be any good!" is being replaced by recognition of the value of bringing in management talent from outside the immediate world of an individual sport through the use of professional recruitment services.
When questioned on the use of confidential, high value, retained Executive Search, over 80% of Football Clubs responded that they expect to use such a service, as did over 65% of the other sports organisations. The research also highlighted a significant shift to online recruitment services, such as www.sportsrecruitment.com, and use of social media sites like LinkedIn, with over 60% of respondents indicating they would use these newer digital services.
Overall, there was a clear agreement that whilst the use of more traditional recruitment agency services will continue, demand was migrating from this middle ground to either top end executive search or to the lower cost and fast reaction of online recruitment.
Sports Recruitment International's Chairman Mike Squires commented, "Leaders in Sport provided an ideal opportunity to test and confirm our strategy of offering a range of consulting and recruitment services to meet the differing needs and demands of the sports industry". He added, "Leaders in Sport was a perfect setting for us to present SR Partners, our high end executive search service and also our new online product SR Digital and to reinforce our traditional recruitment products under Sports Recruitment International."
James Worrall, CEO of Leaders, said, "The group of CEOs and Directors at Leaders in Sport is ideal for assessing the trends in an area such as executive recruitment in sport and I was delighted that Mike Squires' team were able to conduct some unique and insightful research. We held a number of in-depth discussions across a range of areas, including sponsorship, digital media and hospitality, and this is another interesting output from of our La Manga event.”
About Sports Recruitment International
With offices in London, Lausanne, Sydney and Singapore Sports Recruitment Group is one of the leading providers of recruitment services to the global sports industry.
About Leaders in Sport
Leaders hosted its 3rd annual sports networking forum at the La Manga Club resort in Spain in March 2012. 100 CEO’s and Director level executives across multiple sports participated in a combination of social, business and sporting activities that guaranteed genuine and lasting business relationships.
About the Leaders Sports Summit
A global event for sport which hosts 5 international conferences - Leaders in Football, Leaders in Sponsorship, Leaders in Performance, Leaders in Digital Sport and Leaders in Racing which run concurrently over 2 days alongside a series of specific workshops and networking opportunities. Last year’s invite-only event drew a record 1500 CEO and director-level delegates from over 55 countries and 45 sports, including 600+ rights holders, 160 accredited media and 24 global TV networks, making Leaders the must attend international sporting event in the calendar.
For further information on Leaders, please contact James Worrall on:
For further information on Sports Recruitment Group, please contact Mike Squires on: