As this is our final e-news for 2016 and as it also wraps up Sportspeople Recruitment’s 20th anniversary year, we thought we’d ask Founder and Director, Robert McMurtrie to provide a few notable highlights of what has been a remarkable journey for the business since first launching in 1996.
What would you see as Sportspeople Recruitment’s greatest achievement over the past 20 years?
It’s impossible for me to identify one single appointment or even one particular highlight given so much has happened over the past two decades. What I will say is the sport management profession in particular has progressed significantly from where it was in 1996 and I’d like to think Sportspeople has played a role in this professionalisation. This has been achieved through broadening the search and selection process to include talent from outside the sector; recognising and advancing talent within the sector and finally, positively influencing the conditions of employment, including remuneration, for all tiers of management from entry level to Chief Executive. I also take great pride in the development of the people that have worked for and with Sportspeople over this time. We have had interns undertake their University professional development placement with us who are now CEOs and others senior managers within the sector; staff who have gone on to build successful careers off the back of their work with us and of course a highly talented, professional group of staff and Global Recruitment Consultants in place right now that I'd say are our best ever.
What about the other functional areas of Sportspeople’s services that reach into fitness, aquatics, venues, recreation and events?
The Sportspeople business certainly grew from a sport sector focus, however we have of course played an equally important role in many other occupational categories and industries including fitness, aquatics, recreation, venues and major events. The breadth of our work over the past 20 years has provided opportunity to assist in the recruitment of over 100,000 people across our Job Board and our recruitment businesses. In the fitness sector we have recruited the CEO of Fitness Australia through to Centre Managers and Personal Trainers; in aquatics we have recruited the CEO of AUSTSWIM, lifeguards, swim school instructors and Centre Managers; in the venues sector we have filled over 70 roles for the Sydney Cricket & Sports Ground Trust, managed the set-up of venues such as the South Australian Aquatic Centre (200 staff), Western Leisure Services (250+ staff) and Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre (70 staff) and of course in the events area we have managed the large scale recruitment of World Championship events such as the 2007 World Swimming Championships, 2009 Sydney World Masters Games, 2011 Rugby World Cup and assisted in the outplacement of staff for events since the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games through to the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, 2015 AFC Asian Cup, Glasgow Commonwealth Games and will shortly be assisting the 2017 World Masters Games scheduled in Auckland next year.
What role has the Sportspeople Job Board played?
One of the most significant changes to recruitment these past 20 years is how Job Seekers find and apply for jobs. In 1996 and pretty much through to 2005 it was newspapers that carried all the positions vacant. Job Boards of course only came into existence in 1998 when SEEK launched into the Australian market. The Sportspeople Job Board was launched in 1999 shortly after, making it one of Australia’s foundation Job Boards and certainly the first of its kind in Australia and we think the world. Over the period since 1999 the Sportspeople Job Board has established a reputation as the leading source for jobs in sport, fitness and aquatics. We now reach over 160 countries and in the past 12 months had over 2.7million visitors. One of the most rewarding aspects of working for Sportspeople is to bump into someone who tells me they found their job at the Sportspeople Job Board or an employer who writes to us to tell us of the success they had through their listing. Our original slogan was ... bringing Job seekers and Employers together every day ... and I know we are still achieving this more than ever before.
Has there been a noticeable shift in the numbers of women working in the sector?
While I can certainly say Sportspeople has positively influenced the opportunities for women through our recruitment endeavour, the glass ceiling still exists in sport. You only need to read the Sportspeople Knowledgebase (now contained in these Blogs) to get a picture of what we have been attempting to do to address this imbalance. Some of our strategies have absolutely made a difference including ensuring there is gender balance on the selection panel, eliminating discriminatory wording in position descriptions through to actively targeting and championing outstanding female leaders. I honestly think we have done everything within our capacity to bring about change but regrettably the sport sector, particularly the larger, highly commercialised sports, have not changed significantly over the 20 years. We still have much to do and there is no better time than now to be doing it.
What do you see as the future trends for jobs?
In preparation for a Conference at which I was speaking, I wrote an article which focussed on this very topic. The essence of the article was that the majority of the jobs of the future may not have even been invented yet. If I was to step back to 1996 and be presented with a job list from 2016 I’d be scratching my head puzzled by the terminology. Social Media, Inclusion, Welfare and Data Analyst ..... the list would go on and on. But what I do know is that sport, fitness, aquatics, recreation, venues and events are people facing industries and as such will always require talented people in key management and delivery roles. I look forward to Sportspeople and Spoprtspeople Recruitment continuing to play an important and integral role in the matching of employers with first-class Job Seekers.
First Published 2016