Employers and job seekers play by a whole new set of rules. HR professionals in the sports industry are refining their tactics to attract the right talent, while candidates are viewing organisations with increased scrutiny.

Every day we see how the digital revolution has changed every aspect of our lives and it’s no different for talent acquisition.

It has gone from relying on traditional recruitment agencies for support and a ‘black book’ of candidates, to employers regaining control of the process, developing measurable results and finding talent online at a fraction of the previous time and cost.

As employer branding experts Universum explain,

Big data and end-to-end systems are reshaping the scope and nature of the HR function, opening up new ways for it to add business value and become more strategic.

Research shows that over 85% of job seekers now apply directly to employers through online jobs boards. Not only has this meant a fundamental shift in the way candidates search for their next career opportunity; it has also changed the way organisations work to attract the best talent.

As the leading digital media and talent platform for the international sports industry, Global Sports offers tailored solutions to managing the talent acquisition process by meeting the fast-evolving needs of both employers and job seekers, on both a local and global scale.

Today’s candidate:

In control

The biggest change in this sector is that candidates have greater control over what, where and how they search for new career opportunities. And with 75% of job seekers using specialist platforms relevant to their requirements, they know exactly where to look. They no longer rely on others to make decisions for them either; they require the knowledge, insight and transparency to make informed decisions for themselves.

On the move

A job is no longer for life and an ‘always on’ digital culture accelerates talent movement, meaning professionals are constantly aware of what’s ‘out there’. According to a recent pan-European survey, only 12% of employees declared that they would not be interested in a new opportunity. Regardless of their passive or active status, job seekers are increasingly aware of the opportunities and organisations that may inspire them to make a career move.

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 Source: Global Sports

Mobile focused

Unsurprisingly, an overwhelming 88% of respondents have used a smartphone to search for their next career move, meaning job seekers expect to be able to explore jobs relevant to them whenever and wherever they want. What’s more, mobile is a key driver in targeting a wider network for candidates through the sharing of career information.

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Source: Global Sports

Good impressions

Impressions last, so an organisation’s digital footprint and relationships with candidates matter. While today’s employees are happy to use their professional and social networks to share positive experiences, they are even quicker to share negative ones.

Organisations therefore need to be prepared to invest in delivering positive end-to-end candidate experiences that are consistent and meaningful.

Today’s Hirers:

A voice on the board

The search for talent transcends all aspects of an organisation and top HR professionals leverage this position of influence by aligning organisational strategy with hiring strategy in order to achieve long-lasting results.

Successful and forward-thinking employers make talent a top priority, with senior management making it a clear priority for the whole organisation.

Building a modern workforce

A modern workforce is diverse and increasingly built on specialisation. As technology transforms all business functions, employers are required to hire talent with specific and diverse skill sets that meet the evolving needs of their business. Targeting and attracting ‘in-demand’ talent is a key organisational challenge, with 45% of recruiters saying it is hard to find specialist candidates without specialist channels. A European talent report of almost 40,000 employers found that 35% had difficulty filling jobs due to lack of available talent.

Increased focus on quality

Attracting a greater quality of candidate is now the most important factor for HR professionals. Time to hire, cost and hiring manager satisfaction remain important, but today quality has emerged as a top priority as organisations compete for the best talent available by focusing on solutions that deliver measurable results. The table below shows how the importance of quality has grown in the past two years:

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Budget challenge

While the importance of attracting the best talent has increased (our clients have on average experienced an 18% increase in the amount of hiring since 2014), budgets have remained relatively stable. As a result, 60% of respondents said that budgets were their biggest challenge when implementing talent acquisition strategies. The good news is that specialist digital solutions take this into account and are cost-effective compared to traditional recruitment models.

Employer brand

HR departments, sometimes with the support of marketing and communications departments, are now responsible for developing an employer brand that builds on internal, external and strategic organisational views. In a survey conducted by Global Sports, 72% of employer respondents declared that an organisational priority for 2016 was to further develop their employer brand in order to better communicate corporate culture, values and vision, yet as outlined below, 45% of respondents cited lack of resource as the reason for not focusing on this already. HR and marketing have now become partners in the search for new talent, not only because they have a shared brand goal, but also because HR is beginning to act like a marketing department, analysing candidate/employee data for insights and business output.

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Source: Global Sports


The goalposts have indeed moved. As job seekers become ever more discerning in the search for their next career move in an increasingly digital employment environment, organisations need to adapt and refine their talent acquisition strategies in order to attract the very best.