The Challenges of Hiring in the Sports Industry

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Sports are rapidly growing and this is reflected in the introduction of numerous sporting events. Thus, there is an increased demand for new employees and that means that opportunities are on the rise. However, upsurge in opportunities means that human resource professionals face the challenge of determining who to hire. Amateur sporting events have different job descriptions and thus it poses a challenge to HR managers. On a positive note, numerous sporting activities create numerous opportunities for aspiring sport mangers. In the subsequent sections, the paper will explore the hiring process, challenges and opportunities that accompany diversity and globalisation of sports. By referring to various scholarly articles and reviews, the article discusses some of the opportunities and challenges in hiring in the sports industry.

The process of Hiring in Sports

             Zimmers (2016) contends that hiring is a lengthy procedure and it begins with the identification of various opportunities in the organisation. Thereafter the application and selection process follows. After determining the most appropriate hiring strategies, the HR manager uses a variety of techniques to attract the most qualified employees (Norton, 2008). The human resource panel takes the following factors into consideration:  job description, soft skills, hiring fit and experience.

Purpose of Recruitment in Human Resource

            The main objective of the hiring process is to identify persons who can meet the select criteria and ensure that those individuals have the required skill set (Lugonja, 2010). Other objectives of recruitment drive include: To ensure appropriates alignment of skills, to ensure appropriate and efficient hiring, to enhance compliance and to improve organisational effectiveness (Deb, 2009).

Opportunities for Hiring in Sport Management

1. Technology

According to Torres (2005), development of computers and the internet have played a significant part in the hiring process in sport managements. Additionally, social media has created a platform whereby candidates can access job opportunities.  Research by Toress (2005) shows that 66 percent of job-related vacancies are not advertised in the media.

2. Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity is characterised by a mixture of different and similar cultures, sex, races and ethnicities (Forret & Dougherty, 2004).  Diversity in sport creates an opportunity to access different work opportunities in various parts of the world (Nierenberg, 2002).

3. External competitive advantage

Information obtained from various sources has created an opportunity for many people because of the brand development that sports activities bring (in Pedersen & In Thibault, 2014). It increases future hiring. Brand extension is an opportunity that companies use to promote its job opportunities. The strategy involves the use of the company’s name to create and launch a product or service.

4. Improved Productivity

Diversity in hiring brings together individuals from various areas of expertise. Different skill sets create quality that companies are in dire need for. The feeling of ownership improves productivity and a mix of different skill sets initiates positive change in an organisation (Lussier & Kimball, 2014).

5. Globalization of Sports

The gradual growth of sport promotes integration and globalization. A constant interaction between people from various backgrounds creates vast opportunities for individuals seeking jobs in the industry.

6. Popularity of sports

Popularity and acceptance of sports as part of our daily lives has been influential in integrating environmental considerations and the industry at large. Goodwill attracts investors and sponsors because of the promotional benefits associated with sporting activities. Occasional advertisements raise revenue and create job opportunities for various stakeholders, including advertising companies, betting organizations and angel investors (Pedersen, 2011).

Challenges of Hiring in Sports Management

1. Lack of Adequate resources

HR professionals are forced to carry out hiring process irrespective of the minimal resources that they are allocated (Pedersen, 2011). Lack of adequate financial stability, some end up using free job boards which are not reliable. It presents a lot of difficulties in attaining qualified individuals.

2. Need to carry out a fast hire

According to Pedersen (2011), the level of competition for skilled personnel is high but the number of hiring companies has also increased substantially. Thus, companies demand that HR professionals fill vacant positions at a fast rate. Moreover, continued employee turnover poses big challenges to human resource professionals.

3. Difficulty in attaining suitable candidates

According to Cheladurrai (2006), there may a pool of candidates who qualify for a job but there demands may be beyond the reach of various companies. On the other hand, the hiring company may have put tough qualification bottom lines, which scares away potential candidates.

4. The challenge of comprehending and utilising analytics in an appropriate and effective manner

Pederson (2011) notes that big data is still a relatively new field in sports management. HR professionals face the impediment of harnessing data and sorting the data gained for the purpose of making informed decisions.

5. Finding suitable employees who are fit for the sport’ industry culture

Lussier & Kimball contend that the process of talent acquisition may be tough in cases where HR managers are looking to hire certain unique talents. Most job descriptions do not identify the organisation culture in the job advertisements (Miller, 2018). Thus, it becomes difficult to hire employees that are comfortable with institution’s culture

6. Millennial

Human resource managers face the challenge of adapting to the current perspective of a job. Most millennial have adopted the mentality of being their own bosses. Thus, most of these individuals are not committed to their jobs. Baker and Esherick (2013) note that 72 percent of millennials prefer starting their businesses instead of getting hired.

7. Management of job postings

Hiring in the sports management can be difficult when it comes to posting of a variety of job boards in a contemporary way. Job boards are used in the hiring process although they are not the sole channels that are of focus when hiring (Lussier, 2009). Social, associated professional networks are considered the top source regarding quality hires although only 56 per cent utilise them. Matt Young Quist, a prominent president regarding the Career Hormone, emphasises the importance of networking in the career search. Networking builds as well as maintains relationships beneficial to career success (Byers, 2016). In the aspect of modern theorising, interacting is typically associated with accelerated development in career achievement. Previous researches reveal that the salary difference that exists between a networker and non-networker continues to increase over time.


       In summary, the practises of recruitment and selection are fast changing because of globalisation. Human capital is one of the most valuable resources in the sports industry. It forms the basis of production and consumption in the sporting sector. The first part of the paper examines the process of hiring in sports management.  During the recruitment process, companies strive to identify suitable candidates by sending out applications through email, social media, advertising and other promotional media. In the second section, the analysis covers a brief topic on the purpose of recruitment in HR process. Some of the notable purposes include attracting appropriate alignment of skills, efficient hiring, to enhance laws and regulations and improved organizational effectiveness. The following part covers some of the opportunities and challenges of hiring in sports management.


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Baker, R. E., & Esherick, C. (2013). Fundamentals of sports management. Champaign, IL:

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Byers, T. (2016). Contemporary issues in sports management: A critical introduction.

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Chelladurai, P. (2006). Human resource management in sport and recreation. Leeds: Human


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Deb, T. (2009). Strategic approach to human resource management: Concept, tools and

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Forret, M. L., & Dougherty, T. W. (2004). Networking behaviours and career outcomes: differences between men and women?. Journal of Organizational Behaviour: The International Journal of Industrial, Occupational and Organizational Psychology and Behavior, 25(3), 419-437.

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In Pedersen, P. M., & In Thibault, L. (2014). Contemporary sport management.

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Lugonja, D. (2011). Recruitment of External Candidates as a Function of Human Resource

 Management in the Company. München: GRIN Verlag GmbH.

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Lugonja, D. (2010). Selection of candidates as a function of human resources management in the

            Company.Top of Form

Lussier, R. N., Kimball, D. C., & Lussier, R. N. (2009). Applied sport management skills.

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Lussier, R. N., & Kimball, D. C. (2014). Applied sport management skills.

Miller, L. K. (2018). Sport business management. Gaithersburg: Aspen Publ.

Nierenberg, A. R. (2002). NonstopNetworkingg: How to improve your life, luck, and career. Capital Books.

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Norton, M. S. (2008). Human resources administration for educational leaders. Los Angeles:


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Pedersen, P. M. (2011). Contemporary sport management. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Torres, N. L. (2005). It's who you know. Entrepreneur, 33, 128-132.

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Zimmers, R. (2016). The Recruitment process for business organisationss. Review of the

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October 24, 2023


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