State of Sports Hiring 2021 Cover

WIS Podcast: Analyzing the State of Sports Hiring

by: Chad Twaro
September 14, 2021

Last week, WorkInSports released its inaugural State of Sports Hiring Report, which highlights the result of a survey of 340 sports industry job seekers. Naturally, Brian Clapp leaned into the data it revealed in the latest episode of The Work In Sports Podcast. What do the findings mean?

The full episode of the podcast is available above and we have a few cliff notes for areas that Brian touched on, below.

A Lot of Movement About to Happen

Industries nationwide have been dreading a “Great Resignation” that is supposedly fast approaching, and the data in sports is bearing that out — nearly 60% (58.1%) of our State of Sports Hiring Report survey respondents were currently employed and either actively or passively searching for a new job. Additionally, only 5% of the respondents were employed and NOT seeking a new job.

One area that is having some difficulties within the sports realm is college athletics. There is a lot to unpack in that area as college athletics is a massive sports employer. If you look on our job board today, you can find roughly 5,000 jobs in college athletics, more than one-sixth of the over 29,000 sports jobs featured on WorkInSports. Downsizing hit this market over this pandemic, and some sources that we spoke with in our look at the current landscape of college athletics are struggling to build their staffs back up.

Sports are fun to watch and experience, and should be fun to be around at work. Yes, the hours are long and non-traditional at points, but people who enter the sports business generally do so because they enjoy that atmosphere. So, when you hear that almost 60% of the people we surveyed are currently working in sports, but are at least considering leaving their post, that ties into the culture of the job they are at.

Employers Need to Do Better

In Brian and some of his staff’s experiences working in the sports industry, there have been employers who’ve fostered a “you’re lucky to be here” mentality that is honestly just toxic to be a part of. While there is a desire within the sports industry to advance in your career, that doubtlessly takes up a significant portion of the 58.1% of the State of Sports Hiring Report survey respondents who were currently employed and at least considering other opportunities — employees by and large leave jobs because of their supervisors.

As stated earlier, there are over 29,000 open jobs on WorkInSports as of the day we published this episode. Job boards are a significant driver of applications in all industries, but applying for jobs online is not one without its own issues. Over half (54%) of our respondents cited their biggest online job search challenge as applying for a job and not hearing back from employers. Getting ghosted is frustrating over half of our respondents and should not be happening at anywhere near that rate today.

Check out the full State of Sports Hiring Report for more insights from our job seeker survey.

Catch the full episode above and make sure to subscribe to the Work In Sports Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts so you don’t miss an episode!


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