Is There a Hiring Season for Sports Jobs? - Work in Sports Podcast e147

Hi everybody, I’m Brian Clapp Director of Content for and this is the Work in Sports podcast…

As you listen to this episode I’ll be in sunny Phoenix on a business trip with the rest of the Work in Sports crew coming up with new ideas, features and business objectives for our site – the leading job board for the sports industry. Quick check – yep we still have over 10,000 sports jobs available on our site – 10,148 jobs to be exact so the odds are in your favor since you only need one of them.

I may do a Facebook live from the Phoenix office so keep a look out for that in the coming days.

Coming up on Wednesday – Melanie Newman, Broadcaster for the double A Frisco RoughRiders – one of only 5 women doing play by play in professional baseball, it was an honor talking to her, real pleasure, it’s a great interview.

As for today! It’s a QA session day which means I’m answering a fan question… from peter in Chicago.

Hi Brian, love the podcast. After Cody Parkey double doinked the game winning field goal, losing to the eagles in the playoffs, I literally closed myself in a room and listen to your podcast. It took my mind off what just happened and helped me transition back to real life goals.

It also got me thinking about a question – when is the best time of year to get hired? Is there a seasonality effect to hiring that you’ve noticed in your career?

What a cool question Peter…and I have to say I’m honored that I occupied your ear holes in such a time of misery. As you likely know I live outside of Philly, BUT and from Boston, so last year’s super bowl was particularly tough on me. I feel you Peter.

Let’s talk hiring seasons!

There are really two answers for this – for internships and for full-time work. And there is some variance based on sport so let’s start there.

The overarching theme here is that if you want to work in professional sports, a vast majority of hiring takes place in that teams off-season. Usually after the season ends people take some time off…it’s a long season, they need to recharge. Then then spend a few weeks around the office planning for what is next – what do we need for next season, what are our budgets, where are the holes on staff etc.

I notice that hiring usually ramps up about 1 month to a month and a half after the season ends for teams.

Now during the season teams fill holes, of course, if someone leaves the sales department they’ll hired their replacements. BUT, the larger numbers of openings become public in that 1-2 month period after the season ends.

Now that’s on the team side but if we’re just talking about regular old sports jobs at networks, at conferences, at athletic departments, at agencies  – Mid-January (i.e. right now) is actually a big hiring period.

Why? Well, most companies don’t like to hire much between November and December. It is hard to integrate a new hire when people are on vacations, and there is a general lull around the office as we jump from holiday to holiday and throw in some parties. It’s just different, so most in HR will wait on their hires unless it’s needed immediately.

Also, most businesses have an idea on their budget allocations come the first of the year so they may have capital ready for a new hire. There are new sales forecast and new company goals and initiatives – and this can lead to openings in the new year.

The first week of January is a blur -people are getting caught up on all the things they neglected at the end of the December, so don’t send in your app, or try to get up an informational interview, or really try to do much that first week. Come back hard in week 2!

Now, there is also more competition in January – since there are tons of people making new years resolutions to get new jobs…so the battle for attention ensues!

My general recommendation is to have a consistent approach to your job search – do a self-audit so you know where your skills stack up and where you have gaps, find jobs on our site that interest you, customize your cover letter and resume for that job, set up informational interviews, reach out to people to network via social media channels. Keep up these activities and you’ll be looking good all year.

Now I mentioned earlier there is one other time of year that has a lot of hiring… and that is internships in JULY. Fall semester internships are huge, and most organizations gather up resumes in may and June, and then do the actual call back for interviews in July, and make hiring decisions in August. Trust me, this is the cycle.

I’ve heard from so many people in JUNE who are like, I applied to 10 internships and haven’t heard anything and I don’t know what to do… and I say…wait. Next thing you know July rolls around and they are saying…”wow, I have 5 phone interviews next week! What advice do you have for phone interviews.”

So that’s the cycle – I hope this helps give you some clarity peter and everyone else out there listening… thanks for being here make sure to tune in Wednesday for Melanie Newman, and then Thursday live from the Work in Sports facebook page for our weekly live session!

Now get back to work!

By Brian Clapp | January 14, 2019
Sign In or Register to access all articles and insider tips for help in your job search.

Search for Sports Jobs