Mark Coscarello: Talent Acquisition Manager at the USGA - Work in Sports Podcast

Mark Coscarello, Talent Acquisition Manager for the USGA joins the Work in Sports podcast to discuss how he finds the best talent for the job.

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

There is nothing quote like Sundays in the summer with golf on the TV. I’ll admit I don’t have the time to sit down and watch 4 hours of a tournament every weekend, or for that matter to get out and play, but there is something special about the US open and father’s day. 

The United States Golf Association’s biggest event of the year, it’s the perfect marriage of fatherly celebration, perfect weather, and the relaxing comfort of a day perfectly tailored for golf fans. 

But the USGA isn’t just a one trick pony, focused on a singular championship event. 

They are the governing body of golf in the US and Mexico - in charge of establishing the rules, creating the national handicap system, testing golf equipment for compliance, and conducting 14 championship events and two international team competitions each year.

To accomplish these types of yearly goals takes staff, lots of staff, ranging from Data scientists and Senior Directors of Championship Administration to museum librarians and interns. 

The opportunities are vast at the USGA and they all channel through a talent acquisition team headed by this weeks guest Mark Coscarello. 

Mark knows better than anyone, an organization thrives based on the strength of their employees. He knows it’s his over-arching goal to attract the best talent to come work for the USGA and then help to establish a culture and environment that will make them want to stay. 

But I guess I should let him tell you all about that... Here’s Mark Coscarello, Talent Acquisition Manager at the USGA


Questions for Mark Coscarello, Talent Acquisition Manager at the USGA


1: You’ve been in talent acquisition for over 20 years and have experience at major institutions like Google, Johnson and Johnson and Pfizer - as you compare those huge operations to your current role in Talent Acquisition for the USGA, what makes sports different from an employment standpoint?

2: So many people play golf and are fans of golf -- but we both know that doesn’t necessarily qualify them to work in golf. What is your process for finding people that have the right skills to work in your operation

3: You’ve been at the USGA for almost 3 years now, have you observed any patterns of demand? Are there certain roles or positions that are growing in need? Mark Coscarello USGA talent acquisition manager

4: Let’s talk about the hiring process in a little more detail, you represent a premiere brand, one that hundreds, likely thousands of people, would love to work for. When you have an opening, what is your process for narrowing the field to a manageable number

5: Every student I talk to has an innate fear of being just another resume in a stack of applicants. How does someone catch your eye in the process?

** Follow: What about standing out for the wrong reasons? Are there any pet peeves you see on resumes, cover letters or other materials? Things that make you cringe?

6: When you are going through the process with a candidate - whether it’s a phone interview or face-to-face - you’ve been doing this a long time, do you work off gut feeling, or a more data-centered process?

7: Obviously every situation and every role is different - but as you look back over the people who have been hired during your time in sports, is there a certain trait, skill or aptitude that is consistent across those who become successful?

8: what is your take on the right way for someone to follow up with you or someone on your team? This is likely the most common question I get – “I interviewed for a job but haven’t heard anything, what should I do!”…well, Mark, what should they do?

9: On your LinkedIn profile you mention one of your tasks is to “create talent ambassadors across the organization”  can you explain what that means and how it positively influences the USGA?

10: The culture and values of an organization are often represented in the way they go about hiring staff and finding the right people to join the team -- how would you describe the culture, values and work environment at the USGA?

11: Internships are obviously an incredible way for students to gain industry experience, and the USGA brings in many interns each year -- what kind of responsibilities can interns at the USGA expect, and how do you pick the right candidates for those early career roles?

12: We’ll finish up with this, for entry-level job seekers or people in college who will soon be seeking entry-level jobs… what advice would you give them to make themselves the most desirable to professional sports teams once they graduate?

Listen in to the podcast episode for the answers to these questions and more!

By Brian Clapp | June 26, 2019
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