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Study: Purpose-driven approach key to securing sports industry’s top talent

Global Sports’ People Agenda survey highlights how working in sector is evolving for employees post Covid.

20 October 2021 Ed Dixon

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  • Wellbeing and mental health support also vital for workers
  • L&D remains a crucial area for organisations to invest in to remain competitive
  • 20% YoY increase in confidence from respondents in their ability to retain current jobs

Being purpose driven is key for those working in the sports industry looking to attract the best talent, according to a study by careers platform Global Sports.

The People Agenda Survey 2021 revealed such an approach was essential in today’s world as people place greater importance on purpose, value and work-life balance, as opposed to traditional benefits. The report also highlighted a shift to a more personal value-based evaluation in respondents’ assessment of their future career paths.

Now in its second edition, Global Sports’ survey took place between March and July 2021 through an online questionnaire distributed to sports industry professionals and graduates worldwide. More than 600 participants responded, working in over 90 countries representing over 80 nationalities. The People Agenda aims to help readers make informed decisions, drive change and ‘support the future of our people’.

In addition to being purpose driven, Global Sports’ research found that the impact of Covid-19 on unemployment remains at the forefront of people’s minds, with a high volume of those unemployed still citing the pandemic as the reason – down only two per cent since 2020.

Despite this, confidence in the jobs market is increasing, with Global Sports seeing a 20 per cent increase in confidence since last year from respondents in their ability to retain current jobs over the next 12 months. There was also a 27 per cent increase in optimism to find a job amongst job seekers.

Wellbeing and mental health support is also critical, according to the survey. It notes that employees see it as a vital provision, which has been ‘supercharged’ as a priority due to Covid-19. Of the respondents, 64 per cent believed they had been successfully supported by their employer. Despite that, Global Sports believes the sports industry still has ‘some way to go’ in terms of offering the right support as the sector continues to evolve how it operates its workplaces.

The study noted that learning and development (L&D) also remains a key area for organisations to invest in so as to remain competitive, though this offering ‘still requires work’. Digital skills training was identified as an important requirement, with more personalised professional development, such as mentoring and networking, scoring much higher than traditional training programmes.

“We started the People Agenda as we felt that the feelings and opinions of those who work within the business side of sport weren’t being broadcast loud enough,” Global Sports consultant and advisor Alex Kinash told SportsPro.

“The world we work in and how we work together has seen massive changes over the last couple of years, and we hope The People Agenda gives our clients and the wider industry, providing so many brilliant careers, a piece of additional insight into how their colleagues might be feeling about issues that they feel are important.

“If it helps organisations make better decisions around their people, or just reinforce ones they were already executing as priorities, that’s meeting the agenda’s objective and we’d be delighted if that was so.

“Our goal is to have a positive impact on careers in sport, playing our part in guiding what the future workplace should be.”

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