Why You Should Hire Attitude Over Experience

 In Athlete Culture

With the money circulating in today’s professional sports industry, we can come to 2 conclusions:

  1. The public prefers live sports as their most desired form of entertainment.
  2. Businesses are recognising this, therefore sponsoring/investing in pro sports teams in order for their brand to be seen.

Due to this, there are now more professional sports teams and athletes then ever before. To give you an example, most countries in Europe will have at least 3 divisions of pro leagues in soccer and basketball with at least 10 teams per division. That’s only 2 sports and just Europe – the growth is on a world scale and across many sports.

As the pro sports industry grows, participation & competition from grassroots is higher then ever. Therefore, there is still one common statistic that remains the same – less then 1% become pro athletes!

In order to become a professional athlete you must resemble some serious grit, perseverance, resilience, confidence, determination, work ethic, teamwork, leadership skills, competitiveness, ability to handle adversity and much more!

This is why athletes tend to succeed in business – the transferrable skills & attitude learnt from sport give them the ability to become the best performing employees, managers, entrepreneurs & business owners. However, a lot of hiring managers miss out on the opportunity to employ athletes transitioning from sport because they prefer someone with industry experience. Here is why that’s wrong and why they should consider athletes:

  1. When hiring someone only because of their industry experience, you must question the candidates’s loyalty: did you offer them $10-15k higher salary and they accepted? Do you really want to hire someone motivated by money only? They’re most likely not loyal, therefore when your competitor offers them more money they’ll leave you too!
  2. Only considering someone with industry experience eliminates the chances of innovation & different perspective: You’re completely closing the door to a number of superstars from other industries who could bring a different prospective & strategy to drive your business forward.
  3. Showcase your leadership & management ability: I get it, the goal of every business is to grow and drive revenue. The easiest way to do that is to hire people with industry knowledge, who you don’t need to train, they can hit the ground running. However, to truly dominate in business you need the exact attitude athletes posses described above – that’s very hard to find. Be a manager & leader, if you have the opportunity to hire someone with grit but no industry experience, invest in a solid 3-4 months training regime and watch your hire turn into a superstar in 12-24 months time. Although you might not see an immediate return, the revenue will flow in the long-term.
  4. Studies show athletes are high performers beyond sports across a diverse range of roles: As opposed to a non-athlete, elite athletes were found to be more confident in carrying out broader roles across the workplace & open to organisational change. Athletes are better at identifying opportunities, taking action and persevering until results are achieved. These individuals also have potential to be future leaders & influencers and deliver indirect benefits to the performance of their colleagues which leads to the whole team raising their game.
  5. Athletes create a fun & vibrant culture in the workplace: Working alongside world-class athletes lifts overall workplace morale. Their healthy lifestyle habits (diet & exercise) rubs off on other employees and promotes a more efficient workplace. Their motivation and overall determination to achieve results filters to other co-workers and facilitates business growth. Also, their likeable nature and fun & loving personalities creates a great workplace culture, not to mention it’s also great PR for your business.

So next time you’re hiring, as opposed to taking the easy road and hiring industry experience, be innovative & forward thinking and consider the benefits of hiring the right attitude and how that drives long-term business growth.

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