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Industry Trends | 3 minute read

10 Reasons Collegiate Athletes Make Excellent Recruiters

April 12, 2016

Did you know that 95 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs played college sports, and that six out of the past 11 US presidents were collegiate athletes? While tenacity, dedication, and motivation are traits of athletes that translate well into many career opportunities, they are the perfect fit for recruiting jobs. Here’s why:

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  1. Athletes, like recruiters, are team oriented. While they’re competitive and always strive to finish first, they’re also able to focus on a team’s common goals, and actively assist with achieving overall success.
  2. In order to be successful as a recruiter, you need to be able to master the art of time management, and let’s face it, athletes are pros at time management. They understand the importance of blocking time for specific tasks, prioritizing and even re-shifting priorities as the goal changes.
  3. Both athletes and recruiters are accustomed to achievement and are results oriented. They are dedicated to hard work and willing to refine their approach to obtain rewarding results.
  4. Recruiters have a strong work ethic, which is something that athletes are very familiar with. They are able to see obstacles as opportunities to do better and try harder. They enjoy challenges and problem solving, and revel in the thrill of achieving goals.
  5. Top recruiters and athletes alike have high energy levels and are self-motivated. What's more, they’re both skillful at inspiring others. They have the stamina to keep going until the task is completed.
  6. College athletes love to take on additional challenges and sometimes even work best under pressure. Recruiters often must handle multiple deadlines while managing many different relationships including those with the hiring manager, candidate and team.
  7. In recruiting, you must be able to make quick decisions and read others quickly as you may only have a short amount of time to speak with them. This also holds true as an athlete: You are on the hot seat to make tough decisions sometimes in seconds like whether to go for that ball or not.
  8. As an athlete, you have the natural ability to lead by example and provide that sense of confidence to those around you. This is a necessity as recruiters need to be able to be confident about the candidates they are presenting to their managers and have the ability to convince them why they should move forward with that person.
  9. Recruiters need to be able to be coachable and open to feedback whether it’s positive or negative. They are constantly getting feedback, whether it’s from the candidate, the hiring manager they work with, or their manager. Athletes must also be open to feedback from coaches, teammates and oftentimes parents or other onlookers of the sport or organization.
  10. Collegiate athletes are constantly in communication with those around them. Whether it be the coach who is expecting them to win the next big game, their teammates on and off the court or the community that is supporting them. This is very similar to recruiters, as you must have strong communication with all levels of the organization from new potential hires to vice presidents.

Overall, the similarities between athletes and recruiters are clear. The characteristics and strategy it takes to win the next big match are very similar to closing that high-priority requisition. Are you an athlete looking for your next move? Recruiting might be just the career for you.


About Krista Connell

Krista Connell is an account director at WilsonHCG, and has over a decade of sales recruiting experience. She is the Co-Committee Chair of WilsonHCG Operation Transition Committee, and in her spare time volunteers as a Career Counselor for Hire Heroes USA, both of which empowers U.S. military members, veterans and spouses to succeed in the civilian workforce.