Top Talent Acquisition: 6 Reasons Athletes Are a Winning Choice

people dressed in business attire racing on track

Regardless of industry, hiring an athlete can be a winning decision for your business. They’re tough, they’re motivated, and they’re committed to accomplishing the goals set before them. If you’re debating between otherwise equally qualified candidates for an open position, your best bet is the person who is actively or formerly engaged in individual or team sport.

Athletes are competition-driven

Whether your potential employee has a penchant for individual or team sports, you can be certain that he or she is competition driven. The value of an employee’s will to win can never be underestimated. Athletes are goal-setters and goal-achievers. They are driven to beat their own past performances, the performances of their colleagues, and the performances of your strongest competitors. For this reason alone, including an athlete on a sales team, for example, can be one of the best hiring decisions you will ever make.

Athletes understand the power of working as a team

At risk of sounding cliche, this tried-and-true adage will always stand. Fostering a team-like environment in your business works to your distinct advantage. If your employees can’t (or won’t) work as a team, it can bring an entire organization crashing to the ground.

Athletes are accustomed to sublimating their personal wants and needs to further a team goal. They are unlikely to balk at requests to complete tasks they might not normally do as long as they know it’s going to get the ball further down the field. These are the employees who will serve as cheerleaders for colleagues who are falling behind, and they’re the ones who will rally your team when the chips are down.

Athletes thrive on delayed gratification

Athletes know all too well that success requires training. Winning Olympians aren’t created overnight, nor are winning teams of employees. Athletes are willing to put in the work to reach a goal, even if they know that goal might be far in the future. In a work environment, some projects may be years in the making. Athletes are familiar and comfortable with situations where a long-range payoff is reachable as long as they can see clear evidence of progress along the way.

Athletes are naturally driven to power through obstacles

Accidents, injuries, and other unexpected hurdles are common experiences among athletes. Through time and experience, they learn to power through those obstacles despite the pain. Work environments regularly present hurdles for employees. With an athlete on your team, you’ll see a lot less grumbling and a lot more buckling down to get the job done despite the (metaphorical) pain.

Athletes are hard-wired to behave in a coach-able fashion

The relationship between an athlete and his or her coach is easily likened to that between a boss and his or her employee. When an athlete trusts a coach, he or she will follow that coach’s instructions to the letter without batting an eye. If you need an employee who will adhere to company policy and who will complete the tasks you request, giving little or no flack in the process, you want an athlete.

That is not to say that athletes aren’t thoughtful, intelligent, ethical people who cannot think for themselves. Quite the contrary, in fact. They do tend, however, to respect a chain-of-command type of scenario (not unlike current for former members of the military), which means that they are not the types of employees to go over their boss’ head or “break rank” when it comes to following policies and procedures.

The flip side of that shiny, game day coin, is that athletes also know how to behave as a coach, as well. Whether middle or upper-level management, athletes can motivate a team. They can assess members’ strengths and weakness and formulate a plan to capitalize on them.

Athletes are health aficionados

Athletes, by their very nature, are health-conscious. As employees, that means they will tend to take fewer sick days, thus their productivity may well trump that of their non-athlete colleagues. In addition, their focus on health means your outlay for employee insurances premiums will decrease in the long run. Now that’s a win for any organization!

Athletes bring a lot of strengths to the table as potential employees. If you’re on the fence about hiring a marathoner, a weekend basketball player, a former Olympian, or a yoga-lover, consider the above points when making your decision. You may well find that adding an athlete to your team is the only choice that really makes sense.

Contact us today to discuss how we can help you find the ideal candidate for your open position.