We get asked often why we’re focusing a whole division of our company on recruiting athletes. One reason is based on the personal experience of our CEO, Rich Thompson. As a collegiate athlete and then NFL player, Rich focused intently on his sport. When it became clear the NFL wasn’t going to be his career, he had no Plan B.
But he knew what he did have. Grit. Discipline. Coachability. And a tolerance for risk, for trying something completely new. And business was completely new to him. Rich didn’t know what he was going to tell a prospective employer to get hired; he wasn’t sure if he had anything of value to offer. But he could get a meeting because people love to talk to athletes.
Sure enough, Rich got a meeting, and he got an offer. And he used the skills he’d learned in the training room and on the field to build a successful career. He wasn’t afraid to make mistakes, and he wasn’t afraid to take chances on new opportunities. He drew on his experience as an athlete almost every day of his 20-some year career in staffing.
When he started XPG Recruit with Amy Carlisle, he knew the qualities that staffing companies would value including grit, resilience, discipline, leadership, coachability – all of which he knew he could find in student athletes and former athletes from professional leagues. For entry level or lightly experienced hires, rather than focus on internships and traditional work experience, XPG Recruit began to focus on the soft skills and characteristics we knew we would find in former athletes based on Rich’s experience. The companies where we placed them agreed.
We launched XPG Recruit Athlete this year because we wanted everyone to know that what we’ve been doing works. In this very competitive labor market, no one can afford to overlook a pool of motivated, talented workers.
Here’s why you should consider former athletes for your team.
- They are fearless, naturally competitive, and understand how to win.
- They accept that training and effort are needed to be successful; they are highly coachable.
- They appreciate feedback on ways to improve, and are accustomed to direct and transparent communication.
- They know how to set ambitious goals and work hard to achieve them; they don’t mind putting in the work.
- They are excellent time managers, used to juggling classes with practice, travel, and competition.
- They are capable of critical thinking, confidently assessing situations and making quick decisions.
- They value teamwork and coordination of complex tasks; they connect with others quickly.
- They have demonstrated grit, commitment and resilience; they are not easily discouraged.
If those sound like the kind of employees your company needs, let us know.