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Birkbeck Sport Business Centre held first event as part of the Sports HR Series

The Birkbeck Sport Business Centre has held an Sports HR event on Monday, 25 November 2013, titled Sports HR Series: Trends and Practices in HR in Sports. It was organised in partnership with GlobalSportsJobs, a specialist careers platform for the international sports industry.

By organising the event, the Birkbeck Sport Business Centre wishes to mark an initial step to initiate a series of events for our alumni aimed at expanding opportunities for networking for career progression in the sport sector. The Centre’s ambition is that it will serve as an important first step in building a more dynamic and effective Birkbeck sport management alumni.

The main objective of this event was to create a high-level debate surrounding key issues in recruitment processes by contrasting and comparing the corporate environment to the global sports sector, and analysing current trends in HR in the business of sport.

The event kicked-off with opening remarks from the Birkbeck Sport Business Centre Director Mr Sean Hamil followed by a presentation by Mr Will Lloyd, CEO of GlobalSportsJobs, who introduced the event’s central topic: Trends in HR in Sport.

The next part was structured around three key speakers who started by contextualised HR practices in a corporate perspective, and continued by addressing trends and adversities in recruitment in the business of sport. First was Paul Kennedy, HR Director at Caffé Nero and formerly at New Balance. He outlined current HR practices undertaken by the company, stressing that the ultimate objective is to have the best employee at any role. Paul concluded by suggesting that the only way forward in a company is to “have the best team – the same as in team sports.”

Second was Amy Wyatt, Recruitment Manager at BSkyB. Amy offered an insight into the recruitment processes at BSkyB, specifically highlighting how technology has innovated the recruitment sector. Amy revealed that social media now plays a significant role in recruitment and offered the audience to update their LinkedIn account: “this tool is more relevant than ever”, she said.

Lastly to speak was Paul Modely who was the Recruitment Manager at LOCOG.  Paul emphasised the role volunteers played in the recruitment strategy at LOCOG prior to the London 2012 Olympic Games. Other key features were diversity and local representation: “we had to put targets in place. It was less about technology and more about using the community groups.”


The forum culminated in a round-table discussion involving additional guest HR professionals and a subsequent Q&A with current disputes permeating the sports industry were discussed, such as:

  • Does sport employ sufficiently professional HR practices?
  • How does it differ and what can it learn from other business sectors?
  • What and where are the opportunities in the sports industry?
  • What should students seeking a career in sports expect?

The debate also touched other important issues in sports recruitment such as diversity, women in sport and the role of internships in the sport industry.

From the Birkbeck Sport Business Centre’s perspective it was a first of-a-kind opportunity to bring together, under the same roof, students and alumni – participants of one of the various Sport Management post-graduate programmes the Centre offers. Furthermore, and thanks to the ongoing collaboration with GlobalSportsJobs, the participants have had the opportunity to engage and interact with some of the leading HR professionals from the sport industry who attended the event to share from their experience and expertise.

Visit our GlobalSportsJobs Board to find out about recent vacancies in sport. Click Here.

Watch the event in full:

* The event was filmed by the Birkbeck Media Services

For further details on the Sports HR Series contact:

Sean Hamil
Department of Management
Birkbeck College
Malet Street
London
WC1E 7HX

Tel: 020-7631 6763
Email: s.hamil@bbk.ac.uk

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