Non-industry Talent are Joining the Sports Industry, but can we do more?

After the key findings of our People Agenda 3rd Edition report, It is interesting to see that nearly half of new hires have come from outside of sports.

Now in its third year, the People Agenda was created to give a global, data-driven analysis of attitudes and behaviours across the sports industry employee market. It is the definitive annual temperature check to help those running sports businesses make better and more informed decisions around their HR strategy and how to attract and retain the best possible talent.

Attracting Broader & Diverse Talent

The pace of sport’s continued professionalisation – and ability to open up new, sustainable revenue streams and develop performance talent – is dependent on its ability to attract and nurture professionals with new perspectives, expertise and skills.

And in the last 12 months, sport excelled in this area with just under half (42%) of new hires coming from outside sport. And with 33% of new hires at a senior level – and a fifth (19%) into data and technology roles – sport has done an excellent job matching experience and skills gaps.

However, the vast majority (83%) of new hires in the last 12 months were male, highlighting the industry's continued diversity challenge.

The Global Sports network currently has 36% non-industry talent, 26% females and 46% from ethnic minority backgrounds. Through our embedded hiring solutions we can help your business specifically hire diverse talent and meet your specific ED&I targets.


I believe that a well-balanced workforce is critical to the success of planning and delivering major events to a world class standard. This industry thrives from creative thinking and innovative solutions to an ever changing global landscape, this can only be achieved with a diverse workforce coming together from different backgrounds and industries.
The key messages that sport is able to deliver around global and social issues is driving innovation, these events can be a catalyst for change which aligns to the need for a div.
Stuart Campbell, Championship Director, World Athletics Indoor Championships 2024, Glasgow



This year's People Agenda emphasises the international mobility of the sports industry workforce – with more than one in three (35%) of people in the industry working outside their country of origin.

For example in Switzerland, home to a range of international federations and the IOC, 77% of people who currently work for Swiss-based organisations are not from Switzerland originally. Across the entire Swiss workforce, only 20% are classed as foreign workers.

To enable employers to attract a flow of diverse new talent and stem the drain of attrition, organisations must embrace hiring processes that embrace a globally-diverse workforce.

This means creating processes and a culture that allows international talent to relocate and settle, and allowing professionals to work remotely where needed. This is what the sports industry means by the 'workplace' is redefined.

DOWNLOAD your copy of the full report to view the data around this topic and more ⏬

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