WorkInSports Publishes Inaugural State of Sports Hiring Report

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Survey of 340 U.S. job seekers in the sports industry hints at “Great Resignation” and skills gap as sports attempts its comeback

WorkInSports, a leading employment hub of the sports industry and part of the iHire family of talent brands, published its inaugural State of Sports Hiring Report. Based on a survey of 340 job seekers in the sports industry, the report provides employers with insights on recruitment and retention amidst a “Great Resignation” and a widening skills gap. To access the full report, visit

Key findings from WorkInSports’ survey include:

  • Employees are eyeing greener turfs. Of job seekers surveyed, 58.1% were employed and either actively or passively seeking a new job. This suggests a majority of sports professionals may be considering leaving their current roles, validating a potential “Great Resignation.” Of unemployed respondents, 23.4% were not working because they were changing careers or exploring new industries.
  • The skills gap is widening. 42.7% of sports job seekers are struggling to find jobs they are qualified for (the third most cited job search challenge), while 40.5% admitted to applying for a job they were underqualified for within the past year. In addition, 58.0% of candidates worry about standing out from other applicants in a competitive market – the top trend respondents anticipated impacting their job search in the coming year. These statistics suggest more training and hands-on education is needed to build the up-and-coming generation of sports professionals.
  • Employers are striking out on communicating with candidates. When asked to identify their most significant challenges when searching for work on job boards, 54.0% of respondents cited “ghosting” – applying for jobs and not hearing back from employers. Moreover, 63.8% of survey participants wished employers would specify the next steps in the hiring process (such as when to expect recruiters to schedule interviews) in their job postings, again pointing to a need for stronger lines of communication.
  • Job boards are the MVPs of today’s sports job search. 66.1% of job seekers said they visit online job boards first if they need to find work immediately. In comparison, 10.5% said they initially visit a specific company’s website, 8.7% go to a search engine, and 5.1% head to social media. Further, 60.7% of respondents applied for work through a job board or online talent community in the past year.

“As sports continues attempting its post-COVID comeback, employers are struggling to hire the employees that keep their organizations, franchises, arenas, stadiums, leagues, and teams running,” said Brian Clapp, Host of the WorkInSports Podcast and VP of Content & Engaged Learning. “Previously displaced workers are changing jobs or exploring careers in different industries, while newer job seekers may not possess the experience and skillsets needed to fill the roles left behind. Sports hiring pros can turn to our first-ever State of Sports Hiring Report to form a better game plan for recruiting and retaining talent in the coming months.”

To access WorkInSports’ 2021 State of Sports Hiring Report, visit

Survey Methodology
340 job seekers in the sports industry responded to WorkInSports’ survey in June and July of 2021. The survey was conducted as part of parent brand iHire’s 2021 State of Online Recruiting Report. Respondents came from iHire and WorkInSports’ job seeker database. All decimal points are rounded to the nearest tenth. For many questions, multiple answers could be selected so percentages add up to a sum greater than 100%. In some instances, survey questions were skipped by an individual respondent.

About WorkInSports
Since 2000, WorkInSports has been widely recognized as the #1 source for jobs in the sports industry. With over 8,000 sports employers nationwide actively posting their latest openings, WorkInSports has helped thousands of job seekers follow their passion and discover their dream career in sports – while providing them with resume-matching technology, a sport management degree directory, and valuable career advice articles and podcasts. Visit for more information.

About iHire
iHire is a leading career-oriented platform that powers a family of 57 industry-focused talent networks, including WorkInSports, iHireVeterinary, iHireDental, iHireConstruction, and iHireChefs. For more than 20 years, iHire has combined advanced job matching technology with our expertise in the talent acquisition space to connect job seekers with employers in their desired sector. With an industry-specific, candidate-centric, and data-driven approach to recruitment, iHire helps candidates find meaningful work, and employers find unique, high-quality talent – faster, easier, and more effectively than a general job board. Visit for more information.

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Kristina Kelly
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