Recruitment at a Premier League Level

With the curtain falling on one of the most engrossing World Cups of recent times last night (Sunday 13th July), football is the topic of conversation on the lips of many - whether they are interested or not!

Recruitment plays a huge part in every aspect of football. Every summer, the best clubs compete with each other for the signatures of the world’s top players - just like employers from other sectors and their hunt for the best talent available.

But it’s not just football players that are recruited by clubs, behind the scenes there’s a whole network of staff that make watching, enjoying and participating in the beautiful game possible.

So, just as the tournament in Brazil came to its conclusion last night, a footballing giant located closer to home has made a few recruitment moves in anticipation of the new Premier League season.

Premier League recruitment

Indeed, Arsenal Football Club has entered a period during which it will focus on recruiting new talent to help run the club, according to Recruiter.

So far the club has allocated some of its resources into a new online recruitment portal in order to streamline the process and help Arsenal find and employ the best possible candidates.

As well as direct job roles available at the club, the portal will also provide would-be candidates with information about other roles though external contractors.

Speaking to Recruiter, Karen Ann Allchurch, HR director at Arsenal, said that the club hopes that this will make the entire providers of recruitment “very visible, very transparent. It shows what actual live vacancies we have, and it enables us to start talent banking”.

“Having a portal doesn't remove the need for agencies, but it does mean you can be a bit more selective with which roles you do use agencies for.”

Getting the right team together

Selecting the right team off the pitch is just as important as assembling the best one on the pitch. This can also be said for businesses - although they no doubt want a few star performers in their ranks, achieving growth and meeting company targets usually requires a collaborative effort from everyone involved.

And this is partly why Arsenal FC has pursued this method of recruiting, as Ms Allchurch explained to Recruiter.

“We would always use headhunters for more senior roles; we obviously wouldn’t post the ‘manager’ position on the website, and then cross our fingers that someone would apply for that role, but it does mean we can focus some of our budget elsewhere.”

Arsenal’s head of HR went onto explain that the club has definitely moved away from traditional hard copy recruiting, preferring instead to go online with its strategy.

“When I first joined we were doing all sorts of recruitment: from local newspapers, to some of the big websites, but a lot was being handled by agencies and what their recommendations would be," she added. “It doesn’t mean that we don’t do that anymore, but I can’t think of anything recent where we’ve gone hardcopy, everything is really online, and less reliant on [getting the traffic from] other websites. We’re actually filling jobs directly from the website now."

The next stage for Arsenal is to set up an applicant tracking system.

Think Premier League not Sunday League

Of course, not all firms will have the resources available to develop a bespoke portal specifically related to their recruitment needs. But Arsenal’s philosophy towards finding new talent does reinforce the importance of having a solid recruitment strategy in place, whether that is carried out in-house, through an agency or a combination of both.

With competition for jobs currently rising, companies need to have know exactly what they want out of a candidate and for this reason it’s important that an effective recruitment strategy is put in place early on.

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