11/11/2014

By Matt Ayres, Fresh Business Thinking

When hiring for a vacant position in a growing company, the most common route is to seek out an individual whose business acumen and corporate skills have already been tested in a similar environment. Few businesses think outside the box by actively look for candidates whose potential has been proven in another arena; for whom the term ‘impressive track record’ has a different meaning.

As the careers of many professional athletes are over by the age of 30, it is important for the majority to plan ahead and think about what they want to focus on after their retirement. This can be a daunting task for many, but one company is helping athletes to use the qualities they have acquired through their sporting achievements to forge a successful career in the business world.

Set up by brothers Andy and Steve Moore, a pair of Welsh international rugby union players whose careers were cut short through injury, Athlete Career Transition (ACT) has proven that successful athletes make fantastic candidates for careers in business. Helping to launch the business careers of those athletes who have seen success in their sport at professional level, the Moore brothers believe that companies should seek out sportsmen and women who have shown undeniable dedication in their chosen sport.

According to Andy Moore, the potential to transfer athletic aptitude into a fruitful business career once they have retired from competing professionally is significant. “The experience that an athlete can bring to a business is always worth accounting for,” he says. “Their work ethic is there from day one — by training hard and putting in the graft, they know how to achieve great things. It’s the same on the track or field as it is in the workplace.”

Steve Moore believes when companies are recruiting it is easy to overlook athletes that don’t fit specific criteria as they have dedicated their life to training and performing in their sport and therefore don’t tick certain boxes in the recruitment process. “Being busy with team practices or competing at professional level can mean that athletes are at a disadvantage compared to workers who have always strived to work in a business environment,” he says. “Actually, it is worth employers making more of an effort to invest extra time in reaching out to these potential candidates. All great athletes strive for excellence, and that is something that is transferrable to the workplace — qualities like dedication, teamwork and ambition will always be attractive assets to recruiters.”

These aren’t the only qualities that athletes can bring to a business, either: many of the sports stars that the Moore’s work with have proved that their athletic background has also equipped them with a focus on high achievement, strong communication skills, excellent time management and a level of resilience that other candidates take years to learn. One of the company’s biggest ambassadors, Sir Steve Redgrave, is vocal about his support for encouraging more talented athletes to transition into the workplace.

“Resilience and the ability to overcome tough times through sheer determination are requirements of all successful athletes,” says Redgrave. “Through the ACT programme, Andy and Steve have proven time after time how important those qualities are, and how with the right support, sports men and women can use them to drive forward a rewarding and prosperous career in business.”

To learn more about ACT, take a look at the company website here.