Hear What CEO of Digby Morgan has to say About what Value Athlete’s can Bring to a Business…

Alistair Cook – CEO of Digby Morgan

Alistair Cook is a great ambassador for what The Transition Phase represents, and he has recently been in to meet with us to give some expert advice and insight…..

The Importance of Skills-based Talent

Having been immersed in the recruitment world for over three decades, I have seen how businesses and their recruitment models have changed.  Twenty years ago we couldn’t find enough highly academic graduates, but now it is a completely different story.  What we are finding now is predictability within the workforce. Particularly at the junior level, we are seeing many graduates who have similar backgrounds and experience that could have been gained through internships, work experiences or recreational sports alongside study.

What can really set an individual apart is their competencies and behavioural skill set, and what businesses are now identifying is the importance of a skills-based hiring process to bring in fresh and diverse talent with potential.

What are Some of the Common Competencies/Skills That Businesses Look for?

Of course, technical knowledge and expertise is what you need to be successful in some specialist industries but, for many businesses today, it is the practical competencies that can create a successful workforce.  The competency that can be found in a team or an individual is what can be the ‘difference that makes the difference’ and offer true competitive advantage. Over the years I have found that some of the skills, behaviours and competencies that businesses strive for and invest huge amounts of resource in include:

  • Leadership

  • Determination

  • The ability to deal with pressure

  • Ability to cope with rejection and failure

  • Self-discipline

  • Competitiveness

What is it About an Elite Athletes Make-up That Impresses You?

What impresses me the most about serious athletes is their ability to deal with failure, their true grit and determination, their passion and drive to achieve their goals and their ability to perform on cue at the highest level in a high stress, high performance environment and culture.

Day in day out, athletes find ways to overcome challenge, take responsibility and thrive in adversity and these are traits that businesses can genuinely take advantage of.  Furthermore, I admire the eagerness elite level sportsmen and women have to improve themselves.  Even if it is only by fractions of a percent every day, they always take criticism as a motivation to improve and develop and I think in general terms this is what many people in industry today lack.

What can an Elite Athlete Bring to a Commercial Business?

Elite athletes can offer businesses potential, passion and real energy. They think about things differently, and they have the competencies outlined above that commercial enterprises can really learn from. Organisations invest heavily in competency training but athletes, through decades of training and performance, have natural leadership qualities that can provide a diverse and competitive approach to work.  I believe that if a business can combine the right on the job training with the inherent and natural qualities of an athlete, they can create something that can truly add value to any businesses bottom line performance.

What Piece of Advice Would you Give to an Athlete at Whatever Stage in Their Career, Who’d Want to Apply Their Skills in a Commercial Environment?

Prove you can make the difference. Use your tenacity and drive to gain the technical expertise that you need for whatever it is you wish to do. And then use that same

energy to best articulate how your unique combination of skills and personality will add invaluable passion, performance and value to potential employers.