While the athletes compete to set world records, the real challenge of the 2012 Olympics occurred behind the scenes. With a workforce of more than 200,000 employees, volunteers and contractors, the London Olympics required skillful recruiting and HR planning to execute the event.
The Olympic workforce is meticulously timed. Recruiters must ramp up the workforce to be ready for 17 days in the spotlight. Just like the athletes who must hit peak performance in that one critical race, recruiters must source, hire, and train employees in time—no excuses. Olympic recruiters work backwards from the immovable date of the event, and timeframes are set in stone. Failure to meet those milestones will result in significant damage to both your reputation and the brand, as security firm G4S is discovering.
Sourcing Special Skills
When you’re hosting a major international event like the Olympics, you’ll need to source specialized skills from across the globe: individuals that speak every language represented in the games require a place in the program. And what better way to fill a short-term need than by identifying individuals that have experience elsewhere—like the American TSA agents who are being brought in to assist at UK airports.
Don’t waste valuable time on an overly extensive application process. The London Olympics was primarily staffed using a one-stop application, interview and offer process where successful candidates were offered a job on the spot.
The Olympics will come and go, but the lessons we learn – personal and business – are what really makes the difference.