Hiring for Soft Skills – Looking for Athletes

Billy Barrett

If you’re in the job market, you have probably applied for a job of which you are a self-professed perfect candidate. You have every skill that the employer has listed as ‘required,’ and you know exactly how to do all of the actions involved in the role.

Unfortunately, though, so does everybody else who applied for the position. Thus, the question is… ‘Just how do I make myself stand out from the competition?’

In the recruiting industry, every day at the office is different ─ new challenges come from all angles, with different companies and prospective employees always in need of our ability to ‘bridge the gap.’ One thing that doesn’t change, however, is the outlined traits of the perfect candidate from the business side of the equation. And, right now, businesses are looking for Athletes.

‘Why would a football player excel in that IT specialist job?’ I hear you ask.

Well, the truth is, we aren’t talking about prospective employees who can kick a ball hard. Rather, we mean people who are adaptable, brave, fast on their feet, and willing to go the extra mile to ensure that they, or the team that they are part of, are successful in all of their workplace endeavors. Most importantly, though, an Athlete is somebody who, when faced with failure, will get back up and dust themselves off only to try again.

How Can I Stand Out as an Athlete?

It’s hard to leap out of a résumé and make your potential employer think, ‘Wow!’ So, here are a few ways that we, at AMPlify, believe you can improve your chances of being spotted amongst the pile of candidates. We look at Athletes on a three-dimensional level and search for these specific traits or abilities:

  1. An Athlete is somebody who is willing to tell an employer that they have failed before. Rather than covering it up, an Athlete will tell the reader what they learned from their failure and their solution to overcome it.
  2. Athletes are highly adaptable people who can demonstrate as such. So, for example, you could tell an employer about that time when you had to cover another member of staff’s job role, which threw you out of your comfort zone and forced you to overcome the fear or stress of unfamiliar circumstances.
  3. Lastly, an Athlete is somebody who portrays a strong presence of mind, somebody who looks at a task and grapples it by the horns – the kind of person who has a can-do attitude and will take anything on if the chance arises.

Can I Become an Athlete?


Don’t worry; an Athlete is not some kind of transcendent being. They are people who know, or at least believe that they are limitless ─ within reason, of course! It is a simple shift in mentality, which absolutely anybody can make.

Do you remember that time when you decided to learn how to play the guitar and because you didn’t have a clue what to do, and consistently got certain chords wrong, you gave up? An Athlete wouldn’t give up at that point. Instead, they give it a go and, if it goes wrong, they don’t let the guitar gather dust in the corner of the room ─ they pick it up, and do it again until they get it right.

Athletes are driven and make their own luck by refusing to accept the concept of failure; they work hard until they’ve got it right ─ and, most importantly, when it does go wrong, they aren’t afraid to admit it.

The Soft Skills That Athletes Possess

You can look at Athletes like the alpha of a wolfpack ─ their perception is on another wavelength to the greater majority of people, or they are on an elevated emotional quotient, perhaps. The Athlete is that person at work who leads the charge on projects, dragging each and every member of the team by the bootstraps, ensuring that everybody completes their individual task, with or without help, so that the team succeeds as a collective. In some regards, they are both a player and a mentor simultaneously, leading by example and providing support as they traverse tasks and projects alongside their team.

AMPlify Your Abilities

If you are looking to maximize the potential of your in-house team and need to find that ‘needle in a haystack’ employee who will transform your company’s productivity levels and ensure the successful execution of your plans, get in touch with our team of experts today. We’re confident that we can AMPlify the talent in your roster with our advisory expertise.


Leave a Reply