Pro Franchises and other sports entities are flooded with inquiries from people dying to make their living in nonplaying positions, and the Internet seemingly is only adding to their numbers. Last year the start-up XFL had 56,000 people apply online in six months for 112 positions. The NBA's Grizzlies, upon announcing their move from Vancouver to Memphis, announced 30 job openings and received an average of 350 online applications a day for a month. Still, have online postings made the process better for those doing the hiring or merely flooded the pool with more eager, but largely unqualified, beavers?
In October 1999 Buffy Filippell was an executive recruiter faced with hiring 12 staff members for the NFL expansion Houston Texans. To help reduce the steady stream of r�sum�s she was receiving online, Filippell designed a computer program that enabled her to sort the qualified job seekers from those not qualified. Three months later she founded Team Work Online, which uses that same web-based software and is becoming a popular tool in the sports industry.
In addition to listing job openings on its own website, a league or franchise has a link on teamworkonline.com that brings up the same job openings. Interested candidates fill out an application online, and Team Work's software condenses that application into a strip of relevant information, which it puts into a database that organizations can search by key phrases, like experience, address and computer skills. "It's been a terrific tool for us; we've filled just about every position," says Mike Golub, the Grizzlies' Senior Vice President of Business Operations. The MLS, NBA, NHL and at least four teams (the Grizzlies, Texans, Los Angeles Kings and Tampa Bay Lightning) use Team Work.
"Everybody says you can't get a job in the sports business," says Filippell. "Well, if you're skilled, you'll be found."