Does Leadership on the Field Get You Noticed Off It?: The Value of Varsity Sports to Corporate Recruiters

Allison Joye Tracy, Sumru Erkut, Laura Pappano
2020 Journal of Amateur Sport  
An online correspondence study was conducted to explore whether professional recruiters screening candidates for entry-level corporate jobs would view leadership skills acquired through high level participation in amateur sports at the collegiate varsity level more favorably than those acquired through non-sports activities. The experimental manipulation randomly varied candidates' athletic v. non-athletic leadership experience at university, their gender, and race. Eight hundred and
more » ... dred and twenty-eight corporate recruiters rated four potential candidate profiles on four of eight job-relevant leadership traits/skills they valued most when assessing a candidate and ranked the candidates for a callback interview. Varsity athletes were rated higher than non-athletes on the ability to work in a team and on being results-driven. However, recruiters rated athletes lower in critical thinking, follow-through on tasks, and organizational skills. Overall, athletes were no more likely than non-athlete candidates to be selected for a first interview. Results are interpreted in the context of signaling theory.
doi:10.17161/jas.v6i1.7468 fatcat:vjjkxbzonzdcpahrjpiwatleje