Skip to main content
Original Issue

Team Work An interactive website is trying to get sports employers and job seekers on the same page

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 resumes 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 TeamWork 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 that brings up the
same job openings. Interested candidates fill out an application
online, and TeamWork'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 TeamWork.

"Everybody says you can't get a job in the sports business," says
Filippell. "Well, if you're skilled, you'll be found."

--John O'Keefe