By: Adam White, @FOSAdam
Front Office Sports is proud to have sat down with Scott Salmon and Mark Mourer of Stadium People. Scott is the Senior Vice President of Recruiting and is an Alumnus of TCU where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Mark is the Director of Business Development and is also an Alumnus of TCU where he received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Journalism. This is the first ever dual interview for Front Office Sports and they were kind enough to offer up there insights on how important staffing is at sporting events, why having a small circle of likeminded people is important, and how much effort goes into making sure the service is of the highest quality.
For people who do not know, what is the Director of Business development responsible for? What is a normal day like for you? What are some of your day to day challenges?
Mark: I try to divide my time between Innovative and Stadium People. For example last week I was doing things from looking for call center people to executives. I’m always trying to find new stadium contracts. I just got done going through the Pacific Coast League to let them know about our services and to set up a time to speak with them about their staffing and staffing contracts. We are really looking to grow our Baseball staffing properties.
For people who do not know, what is the SVP of Recruitment responsible for? What is a normal day like for you? What are some of your day to day challenges?
Scott: I am responsible for all hiring both on the managerial side and the staffing side of Stadium People. Staffing is usually large volumes of people so we try to break it down to hiring 50-60 people a week to make sure that there customer service is up to par with our expectations as well as the teams or events expectations. It is truly all about the process. We want it to be repeatable and successful. The biggest challenge is consistent communication between the thousands of employees and the managerial staff. We try to cover every angle to make communication comfortable. We don’t want our message to be diluted.
For those who do not know could you explain to us a little about what Stadium People does and what events it has ran and operated as far as staffing is concerned?
Scott: Stadium People came out of a professional staffing agency. We got our start with the Cowboys when they opened AT&T Stadium in 2009. We were able to showcase the fact that we put a lot of effort into the screening and hiring process to emphasize how good of a service the game day staff could provide to customers on a very professional level. We want to focus on a higher caliber of customer service and we saw that there was a big need for that in the industry especially with the prices that these teams are charging.
Mark: We like to say we take “Partners not Prisoners”
How do you see stadium and event staffing changing over the next few years? What changes would like to see?
Scott: I hope that it becomes more efficient with the way we schedule and notify people about last second changes. I would like to see an effective way to stay connected with the workforce and a way to get feedback from the people on the front lines so we can make executive decisions that make the fan experience the best it can be.
Mark: I’d love to see more professional and collegiate teams go to a third party organization such as ourselves to provide them with people for their events so they can offload all that responsibility to us as it is our specialty and it would relieve them of those extra duties that they don’t specialize in.
What do you like best about working in sports?
Mark: I love seeing the outcome of everything. It’s making people happy and to be rewarded for the money they have paid. I love the process of everything behind the scenes and being able to make others have a great experience.
Scott: I’m a big sports fan and even though I don’t get to watch as much of the on field action as I’d like too it is still just fun being able to be around everything. I love knowing I have a part in something greater by helping fans have a great experience.
What is the best career advice you have been given so far?
Mark: Keep your eyes and ears open. Pick up others knowledge, whatever you can absorb is important. Always challenge what you have internally and make yourself better. Get a circle of five people that have different views than you so you get different viewpoints. It is like a checks and balances system.
Scott: I think it is very important to have a mentor to bounce ideas off of. As you advance in your career you pick up more of a peer group or circle of influence that you can bounce ideas off of. I try to keep my circle small but very experienced. The collaboration is important and it helps you build your network it is so important.
What drew you to being a part of the staffing industry in sports seeing as it is a very crucial, yet under appreciated aspect of our industry?
Mark: For me it was the desire to take on a new challenge and to be successful. I love being able to make clients happy and to help the company succeed and grow.
Scott: I think there is an altruistic tone to what we do and being able to pay it forward to other generations. I talked to a parking lot attendant the other day who has aspirations of working for us in the managerial side of Stadium People or to be in some type of athletics. I think sports is a great industry to make positive memories.
What is your ultimate career goal?
Mark: I want to continue to grow our footprint in the sports business. I think we have proved ourselves in the industry. I want Stadium People to be a household name.
How much time does it take to plan and execute a major event such as the Super Bowl?
Scott: These large events take months and months of preparation because it is not just hiring people, you have to train them and then there’s the logistics of everything. It’s a long process. There are so many people behind the scenes. It’s a never ending process, we are always hiring, training and trying to better ourselves.
If you would like to work an event and live in the Dallas/Austin area check out there website http://stadiumpeople.com/