Volunteer selection at a major sport event: A strategic human resource management approach
ORCID : 0000-0003-2697-309X
Sport Management Review
School of Business and Law
Volunteers have long been regarded as an essential part of the staging major sport events both to encourage community participation and to contain labour costs. Major sport events often attract a large pool of applicants which exceeds the number of volunteer positions available. Selecting the best qualified applicants for available positions requires volunteer selection processes that are fair, effective, and efficient from both the volunteer and event organising committee perspectives. Using a Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) approach, the authors investigated factors that predicted the selection of applicants interviewed for volunteer positions from the perspective of a major sport event organiser. Using deidentified data from all volunteer applications (n = 53,234) for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, the authors identified a number of factors that predicted the likelihood of an applicant being selected for an interview for a volunteer position. SHRM principles were applied to volunteer selection decisions but in a limited way. The authors found some evidence of links between volunteer selection decisions and the overarching strategies of the Games. However, these decisions prioritised the short-term goal of filling volunteer positions to stage a successful Games rather than longer-term strategic goals. The research contributes to better understanding links between major event HRM strategies and volunteer selection, identifying factors which predict volunteer selection, and possible limitations in the application of volunteer database management systems from a SHRM perspective.