Interview with Didier Rossi, Global Head of HR at FIBA
Didier Rossi is the Global Head of Human Resources at FIBA, the world governing body for Basketball. The Federation was recently appointed as one of of the Top 5 Most Attractive Employers in Sport in the Category "Governing Bodies". This is one of many interviews with top recruiters in the industry that were published in a brand-new report by iWorkinSport.
The study surveyed more than 1,000 people from all continents, with the majority already working in sport, and asked them a simple question: “If you could choose to work anywhere in sport, where would that be?”
Initially, the respondents chose organisations divided into nine categories, and at the end, they indicated one single preferred choice, overall – the “Employer of their Dreams”.
The publication features rankings of the most attractive employers in sport divided in the following categories: Football Clubs, Sports Teams (other than Football), Sports Teams in the USA, Sports Leagues, Sports Governing Bodies, Event Organisers, Sports Marketing Agencies, Sponsors, and Sporting Goods Companies.
Additionally, the report presents the aspects that candidates rate as most important when deciding where they would like to work.
Enjoy the interview with Didier Rossi:
WHY DO SO MANY PEOPLE WISH TO WORK AT FIBA?
FIBA’s mission is to develop and promote the game of basketball, uniting the wider basketball community. We are obviously known through our global competitions (the FIBA Basketball World Cup, the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup, the FIBA 3x3 World Tour and the Olympic Basketball Tournaments). And we also have a lot of regional competitions and several international Club Leagues. However, I believe what may attract potential recruits is the dynamic image of a modern and innovative sports organisation. We have a clear vision of being one community and developing it further for basketball to be the most popular sports community.
The common values that unite us are also very appealing to prospective employees:
- SMART - Skilful, well structured, precise and transparent
- PROGRESSIVE - Dynamic, proactive and driving change
- OPEN - To everybody everywhere, prestigious and credible
- RESPONSIBLE - Fair-play, ethical and socially responsible
- TOGETHER - Strong individuals cooperating as a strong team
WHAT MAKES FIBA A GREAT EMPLOYER?
As per our internal Employee Engagement Survey that we run regularly with our employees, what they appreciate most are our goal setting, the support of management, the work environment provided and the quality of their relationships with peers.
Management support is obviously a key element of employee engagement. We continuously develop leadership skills through regular management training for our leaders. We are also digitizing our training offerings, allowing all our employees to develop very specific technical skills as well as managerial competencies, and in some cases even offer the possibility to complete a full MBA program.
Our work environment is also exceptional and I encourage you to come visit us when the pandemic will allow it. Finally, our employees are Basketball lovers, share the same passion for sport and thrive to be the best in whatever they do. Many say their co-workers are their friends.
HOW CAN FIBA BECOME AN EVEN BETTER EMPLOYER?
We don’t like to rest on our laurels - we are continuously trying to make further improvements. We obviously identify priorities through the feedback we receive from our employees via the engagement survey, but we also regularly check where we stand in the market via external bodies. I am also regularly in discussion with HR Directors colleagues in similar organisations.
This is directly driving our HR Strategy, that I renew every 5 years. When I joined FIBA, we started with “HR in TOUCH” and we are now launching the next step titled “Putting the HUMAN in the centre”:
- Hoist HR to Best in Class practices
- Upgrade leadership & management skills
- Maximize diversity in staff
- Attract & retain top talents
- Nurture skills and competencies
These HR actions are essential to best support our core functions and deliver our goals.
WHAT ARE THE CHANGES CAUSED BY THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC THAT WILL REMAIN IN THE WORKPLACE, ONCE THE CRISIS HAS PASSED?
We were well prepared when the pandemic started. We already had “Work From Home” policies in place and the right IT infrastructure to operate remotely. We were amongst the very first employers to ask all our employees to work from home in March 2020 – their health has always been our top priority. Regarding their mental health we have also offered several support programmes: “Time Management while working from home”, “Health and Wellbeing” and “Emotions Management in COVID times” for instance. We can now say that this crisis has proven that we can continue to deliver top quality work despite the situation – this has again proven how passionate we all are.
Post-Pandemic, we will further boost our Work from Home policy and we are also developing new benefits for which I reserve exclusivity to our employees. We are glad to say that we have managed to deliver competitions across the world and keep a strong link with our member federations and fans.