Elite sport, a model of talent management for companies in the Basque Country Technology Park

Álava, Bizkaia, Gipuzkoa, K·talent, News

With the help of K-talent, management and human resources managers from several Parke companies have been able to learn about the strategy of clubs such as Surne Bilbao Basket, Real Sociedad and Baskonia in the recruitment, loyalty and management of highly qualified professionals on the pitch.

The Basque Country Technology Park has brought the Parke companies closer to the management model of three of the most important sports entities in the Basque Country -Bilbao Basket, Real Sociedad and Baskonia-, through two conferences held during the month of May in the sports facilities of these clubs. The initiative, organised by the K-talent service, has highlighted the closeness between the business world and elite sport when it comes to managing talent, especially in these two fields where supply is very limited and demand is growing and highly competitive.

The first day took place at Surne Bilbao Basket’s new training facilities in Artxanda. The club’s president, Isabel Iturbe -who is also president of AED-Association of Businesswomen and Women Managers of Bizkaia- highlighted the relationship between sport and business and the possibilities of finding answers to the question: “How to get the best out of your team?

“Feeling the colours”

In this line, the Sports Director of Surne Bilbao Basket, Rafa Pueyo, presented the strategic lines of the club in the field of people management, and specifically of elite professionals, to human resources managers and directors of companies such as Valmet, KREAN Group, ITP Aero, CIC bioGUNE, Ingeteam or Ayesa. As a culmination, some of them had the opportunity to enjoy a “sports pill” on the court, with a few minutes of play and a training session with the spectacular ball-launching machine used by Pantzar, Rabaseda or Kileya-Jones.

“Feel the colours” was the slogan that guided the second day of K-talent, held at the Reale Arena. In the press room of this stadium, where Real Sociedad has once again cemented a great season that has culminated with qualification for the Europa League, more than 40 managers from Parke companies met to learn about the keys to creating an attractive and stimulating work environment, capable of creating loyalty and commitment among outstanding professionals both in sport and in the company.

Talent, a scarce commodity

The expert in HR, Strategy and Management, Verònica Platas, presented the challenges in this area, marked by the scarcity of talent, the “great resignation”, and absenteeism. She also pointed out the importance of meeting the expectations of young people in terms of employment, which include a salary in line with the job, work-life balance facilities and development opportunities.

From the field of sport, Luki Iriarte, Director of grassroots football at Real Sociedad showed the whole process followed at the club from the early years – boys and girls as young as 12 years old who begin to be linked to Real Sociedad and to have contact with sport while they are being academically trained until they make the step to the elite – and spoke of the need to select talent ‘in time’.

Jon Alberdi Echeverria, CEO of VIVEbiotech, also took part in the conference, focusing on two basic concepts: purpose and authenticity, and Silvia Soto del Río, head of HR at the same company, who, together with Luki Iriarte, led a special press conference on differentiation and loyalty in the Employer Brand.

Finally, the impressive Buesa Arena in Vitoria-Gasteiz hosted the last of these K-talent conferences, held in collaboration with Baskonia – Alavés Group. After an introduction by Verònica Platas, the attendees were able to learn about the strategy of two benchmark companies in the Euskadi Technology Park in Alava. First of all, Asier Urzelai Azpeleta, Director of the People Area of CIC energiGUNE, presented the main data of this Basque research centre, a world reference in the field of energy. Afterwards, Eneritz Zubizarreta, Director of the QA Area at IZERTIS, explained what needs to be taken into account in any company in order for talent to want to stay.

From a sporting point of view, Félix Fernández, Sports Director of Baskonia – Alavés Group, spoke about the balance between personal and sporting training. “We have to have players who identify with us, and who know that they are going to have a chance of winning,” he said. A maxim that can and should be applied to the company, as has been shown in the three days that have managed to unite business and sport on the court.


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