active CEO Podcast #22 Robert McMurtrie Pioneering With Green Fields

Robert McMurtrie – Founder Sports People Recruitment

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, we are talking about recruiting talent, leadership performance, being an entrepreneur and managing your energy levels. We discuss the interview process, who should apply for roles, is the employer right for you and the changing landscape in sport.


Robert McMurtrie has been at the cutting edge of the sports industry for the last four decades. He is a man of integrity, respect, trust and a sharp eye for detail when it comes to ensuring people have the best chance of securing that dream job that desire.

It is very rare that someone gets a “green field’, clean slate, in every
role they have ever worked in. His career in sport took a giant leap in 1985,
after being a Sport & Recreation officer at the Australian National
University and Macquarie University, when he was appointed the National
Executive Director at Netball Australia. He then put the pedal to the metal
with a highly successful tenure as the CEO and Event Director at the Australian
Motorcycle Grand Prix.

Sporting events are special and Robert was fortunate to lead the
delivery of five World Championship events, including three Motorcycle Grand
Prix’s, the 1992 International Six Days Enduro and the 1988 Coca-Cola World
Youth Netball Championships.

The 1987 Confederation of Australian Sport – Sport Administrator of the
Year, is the founder and director of Sports People, the world’s first online
job board for sport and is now the number 1 place to find sport, fitness,
aquatics, recreation and leisure jobs. In 2018 they sold Sports People Job
Market and now focus on People Recruitment Group.

Sport has always been a real passion, completing a Bachelor of Physical
Education at the University of Western Australia and a Master of Education at
the University of Sydney. He also studied Applied Personal Consulting, HR at
Deakin University. O

Robert talks about:

  • You are not a great value to your family or employer
    if you are constantly tired.
  • Growing up in Woy Woy with a full on active
    lifestyle, where he first found a love for swimming
  • Starting out in the sport industry at Australian
    National University in Canberra, and setting up the first Sport and Recreation
    program at Macquarie University in Sydney.
  • People who was are the most likeable, are the most
    likely person to get a job.
  • “Any idea is not a bad idea”
  • Managing Australian Netball Captain, Liz Ellis, who
    made the comment that he had 100 ideas, 99 were really bad and one of those was
    really good.
  • The biggest change in the sport sector over the past
    40 years.
  • Within sport the most consistent things about
    salaries are their inconsistencies.
  • Being first to market in the early days and being
    exclusive for the first ten years.
  • Establishing People Recruitment Group with his wife,
    after selling Sports People Job Market in 2018.
  • People Recruitment Group expanding with Fashion
    People and People Recruitment.
  • When recruiting People Recruitment Group staff they
    look for the ability to engage with people, to listen more than talk and to be
    a good judge of people.
  • People not reading the position description and
  • Just because you can apply, doesn’t mean you should
  • Its important to structure an interview process so
    it is conversational and incorporate an audition element such as a pre-planned
    scenario presentation
  • The power is always in the hands of the candidate.
  • Australia wins one gold medal and that is in the
    obesity stakes.
  • The influence of the late Deirdre Hyland AM, who was
    President of Netball Australia, had on his career.

Active CEO Wellness

Quick Fix – How much time are you prepared to allocate and schedule each day of the week to ensure your mind and body are ready to deliver peak performance in the workplace? If you have a tight schedule, family commitments and travel often, it cannot be underestimated how beneficial doing short, intense sessions can be. If you are struggling to regularly keep fit, high-intensity exercise done in as little as 15-30min, 2 or 3 times a week, can still be incredibly beneficial for your health and fitness. No one can tell me that they can’t find 15-30min in their day, to take care of themselves!


“Recruitment is a two-way street. The employer is assessing if you are
the right candidate and more importantly you are assessing whether they are the
right employer for you.

” Deciding on a job with Robert McMurtrie on the active CEO Podcast.

“It doesn’t matter what your cash flow is, you can still run a business.
Just make sure you have enough to cover the basics and keep doing what you do
and it will improve.” Robert McMurtrie reveals what Peter Burns taught him in
the early days as an entrepreneur on the active CEO Podcast.

“A coach being more than a coach, they teach you about what is possible,
what you can do and why you should do it.” Robert McMurtrie explaining that
there is more to a coach, on the active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Sports People Recruitment
People Recruitment Group blog
Sports People Job Market
Macquarie University Sport & Recreation Link
Australian National University Sports & Recreation
Netball Australia
Motorcycling Grand Prix Australia
Craig Johns LinkedIn
Ben Gathercole LinkedIn
Ben Gathercole Performance Coaching

Recommended Reading:

Better Than Winning – Ben Gathercoles’s best selling book link

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