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Hays Shares Insights Behind Man City Players’ Success


Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people, recently launched a series of interviews with Manchester City players to learn how their success can be applied to the everyday careers of professionals.

During its six years as Official Recruitment Partner of Manchester City, Hays has identified many parallels between the world of work and elite sport. These parallels are explored in the ongoing ‘Match your Ambition’ campaign, to encourage professionals to develop their own career using inspirational stories and messaging from sport and business.

In the latest part of its campaign, Hays spoke to six players from the men’s and women’s teams – Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Kyle Walker, Keira Walsh, Nikita Parris and Jen Beattie – to understand the personal attributes and skills required to forge a success career in top-flight football. Hays experts have taken some of the inspirational stories shared by the players to advise professionals on how they can apply them to their own careers.

Choose your organisation

Fresh off the back of a memorable World Cup campaign with England, defender Kyle Walker spoke about the pull of joining Manchester City and working with manager Pep Guardiola, who is seen by many as one of the brightest minds in the game. Walker said it was a “no brainer” to join the club last year considering the opportunity to work with Guardiola, who has an established track record in developing world class defenders. Walker admitted that if he got “anywhere near” the level of elite player Guardiola has previously worked with that [he] “would have had a successful career” and said that this was only possible under Guardiola’s stewardship.

Defender Jen Beattie also spoke about the unique opportunity of playing for Manchester City. She realised upon joining the club from French side Montpellier that “you buy into the philosophy and the style of play that they want”. She said she has “improved in all areas” due to “very technical and passing-orientated style of play” that is demanded from all Manchester City players.

Drawing on the players’ insights, Sholto Douglas-Home, Hays Chief Marketing Officer, added; “It’s important that jobseekers take the time to research the companies they would like to work for and draw up a target list. An important question to ask yourself is whether your skills will be put to good use and whether you can achieve your professional goals within that organisation. After you have a good idea of the companies you would be willing to work for, you then need to start planning how to get there.”  

Make sure your values are aligned with the business

When asked how Manchester City has managed to quickly elevate itself to the top of the game, Walker noted the solid foundation at the club, where “everyone – from the players, to the staff and to the managing staff – wants to be at the same place; at the top of world football.”

Forward Nikita Parris agreed with this view, suggesting that Manchester City has “a methodology and a philosophy so that each player is on the same page”. She said the current women’s team have “never gone in underprepared” for a game as each member of the team knows their precise roles and responsibilities.

Having values and goals that are aligned with your business is crucial, according to Douglas-Home, “professionals must be comfortable in the strategic direction of the company they are potentially going to work for. Therefore, it is important that jobseekers identify a company that shares their own goals and values. It’s essential that professionals believe in what they are doing and want to achieve the same things as the organisation they work for.”

Find a mentor to help you develop your career

Parris also spoke about the importance of inspiring the next generation as a key factor in her development at the club. She believes that she has an “obligation to be a role model” and “to ensure that women’s football lasts long above her playing career”. She also admitted that it is “an amazing feeling to see a girl come up and say, ‘I want to be you’, but said that her reply is always “don’t be me, be better than me.”

Finding a strong mentor is crucial for development according to Douglas-Home. He highlighted that “finding a mentor, whether they are inside or outside the company you currently work for, is extremely important for personal and professional growth”, adding that a “good mentor can share their experiences, helping you with your career goals and helping with any big decisions.”

To view all six player videos, please click here.

About Hays

Hays plc (the “Group”) is a leading global professional recruiting group. The Group is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Asia Pacific and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe and Latin America. The Group operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. As at 30 June 2018 the Group employed 10,978 staff operating from 257 offices in 33 markets across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2018:


– the Group reported net fees of £1.072 billion and operating profit (pre-exceptional items) of £243.4 million;

– the Group placed around 77,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 244,000 people into temporary assignments;

– 19% of Group net fees were generated in Australia & New Zealand, 26% in Germany, 24% in United Kingdom & Ireland and 31% in Rest of World (RoW);

– the temporary placement business represented 58% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 42% of net fees;

– Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Chile, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA


About Manchester City

Manchester City FC is an English Premier League club initially founded in 1880 as St Mark’s West Gorton. It officially became Manchester City FC in 1894 and has since then gone onto win the European Cup Winners’ Cup, five League Championship titles, including three Premier League titles (2012, 2014, 2018), and five FA Cups. Manchester City FC is one of eight teams comprising the City Football Group and counts New York City FC and Melbourne City FC among its sister clubs. 


Under manager Pep Guardiola, one of the most highly decorated managers in world football, the Club plays its domestic and UEFA Champions League home fixtures at the Etihad Stadium, a spectacular 55,000 seat arena that City have called home since 2003. Today, the Stadium sits on the wider Etihad Campus, which also encompasses the City Football Academy, a state-of-the-art performance training and youth development facility located in the heart of East Manchester. Featuring a 7,000 capacity Academy Stadium, the City Football Academy is also where Manchester City Women’s Football Club and the Elite Development Squad train on a daily basis and play their competitive home games. 


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