2016 Rio Olympics: The Working Numbers [Infographic]

The Contingent Workforce Demands From The World’s Largest Athletic Event

When thinking about the future of work and what it might become, one plausible definition is “a never ending series of events that people choose, or don’t choose, to participate”.  In other words, together we’re building an ecosystem that supports a constant revolving door of opportunity, where any worker, at any moment, can jump in or out.

So, if the future of work is a never ending series of events, there are few larger events than the Olympics.  With around 15,000 athletes and 27 days of competition between the Olympic and Paralympic games, we researched the details to learn how they met the workforce demands for the world’s largest athletic event.

  • Relationships: Like any sustainable workforce program, it cannot be done efficiently and effectively alone.  The Rio 2016 organising committee worked with ManpowerGroup, as well as many other third-party companies, to fill a total of 90,000 vacancies.
  • Training: Due to the unique scale, international visibility and government funding, robust training programs were activated, which included over 1 million english language sessions.
  • Processes: Working closely with its partners, the Olympic organising committee leveraged ManpowerGroup’s recruiting processes for its longer-term positions, as well as provided a database of candidates for the third-party contractors to source “game-time” roles, like sushi chefs and bar staff.  And, while some processes worked well, there were still many difficulties as over 1,600 infractions and 38 temporary suspensions on construction were issued during Olympic preparations.
  • Lasting Effects: with the flexibility to activate work when they want, the future worker can expand their skills in a broader range of areas.  The Rio Olympics pride themselves on leaving a legacy of enhanced stills, particularly in the service sector, as well as processes and infrastructure, like a vastly improved waste management system in Rio.

To bring our research to life, here is an infographic that highlights the above figures, as well as more statistics from Rio 2016.