Our Manchester United RPO: Inside the business of football

Find out how our Manchester United RPO enables one of the world’s most iconic brands to be the best both on and off the pitch.

Beyond its superstar players lies a vast network of talented people who navigate the complexity of the Manchester United business model and the sheer scale of its operations to enable the club to continue delivering the true magic of the beautiful game and reaching millions of people around the globe…

manchester united RPO

The challenge

Making this happen requires a talent partner so intrinsically linked that it blurs the lines between ‘them and us’ creating one united team. Their mantra is to attract, develop and retain a best-in-class workforce that sits behind the scenes and sets the club apart from its competition.

Manchester United’s retained talent partner, RP01 – the Morson Group’s recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) delivery arm – needed to focus on developing the club’s employer brand, creating streamlined candidate journeys, evolving ED&I agendas and developing behavioural frameworks, all whilst delivering the plethora of diverse skills that the business requires.

The Club also needed a partner who could support them through and intense period of change as they adapt to a new helix model of reporting and new operating models.

The solution

RP01 recruit for the full suite of roles available at Manchester United, from sports science roles and player care roles  that unique to football, to the Sponsor Servicing team that activate global partnerships. We also recruit for operational roles that enable successful matchday and tour experiences, core head office roles, commercial development, strategy and many more. The team cover recruitment at every level from interns right through to executive level hires.

“You’ll struggle to find someone who doesn’t know the club’s name, yet what is a blessing can often be a barrier to those who don’t realise the huge infrastructure around the team. You don’t need to be an avid football fan to work at Manchester United; it’s our mission to recruit the best talent for the role. However, you can’t help but support the team, just as you would with any business you work for!


We’ve recruited physios, software programmers, coaches, partnership leads, social media specialists, goalkeeping scouts, football analysts, fundraising executives and groundsmen. We’ve even recruited two seat fixers to maintain the 75,000 seats within Old Trafford.


Understanding the nuances of every role has been critical to our success. From day one, our mission was to build mutually beneficial relationships across the entire business, not just with HR business partners and hiring managers, to understand how this unique puzzle pieces together. Hiring managers now come to us with every role, which is testament to the trust and autonomy of our relationships and having spent the time to get under the skin of the football industry.” 

Being fully integrated into the People function allows us to understand the Club’s needs and tailor RP01’s service to meet these. We provide additional candidate attraction tools to access the widest possible range of potential applicants. Introducing video interviews at the initial stage of the process allows for efficient shortlisting to find the best candidates and bring their CVS’s to life.

To ensure that we are providing an excellent service, we also regularly seek feedback from hiring managers via surveys to ensure that we continuously improving our service. Our Head of Candidate experience is focused on optimising the end-to-end hiring process for candidates, introducing digital products, enhanced communications, feedback surveys and an enhanced induction process. This ensured a positive and fair experience for each and every candidate regardless of the outcome.

We have also introduced Manchester United to our Morson Screening service, which has enabled a streamlined and integrated hiring and screening service, providing consistency for both hiring managers and pending employees.


RP01 have a direct fill rate of over 90%, but more than that we have created a strong relationship whereby Manchester United trust RP01 with highly confidential projects. RP01 are encouraging and promoting hiring managers to keep workforce diversity at the forefront of everything that they do, empowering them to think about the validity of the requirements they have and challenging the ‘this is the way we’ve always done it’ mentality. We would not be able to have this impact if we hadn’t built a trusting and equal partnership with the brand.

Sarah McGuire, head of talent development and resourcing at Manchester United, added:

We’ve been focused as a team to build relationships and centralise the talent function within the club, all whilst demonstrating our expertise and credentials by delivering a consistently excellent service that helped engage those within the club who didn’t necessarily understand the role of our partnership at the outset. RPO1 live and breathe the club’s brand and are our colleagues.

This RPO has enabled us to work on developing a first-class recruitment service at the club, which also allows us to focus on the complete talent journey. Having tasked the RPO1 team to quickly fill a backlog of roles, combat costly agency fees and deliver value for money from day one, we’re now focused on adding layers to our partnership and building on this great foundation by developing the club’s employer brand.


Football is king, which naturally garners the club’s priority focus and investment, but we’re now broadening our scope and taking our employer brand out to market by focusing on elevating candidate experiences, digitising the recruitment journey, proactively taking steps to continue diversifying our workforce, and building future-focussed pipelines of early talent at grass roots level. We’re adding value throughout the entire talent journey by working with hiring managers to attract the right people for long-term careers with the club and sharing the stories of our exceptional talent that sit behind the scenes.

We’ve been supporting organisations, like Manchester United, for more than 50 years in sourcing the very best talent, overcoming their recruitment challenges and capitalising on new opportunities with innovative talent solutions.

If you would like to find out more about our RPO solution provided by RP01 and how we can help your organisation transform through talent, get in touch with our RP01 director Sam Price, at sam.price@morson.com or visit www.rpo-one.com