By Ben Tavener, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Organizing Committee for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games has revealed its plans for “ambitious hiring goals” in the coming year, with at least 224 positions for professionals to be advertised in 2013. By 2016, it is expected the committee will directly employ 4,000 people.
The new openings for 2013 will include posts in a range of areas, from engineers and medical staff to journalists and various technicians, administrative staff and transportation specialists, with “another ninety posts” to become available once the committee’s headquarters are moved to the city center.
“The vast majority of the Organizing Committee’s functions will end in 2016, and the length of contracts will depend on each role, although some will extend into 2017 for administrative reasons,” says Rio 2016 Human Resources Director Henrique Gonzalez in an interview with The Rio Times.
Gonzalez confirms that all positions are open to non-Brazilian professionals, although the announcements given only in Portuguese require a candidate with fluent Portuguese.
Positions not requiring Portuguese are available on the English version of the Rio 2016 site, and those with previous Olympics experience will be prioritized. The organization also confirmed with The Rio Times that Rio 2016 will assist successful foreign candidates in obtaining work visas.
Mr. Gonzalez says that along with a wealth of experience that Rio 2016 workers will gain throughout the event, the Games will leave a legacy for Brazil. According to the Committee, those hired will both gain a raft of new skills, including leadership, planning and management, and be more attractive to the jobs markets as a result of working for Rio 2016.
The Organizing Committee is hoping the “unique cultural exchange” provided by the Olympics, plus competitive market wages, will attract candidates from all over the world.
Already the Rio 2016 organization reports positions such as a Systems Assistant has received 2,433 applications, a Licensing Manager 1,611 and a Sponsors Relations Specialist had 1,471 submissions.
Rio 2016 says 36,000 other professionals will also be hired indirectly. Around 70,000 volunteers are expected to help with the Games and associated events around Rio to cater for the big influx of tourists expected in Brazil.
Hettie Allison, Brazil Manager for MLA TRUE Communications, part of Vero Communications, which was heavily involved in the 2016 Olympic bid, says that both the World Cup and the Olympics offer important opportunities for Brazil and for the companies and brands that are connected to the events:
“[We] set up an office in Rio to link into the increased demand in Brazil for agencies with international sport experience. We did that because of a belief in Brazil. We can already see top-level sponsors [involved],” Ms. Alison tells The Rio Times.
International development consultant Martin Gower-Smith, who advised on Olympic business as part of a UK delegation in Brazil, says that, as well as jobs, the Olympics provide a great short-term boost to national pride and to business, although admits the long-term benefits are less clear.
He tells The Rio Times that he is hopeful that Rio can follow in the footsteps of Barcelona, which has flourished into one of Europe’s most popular short break destinations after it transformed large rundown, derelict parts of the city to host the Olympics.
Throughout Brazil, millions of reais have been plowed into new stadiums and infrastructure projects aimed at making the 2014 World Cup and Olympics memorable events that will also benefit Brazilians, and Rio 2016 had already directly hired 371 employees by the end of 2012.
Those interested in applying for Rio 2016 positions should visit: www.rio2016.org/oportunidades.