Melbourne, Australia, 15 March 2013 | Matt Trollope

Think you have what it takes to work at the Australian Open? Tennis Australia will begin advertising positions at Australian Open 2014 next month.

It’s a two-pronged process:  during April, Tennis Australia will first seek expressions of interest from past employees to return to the tournament. Past employees have the month of April to reapply for their positions. Then, from 1 June 2013, positions are advertised for new applicants wishing to work at the tournament. Prospective employees have a month to apply for their position of choice.

The staff retention rate from year to year is quite high, and continues to increase – it’s expected to be upward of 75 per cent for Australian Open 2014.

Yet new applicants should not be discouraged says Alisa McAlpine, HR Business Partner at Tennis Australia.

> View current vacancies

“We never get 100 per cent staff retention, but even if we did, we still need to recruit for wait lists for the various Australian Open roles. Almost all areas have wait lists, and almost 70 per cent of those wait lists get used as either people withdraw or if new areas of employment pop up closer to the tournament. There’s a good chance that if you’re on a wait list, you will get called up to work at the Australian Open,” she explained.

“We’re always evolving and looking for improvements, and just because the opportunities aren’t there when we initially advertise in June, doesn’t mean that more positions won’t be advertised later.”

Australian Open employment represents a fantastic opportunity to bolster your resume with major event, customer service and sporting industry experience. And with more than 30 areas of employment available, you will undoubtedly find one aligned with your area of interest, or combining several into one.

There are jobs in which you directly interact with the players, such as if you were a change room or gym attendant, courtesy car driver, hair and beauty staff, or working in accommodation, child care, player medical and concierge services. Roles focusing on customer service, including in AO Membership, corporate & VIP hospitality, Lacoste retail staff and information services, are also available.

Then there are the jobs that focus on the coverage and presentation of the Australian Open, with on-court positions including working as a ballkid, official or statistician. If you prefer the behind-the-scenes action, you could apply for work in the digital (AO website production), media workroom or broadcast teams. And if that’s not your preference, there’s always highly functional roles in accreditation, event operations and tournament control to consider.

McAlpine said that Tennis Australia is looking for people with a passion for and knowledge of tennis, a can-do attitude and great customer service skills.

“We provide a questionnaire for applicants which assesses them in a range of areas, such as if they have any prior experience working at major events, with elite athletes, or in tennis-specific employment. We also ask things like if they’re a member of a tennis club, what their tennis knowledge is like, if they speak any other languages, and other generic questions,” she said.

“Applicants then get to select their top three areas of interest for employment, and even if they don’t meet the requirements for any of those three, we will still assess them and consider them for all areas.

“We also ask them to attach a CV, but for those who don’t have one, such as younger kids, they can provide a Word document outlining any relevant experience.”

With more than 1600 employees working at Australian Open 2013, it’s also a great opportunity to make friends, develop contacts and experience the operations and atmosphere of a large-scale global event.

> View current vacancies