Career and talent resources

MRT Insights

November 29, 2022

Sharing Lessons from Pro Golf to Recruiting

Mike Abate joined Management Recruiters of Tallahassee in 2011 after he met one of MRT’s Executive Recruiters, Jimmy Carter, on a local golf course. Mike’s interest was sparked as Jimmy talked about recruiting in the manufacturing industry.

Since early in life, Mike has found it very easy to talk to people and build relationships. He thoroughly enjoys helping companies achieve their goals and candidates secure their dream jobs. When Mike talks to candidates and clients, he is open and honest. He believes in transparency, as well as in letting clients know how much he values them.


It is not ironic that Mike met Jimmy at the golf course. Mike has had a passion for golf since he was a kid. He instantly fell in love with the sport after his father introduced him to it, and as he grew older, he realized that his playing abilities were strong enough to try competitive golf.  Throughout college and his early professional years, he stayed close to the game and always wanted to make a career out of it. After the tragic events of 9/11, he chose to go to school at the Golf Academy of America and earned degrees in Golf Complex Operations and Golf Course Management. His first job out of school was a “Teaching Professional” at Disney which fueled his passion for teaching and playing golf professionally. Although Mike is now an Executive Recruiter for MRT, he still plays golf at some local events in Tallahassee and owns a highly successful golf teaching academy called Core Performance Golf Academy, but he leaves the day-to-day operations to his business partner.

Mike’s previous experience and love for golf have given him countless skills to support his recruiting career. Through golf, he has learned to remain calm, be patient, and look at the big picture when talking to candidates and clients. He understands that searching for a job is often very overwhelming and recognizes how critical a candidate’s attitude, patience, and determination are when searching for a job. Similarly, these attributes are crucial in golf and Mike has been able to transfer these skills as an Executive Recruiter at MRT.

When asked how Mike relates being a golfer to being a recruiter he replied,

“Golf and Recruiting are not dragons that must be slayed.  You must look at the smaller details and keep your attention on the target and not the end result.  When you stand on a tee box and look at a difficult golf hole your mind can start to wander as to how to even play the hole, but if you stop, breathe and focus on the first swing, then the next and the next, always with the target in mind and forget about the end result success will come.  It’s a chess match.  Always putting yourself in the best position to be successful.” 


To further discuss the similarities between recruiting, golf, and life, Mike will soon be launching a video series on LinkedIn. These videos will include small lessons on golf such as Short Game, Long Game, Trouble Shots, Course Management and Playing Like a Champion. Mike knows the importance of having outlets for motivation and insight, that is why he hopes his new series will serve his audience in more ways than he ever has before. Sharing his experiences and being able to relate them back to a well-enjoyed game by many is a way Mike hopes to inspire others on LinkedIn to keep pushing even through the hard times.

Mike believes that success doesn’t happen overnight. Whether it’s in golf, recruiting, or life, it takes time, effort, training, and a lot of patience. Like golf, recruiting is all about following the process and paying attention to the details. When working with candidates, he not only looks at their skills, but their inner character to provide the best match. His fun-loving spirit allows him to easily connect with everyone he meets. Mike’s passion for golf has made a strong impact on his success as a recruiter and that is why he has become the go-to recruiter for his clients.

Our team at MRT is grateful for Mike’s easy-going and light-hearted attitude that makes our work culture fun and inviting. He has been such an integral part of MRT’s growth in 2022 and we look forward to another great year. 

Stay tuned! Be sure to join in as Mike shares his new video series on LinkedIn.

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