Gym hiring should always follow the same process to ensure you’re adding A players to your team. Whether it’s an urgent We need help now! situation or a We need a high quality Manager soon. situation, both require the same process and care. As a gym owner, mastering the art of hiring the right staff is crucial for building a successful fitness business.
So let’s break down the process here…
Step 1: Creating Roles and Responsibilities
Before diving into the hiring process, it’s essential to create well-defined roles and responsibilities for your gym staff. Consider key positions such as the Lead Trainer, Membership Manager, Studio or General Manager, etc. Clearly outlining responsibilities ensures strategic growth and efficient delegation.
On top of that, it puts you and your staff or potential candidates on the same page. Clearly outling the expectations upfront is like a filter to weed out unwanted candidates. Want A players? Set A player standards.
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Step 2: Gym Hiring Requires Being Attractive
What does this mean? Not physically attractive, but professionally attractive. Are you the gym with the type of culture and standards high quality candidates thrive in? If so, A players will find you. Typically, A players seek a challenge with high expectations and an elevated purpose.
To do this avoid common mistakes like hiring:
- The first person to show interest when you’re desperate for help
- Because you “like them” or “have a good feeling about them”
- Friends, family, or clients
- Outside of your designated and thorough process (get help with this)
Instead, focus on attracting passionate individuals with proven experience and a commitment to your gym’s mission. One way to do this is to develop your ideal employee avatar.
Crafting Effective Job Descriptions
This ties into outlining your expectations upfront to easily weed out C or below players. To create compelling job descriptions, you want to emphasize all responsibilities, required qualifications, and the expectations, or high standards, both the role demands and your fitness business.
Gym hiring is about toeing the line between welcoming and off putting. Welcoming to people looking for a cultural fit while off putting to those unwilling to earn it. So, when you showcase your gym’s unique aspects to attract top talent, also emphasize the mission, the importance of excellent member service, fitness expertise, etc.
Cultural Fit in Gym Hiring
Assessing cultural fit ensures alignment with your gym’s values and mission. Use interviews, practical assessments, and input from existing team members to evaluate how candidates integrate with your team dynamic.
Remember, you’re not looking to date this person. This is an investment. You are investing with the expectation of a return: Happy members excited to refer people, increased sales, and everything in between.
Step 3: Always Hire A Players
Implement a detailed hiring process, emphasizing skill tests, personal vision exercises, and thorough interviews. The goal is to nurture a talent pipeline, allowing for careful consideration and alignment with your gym’s values and mission.
There are A players for every position at your gym all over the place. Sometimes you might have a trainer who’s an A and you’re looking for a lead trainer. It’s great to hire from within if you truly believe that A trainer would also make an A lead trainer. Not a B+ or C- lead trainer, an A.
You also want to keep a log of people who impressed you during your interview process. The reason is, maybe someone applied to be a trainer and they’re really only a B- or C+ trainer, but their personality and connection with members would make them an A player on your sales team. It happens all the time.
Why You Should Never Settle When Gym Hiring
Exceptional gym staff members play a pivotal role in creating a positive and motivating environment for members. By hiring the right individuals, you can set your gym apart from competitors and build a loyal customer base.
This is one of the many keys to more members, more money, and more minutes. A players are a return on your investment because they help your fitness business grow. Period. But here’s the deal, it starts with you.
If you don’t have a great system in place, if you’re not running the right plays, no amount of A players can make you successful. Great people don’t make gyms successful. Great processes run by great people make gyms successful.
Identifying Key Qualities for Gym Staff
When hiring, look for qualities such as strong communication skills, passion for fitness, and a friendly demeanor. Assess relevant experience and certifications to ensure your staff has the necessary attributes to deliver an outstanding member experience.
Keep in mind, you don’t grade these things on a curve. Well they have the experience but they didn’t seem that personable means you’re moving on to the next candidate—and that’s OK.
Conducting Effective Interviews
Develop a structured interview format that includes behavioral-based questions and on-the-job skill assessments. Have them walk you through or even demonstrate how they would handle specific situations. Test their fitness knowledge. See what they know about your gym.
The last one gets overlooked. A lot of businesses will do a full explanation of who they are, what they do, and their mission before really getting into the interview. This is a mistake. See if they did their homework on your gym before they came in. Otherwise, they can mold themselves to fit everything you just laid out about yourself.
Assessing Skills and Experience
During the hiring process, thoroughly assess candidates’ skills, previous gym experience, and certifications. Look for evidence of ongoing professional development to ensure they stay updated with industry trends.
- What book are you reading right now?
- What’s your go-to tactic with a discouraged member?
- How do you motivate members mid-class?
- Describe a time when you didn’t perform your best and what you did about…
These are just a few of the things you can ask to get to the core of a candidate’s skills and experience.
Step 4: Developing Leaders
Yes, this is technically after the hiring process, but it creates long term opportunity for hiring in the future. Again, you need to be the gym where top talents dreams of working. Where C players won’t even bother because they know only A players work there. Part of this comes from within…
Invest in the growth of your current A players by offering a clear career path. You want to duplicate them! Assess and support each team member with a formal growth plan. The ultimate aim is to develop leaders within your staff who can handle key responsibilities, fostering real freedom for you as the gym owner.
Comprehensive Training Program
Once you’ve assembled your team, provide a comprehensive training program covering things like:
- Standard operating procedures (SOPs)
- Member service skills
This investment ensures that your staff is well-prepared to deliver outstanding service. It means that any candidate who walks in to be interviewed is evaluated by an entire team of leaders who know exactly what type of person is required to make your gym successful.
Nurturing a Positive Team Environment
Build a positive team environment with team-building activities, open communication, and recognition of outstanding contributions. Yes, the demands are high… but so are the rewards. Cohesive teams maximize productivity and job satisfaction.
The Benefits of Proper Gym Hiring
Experienced staff bring valuable knowledge, expertise, and confidence to your gym. Their ability to handle challenges and mentor members can significantly enhance the reputation of your business. Which means it’s up to you to master the gym hiring process, develop the right systems and plays for A players to run, and duplicate it all to create more freedom.
Get Expert Help (The Hiring BEFORE the Hiring)
StaffingFitness.com helps you find A players and helps A players find you. It’s a two-way street. They help you identify, attract, and qualify top talent. Their formula removes the guesswork, removes the months of hiring the wrong people only to have more hard conversations than you ever intended, and puts you in the best position to win.