What You’re Doing Wrong When Hiring For Your Fitness Center

By Beth Kempton,
November 16, 2017

Employment in the U.S. fitness industry is expected to grow by 10 percent by 2026. Much of this growth can be attributed to businesses, government and insurance organizations increasingly recognizing the benefits of offering employees and members incentives in exchange for staying fit.

As the fitness industry adds jobs, this means more gyms and specialized fitness centers will open up across the country – increasing competition for both members and jobs. But to maintain a profitable fitness center, it’s key to build your best team. When it comes to attracting and hiring quality trainers and group fitness instructors, there’s always room for improvement – and you might be making the following mistakes.

You Only Hire When You Have an Immediate Opening

Many fitness centers – and other businesses – only post job openings when they need to make an immediate hire, such as when an employee leaves or the business grows. But doing so means your fitness center risks missing out on quality candidates and might end up making a bad hire in the rush to fill an open role. Instead, your fitness center should always have open roles posted on your career site. This can help you capture passive applicants – who aren’t necessarily actively looking for a job but are interested in your business –  and build a network of potential candidates so you’re not starting from scratch when a job does open up. An added benefit of continuous openings is it will get prospective personal trainers excited about the possibility of working for a growing brand.

You’re Limiting Your Sourcing Channels

When your fitness center has an open role, how do you typically share the job description and attract applicants? Some businesses in the fitness industry simply post the role on their career site or maybe post on 1-2 job boards. But having limited channels also limits the amount of quality applicants you’ll receive.

Consider instead follow a multichannel sourcing strategy that includes national job boards, industry-specific job boards – such as FitnessJobs.com and SportsCareerFinder.com – social media, employee referrals and a compelling career site. On your career site, highlight the benefits of working for your business, including company culture, benefits, opportunities for continued training and learning – such as reimbursements for additional personal training certifications certification – and employee testimonials.

When you post jobs across multiple channels, make sure to continuously track your sourcing budget and measure your ROI by dividing the total costs of each channel by the number of quality applicants you receive. This will give you a cost per candidate, which is helpful for comparing different job boards and other networks that might have different pricing models. If certain job boards or channels do not result in quality candidates – or eventual hires – for your fitness center this is a clear sign you should reallocate your budget to another, more successful source.

You’re Not Following a Hiring Process

Follow an efficient, easily repeatable hiring process so candidates don’t get stuck waiting in certain hiring steps – or accept jobs from the competition while they’re waiting for you to move forward. Using a proven hiring process, you can review all applicants in a timely manner, make sure interviews are scheduled within a reasonable window and no other steps in the process are missed. Some key steps to an effective hiring process include regularly reviewing applicants, completing multiple rounds of interviews, administering candidate skills tests, and completing reference and background checks. Completing all steps of the process ahead of each hire ensures you hire the best team possible while maintaining compliance.

You Don’t Have an Effective Onboarding Process in Place

After a new employee signs an offer letter, it’s critical to keep them engaged until the first day on the job – and provide continued onboarding throughout the first 90 days. In addition to sharing instructions for the first day – such as when and where to arrive – have new employees complete digital onboarding paperwork during this time. Paperless onboarding through a hiring and talent management platform can include signing the employee handbook, filling out direct deposit information for automated payroll, completing tax forms, and filling out benefits paperwork. This will ensure each employee has a productive first day immediately helping customers at your fitness center, rather than spending hours of administrative time completing HR tasks.

For more information on how to set your team up for success at your fitness center, download our eBook, The Franchise Onboarding Playbook.


About the Author

Beth is the content strategist on Hireology’s marketing team, responsible for creating compelling blog posts, eBooks, marketing materials and other content. Her background includes five years of experience at a B2B digital marketing agency, where she crafted content for a variety of clients, including several in the HR technology space. Before beginning her career, Beth attended Loyola University Chicago, where she studied advertising and public relations.

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