Articles for Employers

Can the Roots of Engagement Sell Your Job Ad?


What if we were appealing to candidates in our job ads with the same psychology that other companies are using to retain staff?

Using Jim Hauden’s Four Roots of Engagement, following are four areas to touch on with your job ad to ensure that it resonates with the right people.

Rule 1. People want to be part of something bigger than themselves

We all know that gyms are in business to sell memberships, but what is the ‘why’ behind the business. There must be a story in there that deserves to be told. Can you speak of your niche focus and why you’re there? Are you able to talk about the change you’re making to your community?

What are the values and goals that are driving the business forward – it might be a combination of the wider goals of your chain (if relevant) as well as the club specific goals.

Set the tone with your culture and focus from the outset. The more that candidates can get to know and understand about the business, the easier it is to share your vision.

Rule 2. People want to feel a sense of belonging

Staff are most engaged when they feel like they belong. A job ad that is able to resonate this sense of belonging the more interesting it will be.

Have your staff been awarded in the past? Is there a structured social agenda for the team? How can you highlight the value placed on each member of your team?

Rule 3. People want a meaningful journey

A meaningful journey has elements of extraordinary challenge, risks, excitement, suspense, unexpected events, unknown outcomes, a dare to go and a purpose that makes it all worthwhile”

As a rule, employers avoid some of the less enjoyable elements of Personal Training roles in favour of talking up the things we believe Trainers want to hear. According to Chip and Dan Heath in ‘Decisive‘, “Realistic job previews have been shown to reduce turnover even when they are given after the employee is hired.” Maybe touching on challenges and risks in a job ad can not only increase the chance of getting the right applications, but can also increase the chance of new hires coping better (and sticking around) when facing the inevitable difficulties (In Decisive, they refer to this as the ‘vaccination effect‘).

When tied in with the sense of belonging and purpose, the meaningful journey could become a valuable part of your businesses story.

Rule 4. People want to know they make an impact

The fitness industry abounds with people in all roles that are driven by a need to make an impact.

How can you include the impact that your current staff are making? How will the person who fills the role you have available make a difference to your clientèle?

Do what you can in the job ad to directly connect candidates to the potential impact of their work. Show them that they have an opportunity to become a critical part of your business. In short, let them see how they will make an impact.

Great candidates in the fitness area are becoming increasingly harder to find as new clubs of all shapes and sizes spring up all over Australia. While there is often a focus on differentiation to clients, there is generally less effort put into differentiating the role as an employer.

Maybe a renewed focus in this area will make attracting the right candidates just that little bit easier?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s