Recruiting is not always easy, but you can stack things in your favour. This article outlines five ways that you can stack the recruiting deck in your favour.
Whether you’re a sole trainer who’s ready to bring your first employee on board, or a long-established business on the lookout for the next team member, all employers share the same need – to attract the best people for their team.
What all but a few fitness employers realise is that the process of attracting the best people to your team should begin before there is any need for staff.
Here are five ways you can gain an edge over your recruiting competition.
1. Develop an ‘always recruiting’ mentality
Keeping an eye out for great talent does not mean you’re under any obligation to hire, it’s just about ‘packing the pipe’ because you can never be sure when you’re going to need someone.
Get to know potential candidates and lay some groundwork that will save you valuable time and money in the future, so when you do need to hire, you’ll already have a bank of people ready to approach, making life a lot easier!
Doing this also puts you in the right frame of mind to seize opportunities when they arise. For example, you may think it’s not worth advertising to fill the limited hours you have available, but then you just happen to bump into someone at a social gathering who’s looking for a few hours’ work! It’s not that you’re hitting up everyone you meet but more that you’re keeping your mind open to possibilities and opportunities.
Of course, if you have the budget then a structured approach to ‘always recruiting’ will yield better results. For example, advertising on an ongoing basis or using a service like HealthyPeople.com.au to reach out to local candidates every week will increase your chances enormously of building the perfect team.
2. Create a space that talks to potential candidates
Is there a place on your website where people can learn about working for your business from an employee’s perspective? If not on your website, is there space elsewhere, such as HealthyPeople.com.au or FITREC where potential candidates can find out about you, your team, your ethos, the type of clients you work with, and the benefits you offer employees?
How do you show pride in your existing team? Whether on your website, in-club or via social media pages, make sure you’re conveying appreciation in public, for your staff
3. Maintain contact with good candidates
If you have a great candidate that you’re not able to employ right now, then keep in touch by inviting them to certain events such as open days designed for potential candidates.
If you get a speaker in to educate your staff then consider offering these potential candidates free or discounted tickets. You might even like to design and distribute a quarterly newsletter that’s created specifically for this purpose.
The key is to develop ways to showcase exactly how different your culture is from the other fitness opportunities out there
4. When you do advertise a role, treat it like you’re trying to find a date
There are a wealth of opportunities for good fitness professionals including going it alone. So it’s imperative that you really sell the role.
Avoid buzz words, such as ‘community’, ‘culture’, ‘state-of-the-art’ or ‘do what you love’ because these sorts of descriptions are in most fitness ads in one form or another – meaning, they won’t stand out. Of course, if you really do want to use those overly used descriptors then at least try and put some meat on the bone! What is it about your ‘community’ that makes it special? If your equipment is ‘state-of-the-art’, to what end – is it functional or just floor candy? Same goes for ‘team atmosphere’ and ‘culture’ – what makes it great to be a part of your team? Do you offer ongoing learning? Do you have a structured system for career progression.
5. Get ready to train and look after the best candidates
There are two parts to this.
(i) You should always try and hang on to great staff in preference to trying to find new ones. Upskilling and supporting your staff as much as you can, goes a long way to making this happen.
(ii) When recruiting, hire for attitude* and be prepared to train for skill. Or if you want someone who’s ready to hit the ground running then make sure you are structured to give them all the support they need.
* Please note that the preference for ‘attitude’ does have it’s limitations. Ensure that your recruiting process includes some test of ability to learn. Attitude will not make up for incompetence.
Recruitment for fitness roles is a competitive space. Making small but effective changes to your approach will give you the edge when it comes to finding the best people for your team. Good luck!
This article first appeared in FITREC’s Raising the Bar magazine for industry professionals.