No fitness center is complete without qualified employees that are enthusiastic about helping clients achieve their fitness goals. In many ways, your fitness center employees are the most important aspect of your business. Your facility and your machines may help attract clients, but it's your employees that will ultimately retain those clients - or not. Take a look at some tips that will help you hire the kind of fitness professionals that will ultimately improve and strengthen your fitness center.
Make sure your employees have credentials that your clients can trust.
The interesting thing about hiring fitness professionals is that the industry doesn't have any universal standards. Different states have different requirements, and in some states, there are no rules at all about who can call themselves a personal trainer or fitness instructor. Even if some certification is required in your area, the quality of the various fitness trainer programs out there varies wildly.
That means that when hiring fitness professionals for your facility, it's important to be aware of not just the requirements - or lack thereof - in your state, but you also need to be aware of the different training programs and their value. It's important to know the difference between a potential hire who's received a degree or certification from an accredited and respected fitness training program, and a potential hire who's received certification from a diploma mill with few standards or rigorous programs of study. You want employees who have legitimate credentials that will be an asset to your facility.
Find out if your potential hire has what it takes to lead.
Of course, credentials aren't everything, and in a hands-on business like fitness training, they aren't necessarily even the most important thing. One thing that's vital to do when screening potential fitness center employees is ensuring that they can actually demonstrate their skills.
Your clients won't have confidence in a trainer or instructor that is out of shape or can't keep up with their level of activity, no matter how much academic knowledge the employee has about health and fitness training. Your employees also need to demonstrate a high level of people skills. The fitness field is one that requires working closely with clients and being able to motivate and inspire as well as instruct.
Physical agility and endurance and interpersonal skills are difficult to capture on a job application. You may want to have potential hires do a test run - have them teach a short class, deliver a presentation, or provide you with a sample of an exercise program that they've created.
Knowledge of Your Clientele
Not all fitness facilities have the same goals, and yours will naturally cater to your specific clientele. It's important that anyone you hire understands your clients and is ready to meet their specific needs.
For example, a corporate fitness center for employees working in a high-stress industry might be geared more toward stress relief, with a focus on activities like yoga and mindfulness meditation. A community fitness center in a residential neighborhood might put more emphasis on weight loss and general health. Other gyms may focus more on bodybuilding and weightlifting. No matter what your focus is, it's important to make sure that your potential employees understand and are ready to meet the needs of your core clientele.
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