Best Practices for Hiring Top Fitness Talent

Posted by Meredith DePersia on Nov 17, 2022 12:00:00 PM

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Hiring is a major challenge in the market today, especially in the fitness and wellness industry. According to ADP Research Institute's People at Work 2022: A Global Workforce View, 7 in 10 workers have considered a major career change this year. So how do you hire top fitness talent?

It is essential to have a strong hiring process in place for your fitness center in order to be successful. We put together our top fitness staffing strategies from Team Active to help you.


Assess Your Recruiting Tools

How do you attract top talent? Just like membership sales, a good percentage of new hires comes from referrals. Continuously promote any employee referral programs your company offers through internal email communications and in team meetings. Review all job posting sites to make sure your company and job descriptions are up to date and reflect your business in the best way possible. Be intentional in choosing your job boards. If you are hiring for roles in management positions, or transferable business roles such as accounting, or marketing, LinkedIn is a great place to spend your recruiting dollars. If you are hiring for a personal trainer, group instructional employee, or swim instructor, look to credential issuing authority job boards. The same goes for a non-industry specific credential issuing authority job boards such as SHRM for human resources positions. Be creative and cast your net wide!


Review the Description

Look over your job descriptions and make sure your company description tells your story. Are your company values and goals reflected? Make sure the description of the role is accurate. Highlight job benefits, employee perks and any complimentary fitness center memberships included with employment. Be very specific with qualification “requirements”, if non-negotiable (i.e. days/shifts required; the number of years of experience; professional credentials; management experience). Be sure to add “preferences” to allow flexibility in what you would accept (i.e. previous work experience in a retail and/or fitness center environment; bilingual). The more specific you are in the job description the easier it is to 1. define your ideal candidate to applicants and 2. justify rejecting a specific candidate.


Reassess Your Process

Who is your ideal candidate? What set of skills and experience are you looking for in fitness staff? Take the time to define the role outside of the title so have a clear vision of who you are looking for. All employees who will be involved in the hiring process should be in alignment and understand the process. In addition, knowing what skill set supports the success of any given person in a role is key to predicting the success of an applicant after they are hired. Look at the skill set of those that came before and determine which skills helped the most, and which didn’t. Lastly, Look for those that complement your own skill set, not necessarily match them. You don’t need a clone, you need someone who excels where you don’t. That is what makes a well-rounded team. 


Hire for Engagement

Happy employees build strong relationships with fitness center members. Hire people whom you see representing and growing your brand. While interviews need to remain professional if one of these candidates will eventually be a team member allow the interview process to be a place where you can begin to build rapport and connection. Be honest and open with who you are as a leader and what the expectations are for the role. Engage in conversation and dialogue; allowing the potential new employee to feel connected to the team and the club even before joining. Remember, hard skills are easily taught. Soft skills are much harder to teach and should be a focus when choosing a candidate. 

Need help with fitness center staffing? With decades of experience recruiting fitness employees, Team Active has an eagle eye for talent. We hire key positions - executive-level facility managers, personal trainers, and fitness staff - or an entire team depending on your facility’s needs. Contact us today to learn more about our fitness staffing services.

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Circle Template_MeredithMeredith DePersia - VP of Human Resources

Meredith leads a passionate team of HR professionals responsible for employee relations, benefits, recruitment, and compliance. She has proven expertise in human resources, operations, staff development, financial management, fitness and sales management, new business growth, account management, and project management. 


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Kiley Mutschler - Regional Manager 

Kiley oversees corporate and multi-tenant accounts across Texas, Arizona, and Canada. She has over 10 years of experience managing people at all levels; responsible for hiring, training, and building strong teams within the organization.