You can have a prime location and the most updated equipment, but still there’s one additional factor that is critical to your success—having rock star employees. From the front desk person who welcomes members by name to the personal trainer who helps members reach their goals to the group exercise instructor who exudes enthusiasm, it’s the personal touch your staff provides that separates and elevates your gym from the competition.
And it’s not just about qualifications—although those are key—your staff also needs to have a personality that helps make members feel both comfortable and inspired. Wondering how to attract these great employees? Here are five tips to recruit top-level Group Exercise Instructors for your gym:
1. Go where the new talent is.
Anyone who’s serious about joining the fitness field will focus on getting the required certifications, and these courses can be a hotbed of go-getters eager for their “big break.” Get to know the instructors who teach the certification classes to find out who they have identified as the superstars. Or become an instructor yourself to connect with great, fresh talent.
2. Get to know your area’s top instructors.
You know which clubs and classes are getting all the buzz. Go ahead and attend an instructor’s group fitness class a few times, then make your move after class to complement their vibe and ask if they are open to more work. “This is a proven strategy for recruiting instructors without coming across as though you’re trying to ‘steal them away’ from where they currently teach,” says Jackie Mendes, World Gym’s Director of Franchise Sales for North America.
3. Identify team members who might be on hiatus from their current location.
If your gym is growing, other facilities’ losses can be your gain as there are lots of great employees who have been laid off. Your first stop should be the places where instructors are actively looking, such as the job boards of certification organizations like ACE, AFAA/NASM and ACSM, to name a few, recommends Mendes.
But many fitness employees may just be “on hold” right now and not actively looking. Research the status of clubs in your local area that might have closed either temporarily or permanently, along with larger corporations that previously had their own fitness program. These employees could be in a holding pattern waiting for their facility to re-open—but be delighted to take on some work in the meantime. With a little sleuthing, you can easily identify these locations’ former instructors so you can reach out via a private social media message or by finding mutual friends who can connect you. The best part is that these trainers almost certainly already have loyal fans who will likely follow them to their new gig—building your membership rolls in the process.
4. Build your reputation.
Ideally this top talent will be seeking you out. Be active with your marketing and social media to build buzz that’s impossible to ignore. Take the time to shout out your instructors, share their content and post positive comments you hear from clients about individual staff members. Once local instructors become familiar with your club and realize that it’s somewhere they want to be, they will come knocking on your door.
5. Be a place they want to work.
Finally, commit to keeping your talent once you have them. The top perk you can offer is schedule flexibility. Many of the best instructors work at more than one place so don’t insist on all or nothing, especially if you are hoping to woo them. As they become familiar with what makes your gym great, they are likely to gradually increase their hours. And of course, you want to make sure you are paying market rates, providing them with a safe environment and creating the positive team vibe that will make them gravitate toward your gym rather than others.