Experience

How to Perfect Your Hiring Process as a Fitness Business

Jenny20Weller
Jenny Weller
27 May 20
12 min read
Hiring-process

As the world adapts to a new way of working, businesses face the complexities of returning employees to the workplace as well as hiring new staff. Gyms and studios will be reopening in a world of social distancing, strict health and safety regulation, and hygiene protocols. Existing procedures may not be relevant now, and you may need to update areas such as training with a big emphasis on health and safety. 

Employee wellbeing and member safety should be at the center of your business. Now is the perfect time to look at your processes and perfect your hiring journey. In this article, we will discuss the new elements you need to consider during your hiring process and how to nail down your hiring journey as we come out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Skip ahead to:

The Changing Fitness Landscape 

As your business starts to grow again, you’ll likely be looking to hire new staff. Undoubtedly, there will always be traits that remain relevant and beneficial in the fitness industry, such as:

  • Passion for fitness
  • Good communication
  • Technical knowledge and experience
  • Compassion and drive 

However, the future of the fitness industry will see gyms and studios continue to provide online services and adapt to a hybrid business model. With the changing landscape of the fitness industry and a massive transition to digital content, there’s a need for new skills that are relevant in a post-COVID-19 world. Whether you’re expanding your on-demand video platform or looking to push out Instagram Live workouts daily, you need to consider how important certain skills are to your business growth. 

1. Content Creation 

There’s a huge demand for content creation in the fitness industry, from blogs and YouTube videos to live and pre-recorded Instagram workouts. Content creation forms a potentially huge task for any fitness business. If you’re looking to focus and grow this part of the business, think about hiring more people that focus on creating digital content to support the other services you offer. Perhaps photographers, videographers, and content writers would be a great addition to the team.  

2. Live Streaming 

If you plan on incorporating more live streaming into your fitness business, hiring someone familiar with live streaming is extremely valuable. If an instructor is experienced, they can easily take your classes online. As live streaming is becoming such a significant part of the fitness industry, finding employees who can grow with you is integral.  

3. Strong Personality 

Good communication skills and compassion are always welcome in an employee. But while there are some skills you can nurture, others are harder to develop. A strong personality with the ability to connect with your audience is essential for both in-person and digitally. During live streaming workouts, being able to engage and motivate users from afar is so important.   

3 Things to Consider Before Hiring New Employees

Before you jump straight into hiring new employees, the world has changed. Your policies and procedures need to reflect that change. Here are three things to think about before hiring new team members. 

1. Conduct a Hazard Assessment 

Carry out a hazard assessment to understand how to work safely and protect employees and gym members. You still have a duty to manage risks and health and safety, but a new hazard assessment should address concerns around the coronavirus. For the hazard assessment, think about the following points:

  • Where employees could come into contact with a person with COVID-19 symptoms
  • What surfaces could be contaminated with coronavirus 
  • Opportunities where staff could be in close contact with other people
  • Identify potential hazards 
  • Who could be harmed and how
  • Evaluate the risk 

2. Update Existing Policies on COVID-19 Issues 

Many of your existing policies will need to be updated to fit the current situation. Things like remote work, leave of absence, and travel policies all need to be looked at. You will also have to update your health and safety policies so that they are in line with any government advice. Any issues that can be impacted by coronavirus need to be looked at and updated accordingly. 

3. Ensure You Have PPE and Cleaning Supplies 

Your personal protective equipment (PPE) needs may differ depending on your type of business and capacity. If you need to install protective screens, increase your cleaning regime, or require staff members to wear masks and gloves, you need to ensure you have an adequate supply of equipment. It’s essential to make sure your employees are safe and well protected. 

Your current and future employees form an essential part of your gym reopening strategy. During a recent episode of The Fitness Founders Podcast, Alex Hormozi talked about how you can best utilize your staff while your business is online. His advice is also relevant for when your brick-and-mortar business is back up and running:

Each member of your team needs to have a function that ultimately drives revenue for your business. The obvious roles are planning and leading onsite/online classes. But for any surplus staff, you need to have them on the phones spending half their day following up on old leads, cold calling, or setting leads up for the final sales call. The other half of the day should be spent on making accountability calls to current members.

8 Ways to Perfect Your Hiring Process After COVID-19 

With fresh eyes on your business and updated policies, you can focus on hiring the right person to join your team. Whether you need a creative marketing type, a world-class fitness instructor, or a studio manager, now is the time to perfect your hiring process. Here are eight ways you can nail your hiring journey from start to finish. 

High-Quality Job Postings 

You have about 14 seconds to grab a candidate’s attention. According to hiring software company CareerPlug roughly 7% of job views on a post actually result in an applicant being hired. That’s a pretty low number. Therefore, it’s so important to ensure you’re sharing high-quality job postings. Consider optimizing your job posts with the right keywords to speak to job seekers in the fitness industry. 

Image source: CareerPlug

When crafting your job, instead of looking for “top-talent” or “go-getters,” speak to the reasons why someone would actually change their work. Think about how you feel when you’re looking for a new job position. Write words that mean something rather than using cliche terms. It’s important to mention soft skills you’re looking for as it gives the candidate an idea of the kind of person you’re looking for. If you spend more time creating high-quality job postings, it may help boost the number of qualified candidates you receive. 

Depending on the role you’re recruiting for, you can adjust your job post accordingly. Although you don’t have a lot of control over who applies, you do have control over how you ask. Think about a candidate’s interests and motivation. Whether you’re hiring a sales manager, social media content creator, or a new marketing team, putting more time into your job posts can help pay off in the long-term. 

Market Your Employment Opportunities 

Now that you have put time into creating a high-quality job posting, you need to focus on your marketing efforts. How will you get your job post in front of the right eyes? You want to find people who would be an asset to your gym and share similar values. Often, the people that love to come to your gym are sometimes the best fit for your team. 

Think about investing in a strong careers page on your website. Make it very easy to access and simple to navigate to really maximize your website. In today’s modern world, about 45% of job seekers use mobile search to find new opportunities. This is something to take into consideration as your job posting will need to be optimized for mobile. On top of a great website, register on global or region-specific job search platforms as well as sector forums and job boards to market your employment opportunities. 

Image source: CareerPlug

You also have the option to use social recruiting to establish a stronger connection with your candidates through social media. Social media marketing is an essential part of your recruitment marketing strategy, considering there are billions of active social media users. LinkedIn is probably the most obvious choice when it comes to using social networks for recruiting. But platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can also be useful to target and connect with potential applicants.  

Professional Certificates and Education 

When nailing down your hiring process, it’s essential to communicate the desired education and qualifications. Encourage candidates to share any relevant certificates, education, and qualifications. This gives you another metric to use when you’re reviewing candidates before the interview stage. 

If you’re looking to nurture and develop talent, you can provide training and qualification on the job. However, if you prefer someone to have all the knowledge and qualifications coming in, you’ll need to communicate this. For example, a fully qualified personal trainer will have a higher starting salary than someone who trains alongside the job and works toward a qualification.

Remote Job Interviews 

In the current climate, it’s a good idea to have the option to carry out job interviews remotely if needed. Depending on the position the city is in, there will be different travel and public transport guidelines. To create a safe environment, a remote interview is ideal for the first rounds of interviews. Although this may not apply to every situation and some people may prefer to come in, remote job interviews are a good alternative if needed. 

The interview stage is for the most promising candidates. With a good job post and a proper recruitment marketing strategy, you should be left with the cream of the crop. During the interview, you may need to find out about any health issues that will affect how they need to work. You will also need to gauge what they are comfortable with. If you’re filling a marketing position, is there an option to work from home if needed? You will already have standard questions you like to ask. To perfect your interview process, think about asking questions that are relevant to the current situation and allow you to support employee health and wellbeing.  

Contact Applicants Sooner 

According to the same study from CareerPlug, it takes 13.5 days to contact candidates from the application in the fitness industry. In comparison to other sectors, it takes just 7.52 days, on average.

Image source: CareerPlug

One of the best things you can do to improve your hiring process is to contact applicants sooner. Everything can move very fast in the world of hiring. A top applicant could apply for several positions. If you’re the last person to respond, you’re unlikely to get them through the door for an interview. 

Health and Safety Training 

When hiring new staff, it’s normal to take them through health and safety training. However, with the current situation, this will be a big focus moving forward in all industries. You will need to think about what updates you need to make to your training. This may look like extra cleaning, new entry procedures, and regular hand-washing. 

Your health and safety training should show employees and gym-goers to stay safe. Although health and safety practices are already in place, how will you reopen your gym to be safe following the coronavirus pandemic? The changes you will be making may need to last for a long time and will need to be sustainable for you and your employees. Consider how you will train your existing and new staff. 

Invest in Employee Development 

One of the top reasons for choosing a new position is how employers will help them develop. It’s critical to invest in employee development and nurture new skills. Skills like live streaming, content creation, social media marketing are all things that can be learned. 

Throughout the hiring process, emphasize how you take an interest in your new employee’s development. Several candidates might not have the specific qualification you’re looking for but are keen to learn. This allows you to mold them how you want. 

Communicate All Policies 

Procedures and policies surrounding COVID-19 will need to be communicated very clearly. New staff members will need to know what they should do if they develop coronavirus symptoms. Consider points like how long employees will need to quarantine for, who to notify, and issues surrounding paid leave. 

Your policies will also cover gym-goers and how your staff will be keeping gym members safe. What will the new entry process look like? Consider new hand-washing stations and hygiene procedures that all people will need to follow when they are on-site. Think about your strategy for gym members who have developed symptoms or tested positive for coronavirus. How long do they need to stay quarantined before returning to the gym?

In Summary 

Whether you closed your gym fully or adapted to a new way of working digitally, the world is starting to reopen again. As your business grows, you will need to hire new members of staff. Now is the ideal time to perfect your hiring process so that when the time comes, you know exactly what you’re looking for, the type of skills you need, and how to find top candidates to join your team.