I work at a small fitness studio as an independent contractor. The owner of the studio is having a difficult time trying to find ways to bring in new trainers. Are there any resources to recruit trainers? What is the best medium to place an ad to specifically reach personal trainers? Any suggestions?
We recruit the majority of our trainers by hosting local, grass-roots fitness workshops and conferences. Typically, the individuals who attend these types of events are top-notch because they are committed to continuing education. Then we just watch the various attendees in action. We'll look for those individuals who are early, regularly asking if we need their assistance and are just generally keen, energetic and positive. Once we hone in on an individual like this, we'll approach them to see if they may be interested in working with us. We've had a lot of success with this approach.
We've also had a lot of success with networking with our local colleges and universities. Many of these institutions offer Human Kinetics/Exercise Physiology co-op programs for their students. The co-op administrators are looking for good companies that they can filter their students to so they can obtain on-the-job, practical experience. A fitness club or personal training studio provides a great environment to teach students the practical side of fitness theory. Many of the programs allow access to excellent long-term candidates for your business and the best part is that during the co-op phase, you are training them, so it often doesn't cost you anything besides your time. When the co-op phase is complete, you can then offer them a job and they'll be ready to go immediately. The only important criteria is that you must ensure that you are able to interview and choose your co-op student. You don't want to spend your time with someone who has no desire to continue on with you on a part-time basis once the co-op phase is finished.
And last, when we receive a resume or job inquiry, we have a system set up to ensure that we don't miss any top-notch candidates. A summary is as follows:
The hiring of Personal Trainers occurs as needed. However, to assist with the hiring and to ensure that our organization has the opportunity to hire the best possible trainers, it is recommended to interview all applicants using the following system.
Step One: Resume
All applicants must submit a resume with a cover letter outlining the position for which he/she is applying, his/her particular strengths and why they would like to work for the organization. Once the resume has been received, contact is made by NW Personal Training.
Step Two: Phone call to applicant and Orientation Package
The initial contact with the applicant will involve thanking them for their resume and explaining that in order to ensure potential employees understand Our organization’s philosophy, we ask all applicants to pick up an Orientation Package at the Front Desk. The package will include various materials (in our case, Northwest Personal Training and Fitness Education Brochure, Mission Statement form, Values form, specialty program fliers, etc...), and an Orientation Quiz. Instruct them to read through the material, and then if they are still interested in employment with your organization, they are to complete the quiz and return it to the front desk.
This process is completed in order to search for action-oriented employees. The content in the quiz is irrelevant; however, the action of picking up, completing and returning the quiz displays their willingness to work hard and take action to be successful. Once the Orientation Quiz has been returned, we will contact the applicant to schedule an interview. Note - this is a must - if they have shown enough respect to follow along with the process thus far, it is important for us to show respect to them and call them back and schedule an interview. This also ensures we don't miss any "Diamonds".
Step Three: Initial Interview(s)
The first few minutes of the interview should be used as casual conversation and chit chat. Ask yourself, Do you like this person? Do you enjoy talking with this person? Would our clients enjoy talking with this person? Do they communicate well?, etc. What does your gut say about this applicant? Remember this - if there are things about a potential team member that you don't like during the interview, you'll like them even less after you hire them. This will haunt you at a later date and cause you much more time and money than if you just had listened to your gut to begin with. We believe in hiring very slowly - take your time.
The next stage of the interview involves asking standardized questions. If it is clear early in the interview that the applicant is not a good candidate for our company, shorten the interview - don't waste your time.
The final stage of the interview, which can be completed on the same day or on another day in a follow-up interview, involves asking case study or scenario questions and role-playing.
Because we have a very structured system, we are never in a position that we are scrambling and desperate for good people. In fact, we always have a list of good candidates that we could choose from when we're ready to hire.