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Finding staff and recruiting for your fitness business

So one of the great things that people ask about is, who to hire when it comes to staff, when to hire and what to look for and staff as well.

So these are some of the things that this article will discuss, and hopefully give you a bit of insight into some of the pitfalls. Now, reading the book, Good to Great by Tim Collins, It became really obvious about how people are the main determining factor of the success of any business and whilst it's really great to hear that confirmation it also highlighted for me especially that it's not just about people and motivating people. It's in fact about finding the right people and getting the right people in the right seats in your business. So imagine on the journey of success in your business, that there are many seats on the bus and these seats can be filled by staff members, if you have the right people, but have them in the wrong seats, that can become a slight issue. But having the wrong people on the bus in general is going to mean that you have to spend a lot of time motivating your team and also putting out fires on the bus as well. A lot of the top CEOs reminisce about how they spent too long trying to train and make workarounds around the wrong people instead of being a little bit more rigorous, not ruthless, but rigorous and getting rid of the wrong people in the job. A really cool line from that particular book was actually when it said they were trying to struggle to find staff. And so, the hiring team were coming back to a well known CEO and they were saying like we can't find the exact right staff.

At what point do we compromise, you know, to reach our goals? The answer was actually we don't compromise to get success in your business. You'll always be suffering for being mediocre. If you've got the wrong people on your bus, and that'll mean that your success is largely limited by those people. So it's not an advertising issue. It's not a marketing issue. They've got to fit and align with the culture of your business and the values of your business, and that's going to attract the right customers itll also be giving you less headaches along the line. So it's not internal fights that are going on the entire time. This is a particularly pertinent point, given that in much of Australia anyway, but potentially around the world. There's a real crisis when it comes to finding staff at the moment. There may be a lot of issues that are feeding into this, such as post COVID Business seasonal workers coming in. So therefore some people are now in seasonal work that maybe weren't before. Potentially, there's people that due to mandates can't work. Some people also have realized that they don't really want to work that much, so that they're bringing back a better work life balance for themselves. But the crux of it is when you're walking around Melbourne for instance, especially, there are so many shops that have had to close early or on a particular day due to staff shortages. Every single shop has “staff wanted Inquire within” and every business has had to come up with these kinds of alternative methods of dealing with the lack of staff available. So in times like that, sometimes you can find yourself really reaching towards just anyone that can fill the role to help to move you forward. The problem is that, that's actually going to cause you more hurt in the long term, and in the medium term as well I guess. Thinking about how you can maybe pivot your services or change how you're providing your services to deal with having less staff instead of hiring the wrong people is certainly a way to go.

Another strategy is looking for people with the right work ethic, even if they may not have the level of experience and qualifications that you're after. Now by no means am I saying, Forget about knowing the actual required qualifications to work in the industry? Certainly not. But if someone's got a really good work ethic, it can be really beneficial to hire from within: so when it applies to fitness businesses are looking for people within your community. In terms of like, is there somebody who's currently exercising there that has the potential to really want to move into a career shift? Or maybe they just want to learn more and you can hold some really cool days to work around this so that you can keep your eyes on people. Perhaps you can have these kinds of free science and programming sessions or technique workshops that are aimed at people that want to know more about the program. They want to know more about how to really hone in on their technique. So they don't tend to be new people. You can have specific ones for new people. But this one is specifically for people who are more advanced lifters who've been around for a little bit of time to help them learn, maybe things that will help them be more autonomous that you don't have the time to go through in a session. So it could be like how to incrementally increase the weight, how to warm up properly, or certain stretches to do if the body's feeling particularly tight on certain days just so that you're giving a little bit more power to people that have shown a bit of interest. Now, from these days, It certainly doesn't mean that just because the person has attended that, like they may be a potential candidate. But you can actually get a sense from those days. Workshops, seminars, who might be interested in being approached for learning a little bit more or potentially even doing like a cert three here in Australia so that they can do group training for instance, and letting them know that you can be sort of supportive in that and then working that long game so that you can really find the right people for your facility and this is going to pay off dividends in the long term. You're going to find that you attract more clients, that the culture is also better and you have less headaches when it comes to knowing things going on in your work environment as well. So that's something worth bearing in mind.

Do remember if you've got people that are just that you've hired that you've actually hired as kind of a workaround because you didn't know what else to do. If they're the wrong person for that role it could be harming you. You might feel like “Oh, I'm all heart. That's why I am keeping the person around”, you know, with inflation and stuff. I don't want to be firing people. You've got to remember that you're actually stealing time, like you're stealing part of that person's life, if it is the wrong fit. You're actually stealing something worse than money from the person because everybody can get more money but they can't get more time. So giving them the opportunity to find their passion in another place should be you doing the best thing for your workers, even if they're the wrong worker for you. They're going to be right working for someone else and you still owe that to them. On top of that, many of the excuses that we come up with whilst we think that we are being a nice person are actually more to do with that you can't handle the stress or it's even harder on the other side when you've got less people or you'll have to pick up more shifts, that kind of thing. But honestly, in the long term it will pay off dividends and looking to recruit from within or to promote from within is one of the strategies of the 10 top companies that have achieved greatness in the last 100 years. Pretty much 90% of those companies did that in order to succeed. So it seemed to be that the companies that didn't do so well were the ones that tried to recruit from outside and bring them into higher up roles. And it's about that understanding of culture, understanding things in a more granular detail which you only get from observing in a non pressured situation.

If you want any more help with any of this stuff, reach out to us. We've got a number of courses that are for helping you help more people as a personal trainer upskilling and finding your niche and really honing in on that niche as well. We're more than happy to point you in the right direction because we have had years of experience and we also want to help lots of people and we can't do that alone. If we can empower more fitness professionals and more allied health professionals to be able to reach more people and help more people, that to us is a good day. Thanks!

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