The Buzz: Beating the hiring blues

Each month we ask club customers and managers of others fitness facilities what are the burning issues and most pressing questions on their minds:



Q: How do I beat the current hiring crisis?


A: Make working at your club an experience for hires and staff

Your situation probably goes something like this. You place a premium on your time tested ability to find the best talent for your club and members. And have a great track record in bringing onboard beloved instructors and skilled staff. But all of a sudden, candidates are disappearing and finding help is a 24/7 concern. With strained budgets and increased challenges, look to make working at your club a truly amazing experience: better benefits; a premium, supportive environment and opportunities to advance which mean a reason for people to stay, reducing turnover. Focus on three things:


1. Look after current employees first – if you start offering perks, hiring bonuses and special treatments to potential new hires, without looking to your current staff first, there’s going to be a problem. Think about an overall team or personnel strategy that treats current staff just as well as new hires and make benefits and perks a club-wide standard. Ask current staff for suggestions on areas for improvement and let them know their opinions and input is always welcome.

That doesn’t need to mean salary increases which can be difficult for many clubs. But better food during breaks, discounts or free club services, maximum flexibility with work schedules or even options for professional development and education support can go a long way to creating some goodwill as you look to hire more staff.



2. Demonstrate work-life balance to new hires – show potential hires that your club values new hires as people – with family commitments, difficult schedules and other challenges. Offer free daycare for instructors, trainers and staff with small children and transportation assistance for workers who may live further from your club’s location. Make flexible scheduling a priority for current and future staff, promoting convenience and support to all. And if it’s possible for operations and support staff to work, at least in part, remotely consider hiring talent from further afield during the short term staffing challenges.


3. Optimize current resources to prevent burnout during staff shortages – for current staff and new hires alike, burnout is a very real possibility. Until new support staff, instructors and trainers are added to your club, do whatever you can to protect and support your current team.

Can you offer more digital in-studio and streamed to home classes to take the strain off over-scheduled live class instructors? Can more use be made of on-demand short-form exercise content around the club to support the efforts of personal trainers? Or can you find temporary stand-in staff to work part time and alleviate the scheduling crush when you hit busy winter and New Year peak club traffic?