Finding The Right Personal Trainer
“How do I find great trainers for my new studio?” This is one of the first and most asked questions by a new club owner when putting together their plan to start a new fitness studio. Just like any new business owner, you can have a great idea and purchase all of the bells and whistles but having a great team will determine whether or not your business will stand the test of time.
Hiring your team is an extremely crucial part to the growth and success of your business. However, there are times when hiring your team can be a detriment to the growth and success of your business as well, which means that you have to be careful when creating your team.
You have been planning every detail of your business for months, you have a great concept for your new studio, you know that people will love it; you know that you are about to change lives, and that success is waiting for you. But now it is time to create your dream team to help you carry on your vision because you only want the BEST working for you and representing your business in your community.
Highly qualified Personal Trainers and Instructors are everywhere these days and it is up to you as the head honcho of your new business to find them because chances are, the best ones will not just walk into your new studio looking for a job. They are out there either working independently as their own boss and maybe they are looking for a change. Some are doing in-home training sessions, some are already working at other fitness facilities, and some are newly certified and/or fresh off an intense internship program and just waiting for the opportunity to start their fitness career, show off their knowledge, and change lives!
So, how do you attract these highly qualified fitness professionals? How do you get them to even consider joining your team?
Put yourself in their shoes. If you were a highly qualified fitness professional and already employed, what would it take for you to leave your current situation and join a new studio? Would it be money, health benefits, the club owner’s vision for the mission, the excitement of joining a new club, their brand or management opportunities? Think from the standpoint of the fitness professional and try to be what you think they need while also staying true to your mission statement and vision.
Internships – This is one of my personal favorite ways to find great trainers because as the fitness industry becomes more and more saturated with fitness professionals, I believe that the newly certified trainers are looking for ways to stand out and are hungrier than ever. They are extremely passionate, dedicated, loyal, and are looking for ways to not only gather experience but also potentially showing their new employer that they are ready to start from the ground floor. It is very common nowadays that these new trainers are better than some of the more experienced trainers and have the passion to match it, since they are so new to the industry and are excited to get started.
Internships are often used as a “courting” period where you can really see the work ethic of an individual before you commit to hiring them. The internship process kind of reflects the old adage, “slow to hire, quick to fire” because it is often said that the easiest way to fire someone, is before you hire them. So it is best to do your homework thoroughly when you’re looking to hire a new trainer and what better way to not only do your research and also see their work up close, than an internship. You can create your own in-house internship and just market it locally to whomever passes your criteria for admittance OR you can partner up with your local community college or University to offer your internship to various majors such as Kinesiology, Physical Education, Physical Therapy, and Nutrition. As I stated above, this option is great and one of my favorites because if you find someone who has the great personality but possibly lacks the experience, then you can train them to be phenomenal and under your brand.
Word of Mouth – Word of mouth is always a great way to recruit people to your business as not only a new customer but also for your staffing needs. Word of mouth is huge and in a lot of ways, it screens the fitness professionals who are truly interested in being a part of your brand. There are lots of ways to create your word of mouth buzz but nowadays, the most common consist of community. Hopefully with you starting a new studio in your town, you have already been living in (or around) that city for a while and have somewhat of a network created so that you can put the word out to people that you know for qualified leads. However, if you don’t have a network in the community that you are starting a studio in and don’t know many people, then NOW would be the time to go out and shake a lot of hands and introduce yourself. You can do this by joining the chamber of commerce, getting involved with a local non-profit or rotary club via a committee or board of directors, and/or donating your time at a local school or church. The more people that know what you’re doing, know what you’re building, and that you’re looking for people to carry out your vision, the better chance that you will have to reap the benefits of penetrating their circle of friends and eventually meeting and/or getting introduced to potential employees and customers.
Social Media – It has been said that no other industry has benefited from social media more than the fitness industry. There’s a reason for that; social media allows you to broadcast your business in various ways from fitness videos, to motivational talks, quotes, fitness pictures, and even for staffing needs. Most people want to know who they are doing business with and with the reach of social media, prospective employers and employees are able to see one another before they even meet. As an employer, it is your job to make sure that your brand is accurately reflected across the board and especially online where it can get viewed by the masses. Winners want to be around winners and if you can create the kind of brand and image to attract quality trainers, they will definitely find you, keep an eye out, and eventually look to join your team when the time is right for them. But on the other side of that, a lot of great trainers will have their own personal (or business page) as well on various social media channels and you can follow and even reach out directly to them to create a networking relationship as well, just to let them know that you exist. The only thing that I would recommend is that you be careful for the ones who are already employed by other fitness facilities as you don’t want to break the code of ethics and try to recruit from your competitors. That’s almost like trying to date someone that is already married and we already know how that movie ends. So just respect the boundaries and stay in touch with these great trainers.
About the Author
Mike Z. Robinson is the owner of the highly successful personal training facility, MZR Fitness as well as Mike Z. Robinson Enterprises which features & highlights a myriad of options to help fitness professionals grow their businesses and careers. Mike was the 2015 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, is the author of the E-Book: “Fitness Up, Everything Up”, and he is also a Media Spokesperson for both the American Council on Exercise & IDEA Health & Fitness Association.