16 Recruiting Best Practices for Hiring & Leading Great Staff

16 Recruiting Best Practices for Hiring & Leading Great Staff
Courtesy IHRSA.com

Courtesy IHRSA.com

Eric Schmitz, president of California Athletic Clubs, contributed to this article.

Your employees can mean the difference between a successful and a failing fitness business. Ensure you are following these best practices for hiring, training, and developing your staff.

A well-trained, motivated staff can boost sales revenue, membership numbers, retention rates, and help your members to achieve their fitness goals. Unfortunately, hiring a team of staff that will help your health club or fitness studio flourish can be a challenge. Training them, developing their skills, and then retaining them are additional feats that you’ll have to tackle.


But there are steps you can take to set yourself—and your team—up for success. From interviewing to creating a company culture that supports your business goals, these best practice guidelines can help you develop a top-notch team. The additional resources listed at the bottom of this article will help you learn more about this key topic.


This article is one in a series of 28 Best Practice Guidelines for Operating a Fitness Facility.


Follow these guidelines and improve your staff recruiting, training, and development strategy.

  1. Start With the Hiring Process

  2. Help Your Team Develop Professionally

  3. Look at Your Employee Benefits

  4. Focus on Company Culture

  5. Manage to Support Your Team


Ultimately, well-trained and dedicated staff will help you to build your brand and achieve your business goals.


Start With the Hiring Process


1. Design a collaborative interview process where candidates meet and interact with multiple employees.


2. Consider incorporating a personality or work style assessment into the hiring process to gain additional information on candidates and better understand personalized onboarding needs for new hires.

Start With the Hiring Process
Help Your Team Develop Professionally


3. Develop a clearly defined path for each employee’s professional growth.


4. Develop a performance management plan to work on career mapping for employees.


5. Provide professional development and continuing education opportunities.


Look at Your Employee Benefits


6. Ensure all employees have access to health and dental care (where applicable).


7. Implement an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to provide additional resources to your employees.


8. Consider offering education to all employees on how to save for retirement and, if needed, help direct them to reputable retirement options or information.


Focus on Company Culture


9. Create and document your company culture. Components may include a mission statement, vision statement, brand promise, and core values.


10. Lead your organization with a suitable culture and outlined values to achieve short- and long-term sustainable business goals.


11. Host regular team-building activities, workshops, or off-site retreats/outings.


12. Schedule recurring meetings to keep employees and company initiatives aligned.


Manage to Support Your Team


13. Obtain appropriate legal counsel to ensure knowledge and compliance with all applicable employment regulations.


14. Ensure there is an effective planning process to support systems, processes, employees, and customers.


15. Set out effective management and governance systems.


16. Plan appropriate use of resources and funds.



IHRSA, the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, is a not-for-profit trade association representing the global fitness industry of over 200,000 health and fitness facilities and their suppliers.


IHRSA maintains a leadership role in advancing physical activity, which is critical to peak health and fight the battle against obesity and chronic lifestyle disease. As one of the world’s leading authorities on the commercial health club industry, IHRSA’s mission is to grow, promote, and protect the health and fitness industry. IHRSA provides its members with benefits and resources that will help them be more successful. IHRSA and its members are devoted to making the world happier, healthier, and more prosperous through regular exercise and activity promotion. IHRSA is the publisher of Club Business International, the leading monthly magazine for the global fitness industry.

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