Checklist for Hiring Personal Trainers

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  • Checklist for Hiring Personal Trainers

Do you use a checklist when you are hiring staff at your gym? What follows here is the checklist for hiring personal trainers that I use as a structure for the interview and hiring process.

As a small business owner and fitness center owner and manager you have to be organized to the point of being obsessive compulsive. In the corporate world of big gyms and worldwide fitness franchises you get all kinds of support that’s not available to the independent owner. Being an independent business owner also has its virtues but as an entrepreneur you need to be much more resourceful.

Hiring Personal Trainers And Doing the Safety DancePersonal trainer doing a squat with his female client doing one too

One way to do that is to develop checklists for the kind of activities that are really important and detail oriented. Activities that you may not have to run through often enough that you can breeze through without missing some important point. This is definitely the case when you are engaged in something so formal as hiring a new staff member.

The best reason is really so that you can stay organized, dot the i’s and cross the t’s. Paper work gets done a lot more quickly if it conforms to a standard format and you know where all the information is when you need it. To that end I’ve included a checklist for the hiring process for personal trainers.

Personal Trainer Hiring Checklist

Part 1: Interview and Assessment
● Questions and answers during the interview process
● Confirm their willingness to pursue certifications (to include Special Populations & Certified Inclusive Personal Trainer)
● Mock session and assessment

Part 2: Confirmation
● Check professional and personal references
● Verify personal trainer insurance
● Order the background check
● Verify certifications
Part 3: Documents For The Hiring Packet
● Completed IRS Form W-9
● Completed Direct deposit form for payroll service
● Copies of current insurance certifications
● Copies of CPR card

The Interview and Assessment

The first part of the checklist is designed to structure the interview process. It’s always helpful to have a list of some standard questions you can refer to while you’re talking to them. It helps to prevent you forgetting anything. I think it gives them a more professional image of you and that sets a better tone for the interview.

I have set my hiring objectives in anticipation of certain specializations that I see as growth areas. I actively encourage trainers on my staff to seek special population and inclusive personal trainer certification. Determining the candidate’s willingness to pursue one of these is an important check box on the list.

If they interview well, you still need to assess their training style. Have them role-play a training session to get an indication of how they’ll work with your members. If they have advanced certifications or are competing for a specialized position you may need to extend this section accordingly.

Trust, but Verify and Confirm all Qualifications

The next section is for all of the verifications that you’ll need to run through. Professional trainers need to be certified in specific ways. You need to go through their records with a fine-toothed comb. I find it reassuring to be able to tick off the items here because the issues of liability and safety obviously demand total attention to detail.

Doing it right at the beginning saves me a lot of time later. Hiring the right people keeps turnover to a minimum and insurance costs down. Members notice things like staff turnover. They may not say anything but I think they appreciate seeing familiar faces that stick around.

Copies For The File In The File

The final section is for getting all of the hiring packet paperwork filed away. I have a stack of interview and hiring packets set up so that everything is there in one folder, ready to go. This sort of thing is great for all kinds of staff positions. For personal trainers it is absolutely essential to get all of the details right.

This is my way of organizing my employment interviews; it works for me. You will want to sit down and think about your exact needs. But I hope this is helpful to you and if you can put it into use, as is, then that’s great. Having a checklist for hiring personal trainers on top is what holds it all together.

Over to you…

What other checklists would you find to be useful in the operation of your fitness business?

6 Comments

steve carve
November 17, 2013 / Reply

Today everyone wants to live a longer and healthier life. Normally people think that fitness personal trainers are fake but this is not correct. Personal trainers help people in getting healthy and fit body. I would personally like to suggest people who want to achieve their goals to have a personal trainer. You have shared helpful checklist for hiring personal trainer for fitness.

Lawrence Fagan
December 7, 2013 / Reply

Hey Steve,

I agree that personal trainers can be a great motivating tool in someone’s health and fitness goals. Thank you for your feedback.

Best in Health,
Lawrence

BK Jackson
February 9, 2014 / Reply

Speaking as a client, I notice very much when there is a lot of turnover. And unfortunately there seems to be quite a bit of it in the fitness industry. You may not notice AS much in a big box gym, but in a small gym, high turnover stands out like a sore thumb. And usually it leaves the client questioning the wisdom of management that staff can’t be retained, even if there are other circumstances affecting the turnover. It has an impact on trust. I’ve gone through that this year in my own gym.

Lawrence Fagan
February 10, 2014 / Reply

I absolutely agree with you BK. Thank you for your perspective as a gym member. I know it can play a toll on those members who consistently use a small independent gym. It is important to gain trust in all areas of the business!

jack sparo
February 23, 2014 / Reply

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April 6, 2014 / Reply

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