Building On Previous Discussions
Some time ago, Gym Insight was fortunate to have a guest post from Mike Hedlesky. It was an in-depth piece that has been a real asset to the Insight Blog and, judging by the traffic, a useful source of information and validation for the readers. So first, thanks Mike! Second, I thought it might be good to go back, review and build on it with some further insights into running your own small gym business.
Training is always easier to impart to your staff when you are clear about the basics of the company vision and mission. Likewise hiring is much easier when you are clear on who you’ll choose and why. This is a process about growing the business according to your agenda and doing so in a way that builds a strong team and the opportunity for you to stand back and let it take care of itself.
There are some great resources out there to boost the hiring process, including the use of agencies and consultants. Some of the new software-as-a-service (SAAS) options that automate the onboarding process provide low cost and powerful tools. As I have stated many times before on the Gym Insight Blog, I’m a keen believer in the organizing power of checklists. If you are clear on the higher principles then checklists of what each step and role requires give you a logical progression in print of the ideas that form the foundation.
Two Elements Of One Function
So, the first part of the process is to get clear on who you are, what you do and what the exact role of the new hires will be. Once you’ve achieved that sense of direction everything else follows in a logical progression, like ducks in a line.
The two aspects of human resources: training and hiring, as roles for management, are not exclusive but rather complimentary to one another. When you bring in new people you are bringing them into the company as a culture. After all, your business is as much what your staff thinks it is as what you do. Again, once you have become clear on the defined roles and rules you have the road map to apply to your hiring and training process.
Is It Soup Yet?
Using an automated applicant tracking system (an ATS) is a great way to cut down the work at the front end. I found an informative article in Club Solutions Magazine that discusses using ATSs to rapidly close in on the best candidates. Much like a survey application you set the questions and filter by answers. By the time human eyes fall upon each application they have been graded according to the specifications that you have set. This saves you time and effort, which you can better apply to making the final hiring decisions.
If you intend to boost your staffing levels significantly, such as for a new branch or a rebrand/refocus you may wish to hire an HR consultant to help you through the process. This is one of those things where the big box gym brands have a real advantage; they have internal HR departments on call.
Of course, there are disadvantages when you have to deal with corporate offices that may be located far away and whose officers may not understand your local work environment. So the little guy can compete by finding the right expert who will advise you and work on your behalf as a contractor.
Remember that it all comes down to the kind of experience that we wish to deliver to our customers. Everything that goes into hiring staff and training them has to be focused on delivering on the promise of fulfillment of what customers want and are willing to pay for.
Get all of these parts going in the same direction, take advantage of modern service automation and take full advantage of all available resources. The benefit to you in the end will be a business that thrives and delivers rewards beyond your profit margin.
Contributing Author. Organize and Streamline Recruiting With Applicant Tracking Software. November 3, 2005. http://clubsolutionsmagazine.com/2005/11/organize-and-streamline-recruiting-with-applicant-tracking-software/.
Contributors, Wikipedia. Applicant Tracking System. May 28, 2015. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Applicant_tracking_system .
Hedlesky, Mike. Small Gym Management: From Pen and Paper to Nightmare to Software. https://blog.gyminsight.com/523-small-gym-management-from-pen-and-paper-to-nightmare-to-software/.
Hu, James. 8 Things You Need To Know About Applicant Tracking Systems. July 19, 2014. http://www.jobscan.co/blog/2014/07/19/8-things-you-need-to-know-about-applicant-tracking-systems/.