Is It Time To Hire A Gym Business Manager?

  • /
  • Is It Time To Hire A Gym Business Manager?

Facing The Day You Decide To Hire Managers

When it comes to hiring new people for critical positions in a growing business, gym owners often find that it’s a tricky affair; the needs are many, and so are the hazards. It’s one of the things that can have a lasting impact on your company and your ability to scale your outfit up to enterprise scale. When your gym membership grows, and you have a small hourly or commission-based team that needs more direction than you can manage on your own, it is time to start considering the possibilities of bringing in one or more professional managers.

There’s only so much training, motivating, and supervising that you can do on your own. You might have plenty of trainers and people that you brought along from the beginning. However, to keep your business thriving and growing, it might make sense to bring in outside managerial experience.

Putting The Fit In Fitness

When you introduce new management members to your team, you have to do it with some sensitivity because of the prior expectations of your staff and how they do things habitually. But what if the way that they do things does not scale? You will find out if this is the case as you grow and things start to break down. When you bring in experienced leadership from outside, it can either clash with your culture or set it on the right track.

The fear of the upset to the existing culture is a genuine concern but if, like using a dating service, you hire the right way you will gain a good match that makes your business better in the long term. The good news is that the candidates that are best suited to the job will most likely also be the ones that want be a part of your company culture.

Research results show that the most significant factors, by which employees choose to stay or leave, are the sense of belonging, being able to make a contribution and being valued. In the short term, it determines your rate of turnover, which can get expensive, just like churning your membership is expensive.

Hire An Instant Recruiting Department

Consider working with a recruiting service to find the right people. Ok, so there will be costs involved when you contract an agency to do your hiring. The difference is that they will do the best professional job of bringing in the right people and then walk away. You only pay for the services you use.

If you attempt to do hiring in-house, you will very likely run into some predictable problems. The first is getting someone on your team to do what no one on your team wants to do. Your gym managers chose to work in fitness; it is less likely that they will have a desire or experience to work in the hiring department.

Another problem might be not having any team to speak of, and having to do it all yourself. Assuming there is someone who can and does step up, the next question is who makes the final decisions and how do you get there? If you don’t have a process in place that moves smoothly from initial contact, resume selection, initial interview and on to final determination you will find your team hesitating or putting off the final decision and the best candidates get snapped up by your competitors.

Hiring Right Means Hiring For The Long TermJoine our team

The simple solution is to get the highest level of human resources experience when you need it, to find the best fitting candidate and the lowest staff turnover, without having to add an entire department of your own. That means having a recruiting agency help with the most critical hiring choices.

It is truly a big decision to hire new people, and recent research has shown that avoiding difficult people is more important than picking up talent. Also, because they are experienced and talented, they are likely to be sizing up your organization too; delays and hesitation are likely to appear to be red flags when you look at it from the other side.

The need to bring in experience and leadership from the outside is not going to hit every part of a gym business, and it will only really kick in once you are growing beyond a certain point. That is the point where you as the owner are going to have to step back and delegate many of the business functions. When you do get to that point, it will take a management team to handle all of the responsibilities and keep your dream alive while the business continues to thrive on the big stage.


Abraham, Leanne. Improving Your Recruitment And Retention Strategy. (accessed February 23, 2016).

Fagan, Lawernce. Customer Service Is Not For Everyone. September 9, 2015. (accessed February 23, 2016).

Fagan, Lawrence. In Pursuit Of The Smooth On Boarding Process. April 10, 2015. (accessed February 23, 2016).

Note: The external link from this post is for information purposes only and not intended as an endorsement of any service or agency.


November 21, 2019

A powerful tool in hiring is the behavioral interview. It helps you really see how candidate would perform on the job. Think about typical situations at your gym � I.e. a member is unhappy with their progress. Ask candidates to tell you about a time when they had a client or member who was unhappy with the progress they were making and wanted to quit. Ask them to describe the situation so you understand the context. The ask them to tell you how they handled the situation. Ask probing questions to help understand what all they did and why they did it. Finally ask how the member responded. The key here is you are asking for evidence of how they work, not judging how they�d be based on rapport and them telling you they are a hard worker. You can apply this to many situations � trouble with co-workers, the gym was very dirty, a trainer missed a shift, etc. Find out what they did, not what they�d speculate they might do.

Comments are closed.