Group X: Auditioning Instructors
This article is written with the director of your club in mind. I will address the process of auditioning for new group fitness instructors. The main objective is always to get the word out. I find that using four resources will help you tremendously.
First, use your company’s website. I suggest placing a banner ad on the main page stating that you are looking for qualified instructors. Second, advertising on Craigslist is a great place to find instructors, and it’s free. Third, look for local instructors who act as certifiers. You can find these instructors by contacting the American Council on Exercise (ACEFitness.org). Lastly, you can ask your existing instructor pool if they know of any instructors who’d be a good fit for the job (which they always do).
I tend to correspond via e-mail with all potential instructors. In addition, it is good to have a record of all interactions. I recommend that you be as clear and simple as possible in your e-mail correspondence. Give the recipient the what, where and when. Be specific as to what you want from them (ie: resume and photo) as well as what you want them to bring to the audition (ie: music and equipment). You also want an e-mailed RSVP from the instructor so you know who and what to expect on the day of the audition.
On audition day, you want to be organized and professional. Know ahead of time who will be auditioning and for what type of class. Make sure to collect resumes (with attached photos). You may take notes on the resumes – this helps when processing the auditions later on.
A few things to consider during the audition:
- Did they come on time? If they did not, this could give an indication that the person might be unreliable.
- How is their energy?
- Are they projecting excitement and enthusiasm?
- Are they able to articulate clear direction?
- Are they physically fit?
- Is what they are demonstrating safe?
- How is their form?
- Does this person have the personality to control a room? If someone seems timid, it is a good indication that the person lacks confidence and may not be ready to teach for you.
- Ask them if they teach anywhere else.
- Ask as many questions as possible.
In terms of audition structure, I give each person about five minutes to demonstrate their class. I tell them what I expect to see and then let them take over. I hold group auditions, which means that the instructor auditioning is teaching all the other potential instructors. Everyone participates together, regardless of their discipline. I generally walk around the room during the audition to see if I can hear the person cueing. This also gives me another perspective on the other people auditioning.
Once the auditions are complete, I thank everyone for their participation. I contact those instructors that I intend to hire within a couple of days of the audition. In the new hire e-mail, I include all payroll and company policy information.
Good luck hiring!
Joseph Duffy has been in the fitness industry since 1990. He has taught group fitness classes at multiple clubs, and currently is the director of group fitness at Boom Fitness. Duffy has his own consulting business that assists owners with building group fitness programs from the ground up, as well as providing scheduling and staffing input. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.