Good hiring practices are essentials. As a result, Beth Taska, the executive vice president of human resources for 24 Hour Fitness, shared her top hiring practice tips and what she looks for in 24 Hour Fitness team members.
CS: How can you tell if someone will be a good fit for your club?
BT: Easy — people who are joyful, enthusiastic and have a sense of purpose through helping others. We actively seek individuals with these qualities every day, and they also seek us. We also look for candidates who demonstrate proven success in their past work, school or community service experience where they have defined goals for themselves and met or exceeded them. 24 Hour Fitness is focused on becoming the industry leader in fitness, and to that end, we’re growing our club locations and membership in communities across the nation. We’re focused on attracting team members who are motivated to help us achieve this growth as well as grow their careers.
CS: How many times should you interview someone before hiring them?
BT: The interview process should be dynamic, fun and not a time drain. We want the team to meet and decide on new hires, but we do not need endless interviews to find the right person. We want to make sure that we are the right fit too — we want interviewers to have a realistic job preview of the work environment and expectations of the role. How someone behaves or interacts in one aspect of their life is often how they are in all aspects of their life. Past performance is a strong indicator of future performance, but it is only one factor. We want to learn specifically how a candidate would interact in the role for which they are applying.
CS: What is it about 24 Hour Fitness that candidates gravitate to?
BT: We are a phenomenal place to work where you can sell and support what you love and believe in: self-improvement. 24 Hour Fitness is widely credited with changing the landscape of the fitness industry, and has pioneered the concept of making fitness accessible, affordable and a way of life for everyone. For more than three decades the company has been dedicated to helping improve lives through fitness and helping individuals reach their fitness goals.
We believe that everyone who works at 24 Hour Fitness plays a significant role as part of the larger team, where everyone’s contribution is both necessary and valued. We believe that embracing diversity and valuing individual qualities is part of our team culture and allows us to make a personal connection with our team members, members and the communities we serve. We do this by expanding our view beyond an enthusiasm for fitness. It also means working in a healthy environment, having affordable health care, being equipped with tools to manage team members’ financial health and maintaining a healthy work/life balance.
CS: How do you create a talent acquisition culture?
BT: As 24 Hour Fitness grows we are evolving our company culture to reflect a key value — that every employee is accountable and responsible for attracting and retaining top talent in our company. We work to ensure that every team member in our company knows that no one person is solely responsible for bringing candidates into the company for current open positions. We are also a community of like minded people who are fortunate to work for a company that has goals that we truly believe in. Recruiting people in this context is easy.
CS: How do you recruit and plan for candidate long-term professional growth?
BT: 24 Hour Fitness maintains a strong talent management and succession planning process, where the club level and senior leaders identify the next step in their direct reports career path and review these plans frequently throughout the year. As a result, team members know that their career success is just as important to their “boss” and their “bosses’ boss” as it is to them. In addition, the company can identify any talent gaps, particularly if there aren’t enough internal team members to promote compared to the number of anticipated open positions in the coming years of expansion. This signals that regardless of whether an opening exists, there will be a benefit to scheduling interviews and establishing networking meetings with prospective hires for the future.
CS: How do you typically find and build a solid, diverse pool of candidates?
BT: Part of our new hire orientation is for the new team member to provide their recruiter and/or manager a list of potential candidates from their own professional and personal circles who could be a great fit for 24 Hour Fitness. This enables us to continually expand our network of potential candidates as we hire new team members and further our brand.
And, we are just as focused on tapping into diverse recruitment sources to attract and hire candidates who have transferable skills and previous experience that enable them to be successful at 24 Hour Fitness, regardless of whether they have specific fitness club experience on their resume. We hire health and fitness professionals from the top university kinesiology departments within our important club markets. We actively participate in military career events to recruit candidates for all positions in our clubs from front line team members to club general managers. A career in the military focused on goal achievement, team work or discipline translate very successfully to 24 Hour Fitness.