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Group X: Can You Help Me with Recruiting?


How do you get new talent on your team? No really. I want to know how you do it. Because I find it incredibly difficult to find new talent, and I would like to know what the secret is to getting new instructors. Good ones.

The reality is that for each instructor that I actually hire, I have gone through five to six that I would only consider decent. Decent being defined as: can run an effective and safe class, but that is it.

Honestly, I want more for my team — I really do. I want some rock stars! I want sizzle, and I want the class participants to walk away thinking that it was a great workout and that their instructor was amazing in so many ways. I want them to feel that their instructor was inspiring, that he or she connected with them and made each member feel like the most important person in the room.

I know this is a tough bill, but I really want it. I want it because if you can make each class participant feel like they are valued, then they will keep coming back. If they keep coming back, you get your great class numbers and oh yeah, you can change their lives too. Isn’t that what this is all about in the end? Changing lives? Improving quality of life? Inspiring people to be healthy, fit and the best version of themselves?

So, back to getting talent on your team. I’ve done a few things to get them. There are some basic ways to recruit, one of which is the standard posting of job openings on various websites where instructors may lurk.

Facebook can be helpful in this way too. But I’m going to be honest — I find that when I post and then interview and audition, only two out of 25 are actually seriously looking to join the team. Out of those two, only one is really ready to teach a class. It’s not easy.

I’ve also hosted trainings in the program that I need instructors for, but again, the last big certification I hosted was so much work and I only got one instructor out of it. I guess statistically that is OK. One instructor out of four that I put through the training is actually teaching for me. That’s 25 percent. I suppose I shouldn’t complain. But it’s hard to host trainings frequently, so this is just another spoke in the recruitment wheel.

So what do we do? Well, you guys tell me. What do you do? I do know that the best instructors often come from the membership base. These tend to be the committed ones. The really good ones. They love the program they are involved in, and hey, if they are in the class, then clearly they are available to teach during that time.

So talk to members that show interest, or have the spark you are looking for in an instructor. Harness their excitement, give them direction and help them to get trained. It’s the best way to keep your program fresh and moving forward. Pair them up with an established and supportive instructor that can keep them heading in the right direction.

That’s how I do it. Now what I want to know is — how do you do it?

Kerri Miano

Kerri Miano has been working in the fitness industry for over 10 years. She is currently the group exercise director at Meridian Fitness & Wellness in Hazlet, New Jersey.

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  1. Amy Schwartz November 5, 2015

    All the things you said are spot on! Sometimes hosting a training doesn’t get you any instructors — that’s happened a number of times. However, I recently hosted a training that got me a bunch of instructors, but only a few of them are available at the times our members want classes. (This specific format is classes for children.)

    What I have found that’s successful is identifying class participants to become instructors. It has been my most successful method of “recruiting.” It takes a little more time because you’re starting fresh with someone without experience, but you can actually avoid the “diva” mentality of a seasoned instructor.

    1. Kerri Miano November 6, 2015

      I agree Amy. The best instructors come from the membership base – sometimes it’s hard to convince them to make that leap to the stage though!

  2. Terri Albrecht November 15, 2015

    I also agree that our membership base is a great place to spot talent and asking your current instructors to keep their eye out for them is a good way to find raw talent in the time slots!
    Before we have them make the leap to training we have them try out on a pre designed routine set to music in the program they wish to teach.
    Some can, and some find it not for them.
    Key is to recruit many so you can find a few. Then use your great ones in a couple formats without over loading and your team will stay strong!
    I always keep my eye out for the next Superstar!

  3. Mariana Nasreddine December 24, 2015

    Great article, Kerri. I agree with that the former member instructors are the best. Another tool I frequently use is reaching out to my current instructors for recommendations. Very often they teach, sub or just interact with interesting people in their field. I actually hired couple of very talented instructor who were referred to me by my current instructors


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