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Operations: Do You Have a Hiring Strategy?

Hiring Strategy

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the importance of having a steady flow of great candidates coming down the pipeline, even if you don’t currently have an open position to fill.

But I did not touch on hiring strategy — the process you use to evaluate and interview the candidates you look at for specific positions.

If you look at dozens of successful health club businesses, you’ll notice they all have one thing in common: They have a detailed and lengthy hiring process they rely on to help them make not just good, but great hires.

For example, Gainesville Health and Fitness’ hiring process involves an application screening, group interviews, one-on-one interviews, and even a workout interview. GoodLife Fitness also puts candidates through a workout during its hiring process, in addition to a core values screening.

“If you don’t have the right people out of the gate, it’s always going to be a struggle,” said Jane Riddell, the COO of GoodLife Fitness, in a past interview. “You’re always going to be trying to fit the round peg into the square hole.”

To prevent making a bad hire, you too should employ a hiring strategy — a set of steps you follow for each and every candidate. For inspiration, here’s a peek into Club Solutions’ hiring process on the editorial side.

  1. Once a resume has been deemed promising, I set up an initial phone interview with the candidate. During this interview, he or she is asked the same set of 10 pre-determined questions.
  2. If the candidate does well on the phone, he or she is invited for an in-person interview, where they meet with myself and our Publisher first. Then, they meet with our other editors.
  3. If we — as a team — decide that we like the candidate, he or she is then asked to take a core values/writing test. The candidate is given a list of our core values, and writes a paragraph on what each core value means from their perspective.
  4. If that comes back satisfactory, lastly we check their references.

Although this process can take some time (a week or more), we’ve found that it’s been a great strategy for making good hires. Before we used this strategy, we struggled to determine if a candidate was a good fit, as we had no baseline on which to go off of.

Take some time to evaluate your health club’s current hiring process (if you have one). The process can change from position to position, but it’s important that certain steps are followed consistently. Having a process or strategy you can fall back on will prevent you from “flying by the seat of your pants” during an interview, and hopefully prevent you from making a poor hire.

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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