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Finding Talent: Alter Your Applicant Experience

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finding talent

Here are a few small ways to alter your job applicant experience that can help in finding talent during The Great Resignation.

Finding talent is a trending topic right now. Club owners everywhere wondering, “Why is no one applying?” or “Why can’t I find anyone to work for me?” With every major news outlet posting about The Great Resignation as if it is some great mystery why people aren’t rushing to apply to jobs, it’s all too easy to place the blame somewhere other than where it resides. 

Perhaps what we’re offering and what we’re doing to attract talent no longer works. Sitting back and acting like it’s 1990 and being a trainer or Group X instructor requires saying yes to the big box opportunity isn’t the reality anymore. Instead, take a minute to consider to modern fitness job seeker’s psychology and ways you might update your process to land a keeper.

“Momento Mori,” a Latin term often used by famous Stoics, translated means “Remember you must die.” This motto served as a constant reminder that life is short; therefore, you must cherish everything in your life while finding what makes you happy. While we might not use the phrase today, it is precisely the psychological mindset most employees have adopted due to the pandemic. Once off the treadmill of gym life courtesy of the pandemic, trainers and instructors took a step back and considered what was important to them in life and the workplace, as well as the part they played in making members happy — directly. 

In our work helping pros navigate their careers, we can boil down the overwhelming sentiment into three statements: 

1. “I never want to work for someone like that again.” 

2. “I will never put myself in a vulnerable position like this ever again.”

3. “I want to work where I feel valued, heard and enjoy what I do.”

We now face a fitness professional workforce that quickly took matters into their own hands while we tried to figure out how to maneuver our giant ships. They adapted to the new virtual fitness world, upgraded their skills, realized their worth and now are pickier with in-person opportunities than ever before. Then, another group, the professional that do it for the love of the job, rather than the money — they just exited the field because it wasn’t worth it.

2021 sparked a new era in recruiting and hiring, and 2022 will be no different. It’s time we wake up, evaluate our current practices and decide how best to lure the heartbeat of our club back.

Here are a few small ways to alter your applicant experience that can help: 

  • Be open to hybrid trainers. You must know considering the pay you can afford and the shifts available, it’s tough to earn a full-time income in fitness. It would be best if you were open to trainers and instructors who have an online business. There is a way to make this work, and they are probably the professionals you need to embrace hybrid for yourself.
  • Expand your reach. Posting a job on one site isn’t going to work anymore. Consider posting your positions on multiple job boards. Niche job boards draw in candidates hyper-focused on submitting their applications and getting to work.
  • Simplify your process. Do you have an easy way for a trainer or instructor to apply to your job on a mobile device, especially their phone? Or do you still have a lengthy application that requires a desktop for completion? Still asking for a cover letter and three references where they will just put their three closest friends? 
  • Be faster and personal. Gone are the days where you can let someone apply and not respond to them for a week while it makes it through your process. Great talent will get scooped up within the same day and will be more open to the clubs that make a personal connection right away. Customize your outreach so that you are the first employer to thank them for their application when someone qualified applies.
  • Create a careers page. A landing page designed to help an applicant understand your culture and what it’s like to work for you is a must; they are not going to get that looking at your club’s website otherwise. Remember, they’re auditioning you as much as you’re auditioning them these days.
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Shannon Fable

Shannon Fable, a longtime industry educator and business development consultant, serves as a partnership advisor to Talent Hack. The Talent Hack Team can be reached at jobboard@thetalenthack.com or visit get.thetalenthack.com/job-board/ to learn more about leveraging their resources for your next great hire.

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