When you hire someone, which is more important: personality or skill?
Most business-minded people would say skill. In other words, you can be a great person, but you must have the skills needed to fill your role.
See, I look at it a different way (I’ll get to that in a second)…
One thing we all can agree on is that your team is the front line of your operation. They interact with your clients more than anyone else. Building a team of all stars is crucial to the success of your fitness business.
Hire on Personality, Teach the Skill
Well then, how do you hire winners? How do you find the fighter jets that believe in your mission to the core, then work to fulfill that mission?
The answer is to hire on personality, then teach the skill.
Now, obviously I’m not going to find this enthusiastic guy and go, “I’m going to teach you how to do heart surgery,” but I am going to look for the heart surgeon who’s enthusiastic, optimistic, type A, driven, and obsessed.
An easy way to do this is to put your candidates through personality tests. You can put them through a DISC assessment, which you can find online, or the Myers-Briggs test. Are they introverted or extroverted? Judicial or prone to procrastination? Are they feelers or thinkers?
Let’s use that last pair of traits as an example. If they’re thinkers, they’ll see something and then solve it. If they’re feelers, they’ll say, “Someone should do something about that.” Obviously you’d want a thinker before a feeler, right?
I want a trainer who’s got a year or two of experience but has a fire in their belly and a purpose to them, rather than a guy who’s got 20 years of experience, but, “Yeah, I had a couple of bad shakes in life and so this is why I’m willing to work for you.” Uh, no thanks.
When to Invest in Staff and When to Cut Them Off
Your job is to coach up your team members, unless they’re at a point where they can’t be coached up anymore. At the end of the day, when someone can’t help themselves, then you can’t help them either.
You have to realize that, as the business owner, you have an obligation to your personal income, to your family, and to your clients. If someone is not meeting your expectations, then you either play them up or play them out.
If you try to be the nice guy that keeps them around because they’re loyal, but they just show up late every now and again, you really erode the foundation of your business.
Nothing irritates me more than when an entrepreneur goes, “They’re such a good person, but they just can’t help themselves.” Well then, why would you try and help them if they’re not willing to help themselves?
Instead, you could be using that energy to treat your existing staff to personal development workshops, webinars, and conferences.
I once had a coaching client who owned his own gym. He had a coach who was a veteran, and so he really wanted to take care of this guy. He was an awesome trainer but he had anger management issues, and he would come in drunk sometimes. What do you do in that situation?
Your job is to give him the rope, and by rope I mean coach him. Give him advice, mentor him. If he takes that rope and makes a ladder and climbs up to success, perfect. If he takes that rope and hangs himself with it, then there you have it. That’s the end of him.
Committed to your success,