Some people will tell you it’s impossible to “create” great staff for your business. They say you pretty much have to find unicorns or get used to having donkeys.
I know from experience that it IS possible to CREATE all-star staff in your business.
Think of it like cooking…with practice, you can cook yourself a delicious, healthy meal whenever you want…
…IF you have the right ingredients!
And by ingredients, I mean the personality traits of a great team member.
See, a lot of first-time business owners have completely the wrong idea about hiring. For every position they need to fill, they think they need to hire a fully-formed professional with 5+ years of experience.
Those people are expensive. Besides, you don’t need them. Heck, you might not even want them after you finish reading this.
I’ll tell you what kind of prospective employee you REALLY want to attract and hire and how to do it…
Who You Are Looking For
You need trainers, obviously, but who else do you need?
If you’re running a single boot camp location, then all you need is an assistant to take calls, keep track of scheduling, and keep the place tidy.
As you expand out to multiple boot camp locations or studios, you’ll want a sales manager for each location. And when you get really huge, you’ll want to group your locations into districts with a district manager for each one.
Now for our purposes here, I’m going to assume you are hiring for trainer and assistant positions.
When you get to the point of having sales managers and district managers, the ideal way to go is to promote from within and turn your best trainers and assistants into managers, since you already have a good relationship with them and they already understand your business.
Obviously you CAN hire outside people into management positions directly…but you’ll still want to follow mostly the same process I’m talking about here.
Remember, we’re talking about the fundamentals of what makes a great team member. You want this to apply to all of your employees at every level.
Where to Find the Right People
Just post to all the usual sites: Craigslist, Backpage, Indeed, etc.
What, were you expecting some magical hidden valley where all the great trainers and assistants are hiding? No, man!
Do you know where I found the all-star people in my businesses? Craigslist and Indeed. That’s it. No magic to it.
Now, there is one thing you can do to dramatically increase the quality of the people you attract…
Write your job posting like a sales letter selling your business and the position.
Why should you do that?
Think of it this way…when you’re selling, you’re trying to turn a prospect into a client. That involves qualifying them to see if they actually fit your business, and then hyping them up to make sure they say YES to it.
That’s the same thing you want to do with a job posting.
You want to qualify the person by testing to see if they really can get excited about the position, then you want to hype them up to LOVE the idea of working with you so they’ll be ready to do a great job.
Also…make sure your job listing includes some kind of specific instruction that they need to follow when they respond.
It could be as simple as having them attach a writing sample or even just mention a specific phrase when they email you. Anything outside of the standard “attach resume” will work.
Why? Because it shows how well they pay attention!
On giant job sites like the ones I mentioned above, 70-90% of applicants won’t follow those extra instructions. They’ll just send you the resume and leave it at that.
Anyone who falls in that category you can safely ignore. Don’t even bother looking at the resume. If they can’t meet expectations WHILE APPLYING FOR THE JOB then there’s no way they’ll ever perform well on the job.
This process should narrow you down to a nice little pool of likely candidates.
How to Interview Like a Pro
Here’s how I do it…
When I go to interview a potential hire, I really just want to throw them off.
I burn up the script. I want to see the REAL person. I want to know who they really are and how they function under pressure.
If you think I’m wild and unfiltered on this blog, man, you should see me when I interview a job candidate.
I’m somehow even crazier during interviews. More importantly, I’m REAL, because that sets the tone of the interview.
If you show your real self during the interview, that makes it way more likely that the trainer or potential assistant in front of you will do the same thing.
Do I run the risk of driving people away when I do this? Absolutely. And you know what? I’m happy to drive those people away. If they can’t handle how I think and operate for a measly 20-minute interview, that’s a red flag to me.
Remember, I’m not teaching you how to hire “good enough” staff.
I’m teaching you how to hire and create ALL STARS. So during the hiring phase, personality and mindset are everything. If they don’t think and feel like winner when they walk in, they aren’t going to magically become one on the job.
And maybe some people are good candidates…but they aren’t meant for you and your team. That’s fine! They’ll find a job somewhere else. Your responsibility to yourself and your team is to choose wisely and only bring in the people who truly will fit.
Now you might have noticed that I’ve barely mentioned skills here at all.
I will ask about them, and if a candidate has some good skills I’ll consider that a bonus, but given the choice between an unskilled person with a killer personality versus a skilled person with a timid, boring personality, I’ll take the first option every time.
Because you can train skills.
Find a trainer with the right personality, and you can teach them whatever training modality and coaching style you think is best. In fact, the right trainers will actually want to learn and grow and try new things.
Find an assistant with the right personality, and you can trust them to streamline things and tie up loose ends as they go.
Obviously, you need to give out feedback in both cases. And you definitely want to offer as much hands-on training as possible in the first two weeks.
But after that…
The Key to Managing is Not to Manage
This is something I tell my staff when they’re first settling in:
That’s the kind of attitude you ultimately want to have with your staff.
If you really want your staff to become all stars, you have to give them the freedom to take 100% ownership of their work.
Yes, they’ll mess up every once in a while, but you’re better off correcting their mistake after the fact than micromanaging them.
If there truly is a make-or-break task that they can’t afford to mess up, then just give them extra training ahead of time.
Ultimately, you want your staff to operate independently and take pride in their work. That won’t happen immediately, but if you get the right people in your fitness business and give them room to shine, it WILL happen.
Committed to your success,
P.S. Feel like you still need help with hiring? Want to know more about building a multi-location fitness empire? Check out my 7 Figure Mastermind for access to the highest-level business coaches and network of entrepreneurs in the fitness industry!