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Personal Training Newsletter May 2010

Posted June 17, 2010 in News, Blog

Pro Fitness Program users click on the PDF below to read up on all the latest articles and sales stats for the month of May.

The May issue features articles on how to use your PFP tools to increase fitness consultation show ratios and improve the quality of your appointments.

Check out the newest fitness clubs that are now a part of our organization and enjoy the story of PFP Business Consultant, Vince DelMonte, and his upcoming June wedding.

Contact us with any questions or suggestions for our upcoming newsletters or please leave a comment or question below and we will post a response within 24 hours.

May 2010 PFP News (.pdf, 1.4 MB)

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Hiring a Fitness Professional Top 10 Tips

Posted June 01, 2010 in News, Blog

Pro Fitness Program President and owner Jeff Russo was speaking at the MGM Grand Casino in Connecticut for the NEHRSA (New England Health Racquet and Sports Association) in May about the topic of hiring the right whos to give you the right whats. His top 10 hiring list is ideal for club owners, managers and Fitness Directors who want to ensure they hire smart from the start and avoid the outrageous costs of a bad hire.

1. Use your web site and other popular job posting sites for your initial screening

Many of our clubs are having tremendous success with sites like Craig's List to find potential employees. You can greatly reduce the cost of a newspaper add by using these free services and if you do decide to use the paper as well, you can reduce fees by simply pointing people to your web site. By now all clubs should have a career button on their web site. You should use this as your first stage of the interview process by having applicants answer a series of questions on line that potentially generates an email that prompts them to follow additional instructions. If they can't find your site or get past this preliminary stage you can usually cross them off your list.

2. Always be hiring

It's imperative that you avoid the ready, aim, hire practices of most companies. If the only time you're in hiring mode is when someone leaves your company and your scrambling for a replacement you most certainly will be pressured to make a hasty hiring decision that will not work out. Statistics clearly show that 66% of your hiring decisions turn out to be mistakes in the first year. This is usually one of the biggest factors contributing to this statistic. There is nothing wrong with having a lengthy hiring process that could take up to 3 - 6 months and to have people waiting in the wings for a position to open up. Make sure you delegate the stages of the hiring process to your key people and continue to uncover talent when your roster is full. Always know where your next hire is!

3. Have a lengthy 4 - 6 part interview process

Jeff highly recommends a series of pre-determined, structured interview stages to best uncover whether an individual is the ideal fit for the organization and vice a versa. From panel based interviews with management, to a subsequent interview by staff members, spending one to two days shadowing someone on the job, a social lunch type of gathering as well as a career assessment screening often referred to as an online personality test should all be part of the process. The fact of the matter is that candidates will value the job and pursue it more if it's difficult to attain.

4. The why is more important than the what and how

It's imperative that you define why you do what you do and what your vision and core values are from the start. By surrounding yourself with like minded people who have the same passion and commitment to the cause you eliminate the need to micro manage. You can't train people in core values, you have to hire people with those values from the start. Create a 30 second commercial or elevator speech that easily conveys why your organization exists so people can catch the vision or immediately decide that they do not resonate with your calling. Companies that focus on the why first are always more successful. This should be easy for those of you who claim that fitness is your life's calling, so never ask what we should value but instead what we actually value down deep to our core.

5. Use Behavioral Based questions in your interviews

The stats show that 30% of candidates lie on their resumes, 34% exaggerate and at least 10% serious misrepresent themselves. You need to get past the superficial, surface level interview process that puts so much value on the resume and education. In life only 15% of anyone's success will be due to skills in technical engineering with the remaining 85% due to skills in human engineering. Therefore use a series of behavior based questions that attempt to reveal character through past behavior and habits. There is a huge difference between traditional hypothetical questions that illicit a response that the candidate thinks you want to hear and a question that probes into a specific situation in the past that you can easily follow up on and confirm. Contact us for a list of our top 6 behavioral based questions.

6. Provide protocols, pay structures and reviews from the start

Once you've decided to bring a candidate in for an interview, have a complete new hire package prepared outlining the job description, performance reviews and pay structure. Ensure that all pay structures have a definite structure for advancement and outline clearly how the candidate can move up from an entry to a mid to a senior level position. There is no use wasting anyone's time by not laying out all your cards from the start. It's always important to know what that person needs to earn and whether they can make the commitment to your organization taking into account a possibility of future growth. This is also a great way to measure commitment. If someone is committed to the larger vision and is passionate about what your organization stands for, they are usually willing to start for a reduced wage of commission until they've developed some competence and seniority.

7. Have a detailed 4 - 8 week new hire training program in place

If you make the decision to hire anyone the next step should be handing them a detailed schedule of training times in various departments in your club. This should come complete with training manuals and required readings as well as class room time and required homework assignments. Here is your opportunity to observe over the probationary period whether or not you made the right hiring decisions. Do they show up to training on time, are their readings done, can you delegate work that gets done on schedule and are they getting along with staff?

8. Hire people who have their finances in order

In the interview process attempt to address the candidate's financial situation by asking whether or not they will be able to handle a reduced pay during the probationary period to learn position and determine whether they are the right fit. Individuals who are struggling from pay check to pay check are typically desperate for any job and will be joining your organization for the wrong reason. Customers can also sense desperation in sales situations which will deter from the sales process. As soon as the new hire experiences a couple of slow months which is always inevitable, they will be scrambling to find alternative part time jobs and will never be fully committed to a long term career.

9. Don't hire anyone unless you're committed to developing them

It goes without saying that people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. Leading someone is a huge responsibility and it as process that must be earned. Employees spend more time with you and your organization than they do with their own families. If it's true that the right people are most important asset, then as managers and owners we need to have a system in place that prioritizes them above all else. Start the year by scheduling all of your appointments with your key 20% in advance for the entire year. Don't let anything bump these appointments from your schedule and make sure you have structured agendas that include reviews, further education and feedback from them so that you actions prove louder than words that your people matter.

 10. Always hire for fit and motive above experience and education

Because you are now going to create a recruitment process that instills the key values of you and your company it will be far easier to identify whether or not the individual is the right fit for your culture. In other words, we know that the job looks like this and the person has the experience and education to do it, but the bigger question is whether or not they want to do it. In even simpler terms we don't want you to come to work unless it feels right. Most companies will hire for aptitude and fire for attitude. So the challenge to all of you is to focus on culture and core values long before establishing a product, marketing, creating a building or putting together a sales force. And even if you've put the cart before the horse, it's never too late to go back and do it right from now on.


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