When it comes to hiring a new coach for your gym, it is important to do your due diligence. This means interviewing potential candidates and checking their references. It's not enough to just look at their qualifications or experience - you need to make sure that they are a good fit for your business and that their values align with yours. By calling references, you can get an idea of what it would be like to work with this person and see if they would be a good addition to your team.
Finding the right people to fill your roles is the single biggest challenge in fitness facilities today. You can’t grow into a multi-location business without having the right people in the correct roles.
Remember, a resume is always a record of embellished accomplishments with all the low points removed. A resume is an Instagram filter for their professional career. We have to get past those filters to find out who the person is and if they fit into our facilities in the roles we need someone to thrive in. It isn't uncommon for a coach applying for a management position, or a head coach position, who has a resume that says they have the experience necessary to fill the role but have not been totally truthful about their experience. Those are the coaches we have to filter out ASAP.
When you have a position responsible for your gym's growth, you must be extremely diligent in your hiring process. Remember, if you want to grow your business, you have to have A-level employees. The only way to ensure you have A-level employees and not a gym full of B and C employees, or worse, is by checking the references they have listed and finding your references for the potential hire.
So now we understand that checking references is a vital part of the hiring process. How do we get references?
Typically, references are included at the end of a resume, and the ones that are included are the people closest to the person applying for the position. These references are typically people who are close to the person hiring and are willing to help them get a job, even if it involves a little embellishing.
You want to as them about their last three bosses. Ask what that boss will say about the coaches' performance when you speak to them? What will that boss say your strengths were? What will that boss say your weaknesses were? Ask them about what their coworkers would say about their strengths and weaknesses as well. When you ask these questions, the potential coach understands that you will be calling these people, so they have to be upfront about everything, or they will not move forward in the process. Once we have discussed what we expect their references to say, ask the potential hire to contact each of them to let them know you will be contacting them. Ask them to email you a list of times, all within a 3-day window of the initial interview, of when the references are expecting you to call. This will not only show the potential that you are serious about your business and setting the tone for their employment, but if they are not willing to do that work to make the calls and connect you with the references, this probably isn't an employee you need on your staff.
When you finally get in touch with the references, there are a few key questions you want to make sure to ask.
- How long have they known the potential coach?
- In what capacity have they worked with them?
- Would they recommend them for this position?
- Why or why not?
- Would they be willing to have this conversation again in the future if necessary?
Asking these questions will give you a better idea of the potential coach, how they work, and if they would be a good fit for your team. This step in the hiring process cannot be skipped if you want to make sure you are hiring the best possible coach for your business.
Take the time to do it right, and you will be rewarded with a staff full of A-players who help you take your gym to the next level.