6 Keys for Group Fitness Instructor Recruitment

Mar 13, 2023

People are not your most important asset. The right people are.

6 Keys for Group Fitness Instructor Recruitment

Jim Collins, researcher, business consultant and iconic author wrote, “The old adage ‘People are your most important asset’ turns out to be wrong. People are not your most important asset. The right people are.” We all know this to be true, so why is it that recruitment doesn’t seem to be anyone’s priority? Instead, it seems like a lot of complaining along the lines of “good people are hard to find.” 

Well, yes, good people are hard to find when you aren’t actively looking, all the time. Because here’s the thing: recruitment is an active, ongoing process. It never ends. If you oversee a team, you oversee recruitment. You are “in the business of recruitment.” And when you are in the business of instructor recruitment, you are never NOT looking for talented people to join your team. It’s a mindset.

I was visiting a club in Florida and their Group Fitness Manager (GFM) picked us up from the airport. On our way to the facility, we stopped at Starbucks. We were greeted by a super-friendly barista who was chatty, smiley, and friendly. The next minute, the GFM was asking whether the barista was into fitness and where he worked out. After a few minutes of conversation, the GFM handed the barista a business card and said, “We are looking for some new recruits and hosting a training next month… give me a call if you are interested.” Now, I don’t know if the barista ever called; that’s not the point of the story. The point of the story is that this GFM was clearly in the business of recruitment. He was never NOT looking for talent.

Instructor Recruitment Key 1: First Who, Then What.

In his book Good to Great, Jim Collins identifies that great organizations make sure they have the right people on the bus first (and the wrong people off the bus) before deciding where to drive the bus. Many “good to great” leaders understand that, if people are on the bus only because of where it is going, if you change course, you have a problem. But, if people are on the bus because of the other people on the bus (the team), then you can change course more easily.

Instructor Recruitment Key 2: Like Attracts Like.

Once you get on a recruitment roll, it is the gift that keeps on giving. When a team is firing on all cylinders, it has an energy, a gravitational pull, if you will. People want to be part of a high-performing team. If you have amazing instructors who pull big numbers and deliver high energy experiences, then that looks appealing. Other people will start to say, “I’d love to do that.” (The opposite is also true, but that’s a topic for a different article.)

Instructor Recruitment Key 3: Why Would They Want to Work for Me? 

If you can’t come up with a compelling reason why someone would want to work for you or be a part of your team, then it is time to do a little reflecting. Hiring great people requires you to be a great employer. Gone are the days when a salary alone is compelling. Today’s employees are looking for other things, like flexibility, childcare, training, working with people they are fond of, etc.

Instructor Recruitment Key 4: Create a Sticky Web.

Ultimately, in the fitness business, we are trying to create a sticky web that attracts members. The sticky web is your team. It is not the bricks and mortar. It is your people and how your people make people feel.

Instructor Recruitment Key 5: Know Your WHY.

Legendary speaker, thought leader, and author, Simon Sinek, has said, “The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.” This is also true when it comes to recruitment. You should always be looking for people who believe what you believe, who believe in your WHY. Do you know your WHY? Why do you exist? If you are not clear on your WHY for doing business (besides being profitable), then how will you attract like-minded people to help you with your cause?

Instructor Recruitment Key 6: Have a Plan or Plan to Fail!

Want to be better at recruitment? You need to have a system in place. Whether it’s job fairs, movement auditions, hiring seminars, or Discovery Hours, something must feed the funnel. This is the “active” part of being in the recruitment business. All team leaders should have “recruiting to build a world class team” or similar in first position on their job descriptions.

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Need help recruiting group fitness instructors? We’ve created an amazing resource to help your fitness facility build your group fitness instructor team. Join the Movement is our recruitment initiative and video series, designed to help you attract, identify, and recruit new people to join your team. Think of it as “the training before the training.” To learn more about Join the Movement and how we can help you with your group fitness instructor recruitment, visit here.

People are not your most important asset. The right people are.


Cathy Spencer Browning
VP of Training & Programming

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