Monday, January 23, 2017


Employee Retention in the Fitness Industry

Retaining employees in any industry is critical to the success of the business. In the fitness industry, there is a combination of part-time and full time employees, and both are extremely valuable to the success of the business.

Employee turnover is not only expensive, but more importantly, derails customer service, member retention and meeting financial objectives. So how does a fitness businesses ensure they do a better job in this vital area?

It starts at the top. If ownership and management believe employees are their greatest asset, that is essential for success.

5 Key Components for Employee Retention

1.     Create a Recruitment Strategy

a.     Qualified Hiring Manager: It is essential that the hiring manager is equipped to do the job. Training on proper interviewing/hiring techniques and following legal practices is important.

b.     Manager’s Hiring Tool Kit: Make sure the hiring manager/s have the tools to succeed. They should have job descriptions, compensation plans, interviewing questions, new hire paperwork and more.

c.      Next Man Up: All job applicants should receive an acknowledgement for applying; a professional courtesy. Also, for those candidates that were close to getting hired, contact them and encourage them for future opportunities. Keep those candidates resumes close at hand!

2.     Onboarding and Training: A key ingredient for employee retention is a well thought out onboarding and training program. Poorly planned onboarding and training will cost you time and money in the long run.

3.     Employee Reviews: Try to conduct employee reviews 2 times a year. It is a great way to stay in touch with employees and help them grow and stay motivated.

4.     Compensation and Perks: Pay attention to your local market and be competitive with compensation. You will also have the edge on other businesses as you can provide memberships, discounts on services and a whole range of perks to keep your staff motivated and having fun.

5.     Career Tracks: Identify staff members who are interested in the fitness industry as their future. Spend time providing insight and motivation so they can reach their goals working for your company.
Keeping statistics on key metrics of personnel will let you know how you and your team at doing.
Alan Cohen is a renowned fitness industry career expert with more than 30 years of experience in the health club industry. He is the founder and president of Alan can be reached at or by calling 800-259-4397.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

7 Things Fitness Companies Must Do Now to Have a Great 2017

1.  Make certain your team is the best possible group of employees possible. Evaluate all employees top to bottom right now and coach up or out C level employees.

2.   Designate a recruiting leader to oversee recruitment. Someone needs to take ownership of the process and procedures, regardless of how large or small your business is.

3.    Make sure your hiring managers have all the tools they need to present a professional image for your company: Job descriptions, updated compensation plans/benefits and interview questions. Have a meeting in advance and review the interview process with all hiring managers.

4.   Create a budget for the 4th quarter. Determine where and when you will place all recruitment ads. At, we believe our unlimited job posting subscriptions are the best value anywhere and should be part of everybody’s recruiting plan. However, we also believe you should have a diverse recruiting strategy that includes a variety of options.

5.    Create DYNAMIC recruitment ads! Great employees are attracted to great ads. Crummy ads attract crummy people! Keep in mind when creating effective recruitment ads: Job Seekers are interested in “What’s in it for them”. List compensation ranges, benefits, perks, continuing education reimbursements if any, club memberships for them and possible family members, relocation allowances etc. Make sure your ads have an opening branding paragraph about your business and any accolades and what’s special about your business. Recruitment ads should not be MERCENARY filled with MUST DOs!

6.   Make certain you respond to all applicants. That is the professional approach. Keep in mind that anyone you don’t hire may become a member or have family members that may me member prospects.

7.   Make sure you have a well thought out training program in writing and equally important is a well thought out onboarding process for all new employees.

As a final note, recruiting new team members is expensive in labor as well as recruitment costs. Do a great job and your business will reap the rewards in a higher level of member retention, customer care and greater profits!

Alan Cohen is a renowned fitness industry expert with more than 30 years of experience in the health club industry. He is the president and founder of and author of: How to Land Your Dream Fitness Job - A Complete Guide to Finding Your Dream Job in the Health and Fitness Industry. He can be reached at 800-259-4397 or by email:

Monday, September 12, 2016

How to Become a General Manager in the Health Club Industry

Managing and leading a team of people in all industries have similar characteristics. If you have a passion for fitness, customer service, leadership and experience, plus a sales and marketing aptitude, then you have the “Right Stuff” for health club management. Below I will fill in the blanks and try to help you with some valuable steps you need to take to land a club management job.

If you are new to the industry, but have the experience and skills listed above than you need to beef up your resume with some club experience. Below are some easy steps to take.

1. Become a member of the most successful club you can afford.

2. Take a part-time job as a front desk associate at the most successful club with the BEST REPUTATION in the area.

3. Get a job part-time (If you have a full-time job) in the membership sales department. This is critical. If you understand the ins and outs of membership sales, then you have your foot in the door. Track your accomplishments!

4. Take some personal training sessions so you can see how this department works. Personal training is a critical component and profit center for health clubs.

5. Pay attention to the cleanliness, maintenance and customer service of the club. This will show you have an aptitude about these important aspect of club operations.

6. Try to get a part-time job with supervisory experience in a smaller franchise club. A weekend managers job would be a valuable asset to your resume.

After 12 months, you now have enough experience to apply for a club management job. Your economic needs may be the driver on your approach here. The more flexible your compensation requirements are, the easier your career change will be. You probably will have numerous entry level management opportunities. is a great site to explore health club opportunities. Also, you may look at club management jobs at IHRSA, a fitness industry trade organization. Your previous experience may move you along rapidly in this industry.

When making a decision on possible employers, do this carefully. Try to join a well-respected, successful organization. As you enter the fitness industry there will be no shortage of amazing opportunities, as it is a booming industry and will be for the rest of time based on the ability of health clubs to improve lives.

Alan Cohen is a renowned fitness industry expert with more than 30 years of experience in the health club industry. He is the president and founder of and author of: How to Land Your Dream Fitness Job - A Complete Guide to Finding Your Dream Job in the Health and Fitness Industry. He can be reached at 800-259-4397 or by email:

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Technology and the Frustration of Using Technology

It has been a long time since I have posted on the blog. Why you might ask?

Is it that I hate writing blog articles?

Is it that I am too busy too write valuable content for my blog?

Is it that I don't think it's important?

Nope, it's none of the above. The fact of the matter is, I get lazy and frustrated with technology and the challenges that it sometimes presents. The truth is I have not been able to login and through many attempts, I just gave up for a while. Today, miraculously, I was able to login. Imagine that:)

So, coming soon, I hope to be a regular contributor to the blog!

Alan Cohen

Monday, April 21, 2014

         Fitness Career Tips         for 2014 Grads

If you are one of the 2 million plus college graduates this year, you may find yourself working in the health and fitness industry; even though you did not take any related courses. The fitness industry is rock-solid with well over 40,000 locations and 25 billion in annual revenues. Club memberships have become a requirement for leading a healthy life, not a luxury, like in years past. 

Working in a health club could become a good fallback job compared to working in restaurants and other entry level positions. The big upside is you almost always get a complimentary gym membership. This provides an opportunity to get in great shape, which is a powerful tool that will assist you in your ongoing career search. Additionally, working for a health club is a great perk for your social life.  Finally, many business owners and hiring managers are members of fitness clubs, providing you an endless source of networking possibilities.

If your degree is in fitness management, the exercise sciences, recreation, sports management or a related field, the fitness industry is probably already on your radar.

Below are several fitness career tips from  These tips have been posted on Talk, as well as posts from our Twitter, Facebook or Blog accounts. Many of these tips/ posts have been shared from other career sites, particularly Careerealism, a fantastic career site that all job seekers need to subscribe to.

Three Basic Tips to Help You Get an Interview

 5 Interview Blunders You Need to Avoid

7 Interview Questions You Should Ask

Marketing Strategies for Landing Your Dream Fitness Job Facebook Page is Loaded With Great Career Tips

Careerealism Top Ten Articles

Why Niche Job Boards are Important for Your Search

Optimizing Your Resume With Keywords

Ten Components of a Great Resume

Alan Cohen is a renowned fitness industry career expert with more than 30 years of experience in the health club industry. He is the founder of and author of: LandYourDreamFitnessJob He can be reached by email: or by calling 800-259-4397.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Park and Recreation Jobs Summer Employment Opportunities

Getting a summer/seasonal job this year will be very competitive because of the economy. With high unemployment, teenagers and college graduates are competing with adults for jobs that traditionally went to students on break. The good news is there are a large number of jobs available in the recreation field. Companies are already gearing up to hire staff in a variety of positions for both outdoor and indoor activities. To get the job you want this summer you should be applying now.

Opportunities for recreation jobs can be found at summer camps, water parks, country clubs, master planned communities, municipal park and recreation centers, hotels, resorts, and even cruise ships. Non-profits such as Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCAs, and JCCs will need additional staff to work with kids out of school for the summer.

Many of the same positions are available at each facility. One of the most popular is lifeguarding. Although most jobs don’t require specialized training, being a lifeguard will require certification by the American Red Cross. Other aquatic jobs include pool manager, waterfront director, and swimming instructor.

Summer camp opportunities are a little more adventurous. Camps are looking for canoeing, waterskiing, mountain climbing, and wilderness instructors, in addition to lifeguards and camp counselors. Positions at country clubs or golf courses include food service, activities staff and caddies. Health clubs, destination spas, hotels and resorts, need lifeguards, sports and fitness instructors to teach exercise activities such as Pilates, aerobics, martial arts, and yoga to individuals and groups.

But not all jobs in the recreation field involve sport. You can still enjoy the atmosphere of a recreational setting by working in customer service, food and beverage, retail, maintenance, housekeeping, and as front desk staff. Childcare is also in demand at many facilities.

A great place to start your job search is at Although some companies require that you fill out an application online, you should also prepare a resume. Once you get the interview, it’s essential to have a resume geared to a particular job to give to the interviewer in person. A variety of free resume templates are available at Make sure that you also have a list of references prepared. They can make the difference in whether you get the job or not. And do research on the company where you want to apply. Not only will that tell you whether it’s the right place for you to work, but will also help you during the interview.

There are many advantages in working a summer recreation job. Positions can be either full or part-time. Schedules can be flexible to meet yours or the company’s needs. There is also a great opportunity to meet people and network. One of the best perks may be a free membership to your facility, along with discounts on food and retail products. You may even increase your own fitness with club privileges.

Recreation jobs are fun and can seem informal, but remember to keep a professional manner. They can be resume enhancers and the source of references for future jobs or even a new career track.

Alan Cohen launched in 1998 as a website for both job seekers and employers specializing in the health, fitness, recreation, and leisure industries. Over the years, Cohen built a unique “collection” of websites that now encompass six integrated job boards:,,,,, and Cohen also offers personalized advice to job seekers and employers to ensure their success at 800-259-4397.