Monday, December 20, 2010

Unemployed? Hundreds of fitness and spa jobs now available!

Looking for a new job, new career for 2011? Currently, there are 735 fitness and spa job openings posted on FitnessJobs.com and SpaandSalonJobs.com. The jobs are located in 30 different states throughout the U.S.
The type of jobs you will find on FitnessJobs.com and SpaandSaonJobs.com are extensive. There is something for everyone. Many of the positions will offer paid training, particularly if you have some transferable work skills and experience.


Here are just some of the openings that are NOW available: Personal training jobs, personal training manager positions, fitness specialists, fitness directors, membership sales representatives, general managers/assistant general manager jobs, group exercise instructors and group exercise manager positions. There are hundreds of jobs in the spa and salon industry available. There are massage therapist jobs, esthetician jobs, plus spa and salon management positions now open.

There are numerous customer service/receptionist positions, aquatic instructor and lifeguard jobs, physical therapist positions, wellness director and chiropractic positions, just to name a few.


Additionally, medical benefits may be available, as many of the companies have hundreds if not thousands of employees. And, you can almost count on receiving a free club membership and possible discounted memberships for family members. In the fitness and spa industry, you will also find a great selection of full-time and part-time jobs. Most locations are open 7 days a week, so there are a lot of scheduling options available. If you are making a commitment for a new career and better health in 2011, than a career in the fitness or spa industry may be just what the doctor ordered!


Take a look at all the positions posted on FitnessJobs.com and SpaandSalonJobs.com. It is FREE to search jobs. You don’t need to register to search current job openings. If you want to post a resume or set up a job alert, you will need to register.

Alan Cohen is the Founder and President of FitnessJobs.com and The Career Collection. Alan has spent over 35 years in the fitness industry and founded FitnessJobs.com 11+ years ago. Alan is passionate about the fitness and recreation industry and loves helping employers and employees connect for fruitful relationships. Check out Trade Talk on FitnessJobs.com for more fitness indsutry tips and information. For more information about recruiting on FitnessJobs.com call 800-259-4397

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Is your membership staffing model in need of an overhaul?


With the Bush-era tax cuts likely extended for two more years and the delay of tax increases for all Americans, do you have the staffing model in place to capture the 2011 New Years Resolution traffic?

Many staffing models exist in the club industry today. If you are a country club or full service athletic club serving the top demographics in the marketplace, with an annual sales budget of say 200-350 new members, you can probably achive these goals with a staff of 1-3 membership reps.


In the higher end market, you need enough staff to prospect for new members, be available to tour and answer questions for prospects/referrals on a 6-7 day a week basis. Also, a high end club membership staff member is often the point person for member retention and customer service related issues. So many companies, with initiation fees of $1,500 and above and average dues of $175++ per month, opt for more staff members to be able to provide the best possible member experience.


If you are a higher volume facility that has an annual budget of say 500-750 new members, you probably need a team of 2 to 4 membership reps.


In a lower priced, high volume facility that may sell 2500-4,000 new memberships per year, you may need a staff of 5-10 membership reps. You would need a membership director, possibly an assistant membership director plus 6-8 membership reps to be able to accommodate this volume of membership activity.


In my 35 years working in the fitness industry, I have experienced all of the staffing models above. Over 25 years ago, which is a lifetime to some; I worked for Scandinavian Health Clubs in Miami, Florida. I was introduced to a unique staffing model, which to this day, I found to be extremely successful and ENJOYABLE for a high volume club.


This is how it worked:
Each club had a GM and two teams of membership reps with two sales directors. We probably had an overall membership sales department of 12-14, including the sales directors. Each sales team worked either a 12 hour - Monday/Wednesday shift or Tuesday/Thursday shift plus every other Friday and every other weekend. Inevitably, the reps would also come in on their off days for appointments, finalizing agreements and to workout. It was refreshing, relaxing and extremely productive.


Whatever your membership department needs are, make sure you invest an adequate amount of time to recruit, hire the best and train your staffAlso, have the proper leadership in place to inspire your team. If you do this, you will handily exceed your department and club financial expectations.

Alan Cohen is the Founder and President of FitnessJobs.com and The Career Collection. Alan has spent over 35 years in the fitness industry and founded FitnessJobs.com 11+ years ago. Alan is passionate about the fitness and recreation industry and loves helping employers and employees connect for fruitful relationships. Check out Trade Talk on FitnessJobs.com for more fitness indsutry tips and information. For more information about recruiting on FitnessJobs.com call 800-259-4397.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Is a Corporate Sales Position a Legitimate Fitness Job?


The answer to this question depends on the health club/company behind the position. Many, if not most clubs have aspirations of tapping into the corporate market or “group sales”. Very few clubs/companies do a great job of it.


The dilemma lies in the approach, resources and STRATEGY companies put behind their corporate sales effort. Most companies subscribe to the theory that group sales = 5+ more members joining at the same time. Most companies waive most of the enrollment fees and begin a discount dues program at this point. This corporate sales program is outdated and probably has limited success.


Also, most companies do not hire sales staff exclusively for b2b sales to do their corporate outreach. They tell their existing membership sales staff to “Go out there and get some group business” armed with no more than a business card, guest passes and club brochure if they are lucky. Many if not most, have no b2b sales experience. Corporate sales are much different than touring walk-ins at the local gym.


Most club sales staff are not armed with the abundance of information available on the benefits of exercise and how it improves employee productivity and reduces companies health insurance costs. (A tremendous benefit for small companies).


If you are seeking a membership sales position in a health club and corporate sales is a requirement, here are a few questions to ask:


1. Explain how your corporate sales program works.


2. Is there a training program for corporate sales?


3. What type of collateral materials do you have to support your corporate sales efforts?


4. What percent of your time is required for corporate sales?


5. How is the sales process and commissions handled with corporate/group sales? Are your company leads split between other staff who may tour your company leads?

A successful company may take this approach to a corporate sales program:


1. They hire experienced b2b staff or train their staff extensively on how to develop corporate sales business.


2. They provide collateral materials and also have other presentation materials such as Power Point presentations explaining the benefits of exercise and how a health club membership for employees can benefit a company’s bottom line.


3. Their corporate program requires participating companies to provide a pre-determined amount of access to their employees: Payroll stuffers, posters in break rooms/employee lounges, trial memberships for new hires, on-site promotions, health fairs and more!


If you are thinking of entering the health club industry and corporate sales is part of the job, you will gain valuable b2b experience and have a very pleasant, diverse work day. Just make sure the company provides you with the tools to succeed!

Alan Cohen is the Founder and President of FitnessJobs.com and The Career Collection. Alan has spent over 35 years in the fitness industry and founded FitnessJobs.com 11+ years ago. Alan is passionate about the fitness and recreation industry and loves helping employers and employees connect for fruitful relationships. Check out Trade Talk on FitnessJobs.com for more fitness indsutry tips and information. For more information about recruiting on FitnessJobs.com call 800-259-4397.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Fitness Jobs or Club Ownership

Recently I received an email from an industry veteran I have known for over 10 years through FitnessJobs.com. He asked if I knew of any really good jobs out there for a man of his experience. He said he was willing to relocate.


My pat answer is there are lots of great opportunities on FitnessJobs.com. It is up to you, the savvy club veteran to decipher who are good employers and who are not. I also suggested he look around for any clubs for sale, particularly a Snap Fitness or Anytime Fitness franchise.


Why them? I happen to think they have a great concept. Low labor costs, small operation that won’t stress you out or your financial resources. (Compared to large, older clubs that are maintenance and staff intensive).


Plus I believe because they have been such a hot franchise over the years, there will be lots of people wanting out - due to your typical life situations: divorce/death/too much work/etc. I also know a young couple (under 30 years old) who have opened 3 Snap Fitness clubs in the past three years and are doing very well. They bought directly from the Snap fitness corporate office and had the luxury of family financing.


What I suggested to my friend was the following:


1. Approach franchisees where you live and see if they are in the mode to sell. Worst case scenario if they are doing well, you may find yourself a good job. You may become a consultant for them or you may become a regional manager, etc.


2. Explore areas you’d love to move to. Take a vacation/work trip and investigate step #1. You may just find your dream job and move to your dream city at the same time.

3. Contact Snap Fitness or Anytime Fitness corporate office. They may have a resale department.


Several years ago I placed ads in several trade magazines looking for an ownership/equity stake in a club and had numerous really interesting offers. I mad a bad decision, because my judgment was clouded by the city that the opportunity was located in. Fell in love with the area, but didn’t do my due diligence on the ownership group. Just another valuable life lesson I learned the hard way!


Moral of the story is if you have a job and you are not satisfied with the opportunity, than while you are employed; check around for ownership/equity opportunities. Also, continue to search new fitness career opportunities on FitnessJobs.com.


If you don’t have a job, look for your ideal career opportunity on FitnessJobs.com, but don’t discount ownership as an option.

Alan Cohen is the Founder and President of FitnessJobs.com and The Career Collection. Alan has spent over 35 years in the fitness industry and founded FitnessJobs.com 11+ years ago. Alan is passionate about the fitness and recreation industry and loves helping employers and employees connect for fruitful relationships. Check out Trade Talk on FitnessJobs.com for more fitness indsutry tips and information. For more information about recruiting on FitnessJobs.com call 800-259-4397

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Top 5 Qualities of the Superstar Sales Rep

Introducing Guest Blogger Brenda Abdilla


Brenda Abdilla is the President of Management Momentum. After a 15-year career of professional speaking and consulting, Brenda founded Management Momentum to allow her to focus on fewer companies and focus on her intense passion for improving sales and management performance. Brenda has authored two books, Selling for Results and Marketing for Results (1996 Cardinal Business Media), and her articles have appeared in over 50 publications.


The Top 5 Qualities of the Superstar Sales Rep


The one who can sell “ice to Eskimos” or “hot tea in hell.” We are all looking for that hit-the-ground-running, low-maintenance, high-production sales superstar to add to our team. To assist us in our quest, the Gallup Organization, with authors Smith & Rutigliano, published the groundbreaking book Discover Your Sales Strengths (Warner Books, 2003), which is based on the data from 250,000 sales calls and over 80,000 sales manager interviews. Based on 40 years of data, this book crushes the popular belief of what makes a top producer and outlines the real elements employers should be looking for in salespeople. They call these ideal qualities The Five Dimensions of Fit.


The Five Dimensions of Fit:


Gallup research shows that sales success stems from patterns of thought, feeling and behavior that explain the following:


1. Motivation (drive)– Statistics show that reps who get their motivational needs met in their current role account for 40% of what makes that rep successful—roughly twice as much as any other factor. Motivated salespeople sell more across the board. Note: being motivated by MONEY is not necessarily a factor. Motivated is motivated! Think about achievement, praise, connection, control…. what are the dominant themes of the people on your team? Think of your top producers—what truly motivates them?


2. The way they build relationships– A rep’s approach to building relationships and how this fits with your company, product and brand are critical to success.


3. The way they gain commitments– Relationships alone are meaningless unless the rep has a natural ability to wrap things up, to ask for the sale, to close.


4. The structure they need to get their work done– Does the rep require complete silence? A frenzied environment? Total independence? A team? How does this fit with the atmosphere/realities at your company?


5. Their ability to understand and solve customer needs– While top reps each have their own way of approaching and meeting customer needs, the existence of this element is critical to sales success.


The bottom line: Gallup research reveals that a full 35% of all reps, across industries, simply do not have the talent to be in sales. How does your team measure up?


Brenda regularly posts jobs and recruits on FitnessJobs.com for some of the top brands in the fitness industry. You can purchase Brenda’s eBooks at http://www.brendaabdilla.com/.

Alan Cohen is the Founder and President of FitnessJobs.com and The Career Collection. Alan has spent over 35 years in the fitness industry and founded FitnessJobs.com 11+ years ago. Alan is passionate about the fitness and recreation industry and loves helping employers and employees connect for fruitful relationships. For more information about recruiting on FitnessJobs.com call 800-259-4397

Friday, November 5, 2010

How to Negotiate Compensation in the Fitness Industry

How can I earn more money from my fitness job? Easy. It all starts with a well thought out strategy. Below you will find important elements for your strategy.

First, you need to know how much you need to earn to pay your bills and to provide you/your family the lifestyle you want. (Realistically).

Second, you need to know what the industry is paying for people with your experience, education and certifications. Check out the ACE 2010 salary survey results.

Third, you need to determine which companies in the industry offer top compensation packages: Salary/hourly, commissions, bonus, benefits, paid time off, continuing education reimbursement, etc. Network and ask fellow associates and friends.

Fourth, determine if you are a candidate to relocate. Immediate opportunities, necessity, cost of living requirements and your level of experience are all things to be taken into consideration here.

Fifth, Once you interview and are offered a job, there will never be a better opportunity to ask for more money than at this time. You need to know everything stated above. Here’s how to negotiate for a better compensation plan:

1. Thank the hiring manager for the opportunity. Let them know how excited you are about joining the organization.

2. Hopefully they will walk you through a written offer outlining the compensation package.

3. Make sure you completely understand this. Clarify anything that is unclear.

4. If you have a family involved, let them know you’d like to review their offer with your family and would it be ok to get back with them tomorrow or the next day.

5. Review the offer with family/friends.

6. If the offer is exactly what you want and you do not have any issues, accept.

7. If you want to ask for more hourly, salary, commissions, bonus, paid time off, etc. now is the time. Repeat: There will never be a better time to negotiate than now!

8. Negotiate. Remind the hiring manager how interested you are in the opportunity with the company. Let them know based on a well thought out evaluation what your issues are: Salary isn’t going to cover cost of living changes, transportation/parking charges, insurance contributions etc. Ask them if there is anything they can do to bridge the gap with a higher salary/package, etc? Sometimes they have offered you the max, and you need to be able to accept the offer (if it works for you) with a well thought out presentaion.

9. The best time to land a better job is while you are still employed! Your negotiation power is at the peak!

As an example, I was offered a position in Chicago. I was living in Wisconsin. After doing the math, I determined the move was not going to be financially sound and explained why. (I researched rents, food, auto insurance, parking, etc.) The company came back to me with a $20,000 increase from their initial offer!

Do your homework; study the art of negotiation and you will position yourself at the top of the pay scale in the fitness industry.


Alan Cohen is the Founder and President of FitnessJobs.com and The Career Collection. Alan has spent over 35 years in the fitness industry and founded FitnessJobs.com 11+ years ago. Alan is passionate about the fitness and recreation industry and loves helping employers and employees connect for fruitful relationships. Check out Trade Talk on FitnessJobs.com for more fitness indsutry tips and information. For more information about recruiting on FitnessJobs.com call 800-259-4397

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fitness Jobs, Tattoos and Body Piercings

What's your company policy on tattoos and body piercings? If it's not in writing, it doesn't exist and you will probably get sued sooner rather than later.

In this day and age with a significant percent of the health and fitness work force in their 20's, your company needs to take a stand on tattoos and piercings. Be liberal, be conservative; that's your choice. But put it in writing so your hiring managers know what the policy is and to protect yourself from legal actions.

 
If you want a "no visible" tattoo and piercing policy than you need to have a written policy in your company manual.  Once you provide employees with a well versed company policy, it can aid in avoiding legal issues in all aspects of the work environment. Once written into the policy, it can stand as legal ground, and if violated the company can take whatever action that they need to remedy the problem. Many fitness industry companies feel that they need these policies in place in order to protect the public image of their business.

Some companies allow employees to cover up tattoos and ask employees to remove piercings before they come to work. Some companies allow opaque makeup. Some companies make decisions on a case by case basis. Whatever your policy is put it in your company manual.

Also, once your policy is in writing you must be CONSISTENT enforcing it. Make sure your new employees sign that they have read and understand your dress code and related policies. Employers are allowed to impose dress codes and appearance policies as long as they do not discriminate on race, color, religion, age, national origin or gender.


If you don't have a company manual, take a look at our previous blog and get it going. It's not that difficult to do, particularly if you buy a template online.

Alan Cohen is the Founder and President of FitnessJobs.com and The Career Collection. Alan has spent over 35 years in the fitness industry and founded FitnessJobs.com 11+ years ago. Alan is passionate about the fitness and recreation industry and loves helping employers and employees connect for fruitful relationships. Check out Trade Talk on FitnessJobs.com for more fitness indsutry tips and information. For more information about recruiting on FitnessJobs.com call 800-259-4397.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Employee Referral Program Pays Dividends

One of the best ways to recruit front-line staff is having an employee referral program in place. Employees will love it; the accounting department will hate it. (More work).

It is easy to put together and the obvious upside for employees is they have an additional way to earn money. The upside for the company is also obvious: Save on recruiting dollars, save on recruiting manpower and hire-in compatible people for your staff.


It is important when you launch an employee referral program that you make sure that staff members understand the importance and responsibility of a “referral”. Their personal referral is a reflection on them as a person/employee and they need to take that seriously.


From an economic standpoint you can assign any dollar value that works for your budget. Below is an example:

- $50 total value for an employee referral
- $25 paid after 30-45 days of successful employment
- $25 balance due at the 6 month mark


As you can see an employee referral program can be customized in an infinite amount of ways. I have worked for several companies that have successfully run employee referral programs so I know they work. Save your recruiting dollars to place ads on FitnessJobs.com for personal trainers, specialized contract labor, full-time or higher level positions.


Alan Cohen is the Founder and President of FitnessJobs.com and The Career Collection. Alan has spent over 35 years in the fitness industry and founded FitnessJobs.com 11+ years ago. Alan is passionate about the fitness and recreation industry and loves helping employers and employees connect for fruitful relationships. Check out Trade Talk on FitnessJobs.com for more fitness indsutry tips and information. For more information about recruiting on FitnessJobs.com call 800-259-4397.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Creating Performance Reviews for the Fitness Industry

As the fitness industry ramps up for 2011-Q1, now would be an ideal time to evaluate the way you handle performance reviews.

Below are the components of a performance review that you may want to consider for management team members. You must also determine the financial value tied to the review. The sample review is conducted 2x's per year with the eligible annual bonus divided by two. Many companies pay a bonus of 20-30% of salary. Some companies based on the amount of salary, pick a number that they feel works well for the organization. This could be up to 40% of the salary.

There are three components to the performance review example:
1. Personal performance objectives.
2. Leadership competencies.
3. Meeting financial objectives.

1. Personal performance objectives are tailor made for the person/position. The sample below is a for a Regional Sales and Marketing Director:

1. Create and manage an annual marketing plan that is approved by the Sr. Management Team.
a. Manage all aspects of collateral materials: design, printing, budget, quality and mailing.
b. Work with club Sales Directors to track effectiveness of marketing materials and provide quarterly reports to Sr. Management Team.

2. Manage company website.
a. Evaluate website and make changes in order to maximize website/Internet potential.
b. Work with clubs to aggressively aquire members email adresses for database marketing.
c. Expand marketing of website.

3. Create a graphic standards program for the company.
a. Standardize collateral materials for quality and cost effectiveness.
b. Create template driven program for flyers and posters for ease of use by club staff members.

4. Manage Public Relations firm.
a. Set goals and expectations for PR firm by XYZ date.
b. Create quarterly reports for Sr. Management team.

5. Create and provide marketing support for club profit centers.
a. Create collateral materials for personal training, spa and tennis departments.
b. Work with staff to create and implement grassroots marketing plans.

Dollar value: 35% of total bonus

2. Leadership Competencies
1. Strategic Leadership: Creating opportunites and innovative solutions for the future.
2. Delivery leadership: Accountable for the success or failure of managing operations.
3. Character and Principle: Demonstrates strong character and principle in all business practices.
4. Member Services: Exceeding member expectations.
5. People leadership: Creates an effective work team.
6. Team Member: Maximizes organizational performance through a collaborative and interdependent effort.

Dollar Value: 35%  

3. Meeting financial objectives:
    1. Meet department expense budget: 50%
    2. Meet company revenue budget: 50%

Dollar Value: 30%

Employee is eligible for bonus participation by meeting or exceeding their plan. Bonuses can be a percent of plan + or -.

Alan Cohen is the Founder and President of FitnessJobs.com and The Career Collection. Alan has spent over 35 years in the fitness industry and founded FitnessJobs.com 11+ years ago. Alan is passionate about the fitness and recreation industry and loves helping employers and employees connect for fruitful relationships. Check out Trade Talk on FitnessJobs.com for more fitness indsutry tips and information. For more information about recruiting on FitnessJobs.com call 800-259-4397.

Friday, October 22, 2010

10 Things to Consider When Hiring Membership Reps

One of the most important decisions that leaders in the fitness and recreation industry will be making this time of year will be the addition of a new member to their membership sales department. It is imperative that this hire will be a productive and complimentary part of the team. The new associate may be the difference between the department/club making budget and team members making their annual bonus.
  
Below is a list of 10 Must Haves to be considered as a top membership sales representative candidate:
1. Passionate about the industry
2. 1-3 years experience as a sales professional
3. Excellent prospecting and networking skills: Phone & community
4. Strong business acumen
5. Stable work history
6. Compatible to the demographics they will be selling
7. Ability to work a flexible schedule that may include evenings and weekends
8. Must be a match with realistic earning potential/expectations
9. Must work well in team environment
10. Honesty-Integrity. Passes background and employment verification checks


A few words of caution to some common mistakes in hiring membership sales reps:
1. Do not hire on looks.
2. Do not hire strictly on personality.
3. Do not bypass references/employment verification!
4. Do not wait to the last minute to begin the recruiting process.

Alan Cohen is the Founder and President of FitnessJobs.com and The Career Collection. Alan has spent over 35 years in the fitness industry and founded FitnessJobs.com 11+ years ago. Alan is passionate about the fitness and recreation industry and loves helping employers and employees connect for fruitful relationships. Check out Trade Talk on FitnessJobs.com for more fitness indsutry tips and information. For more information about recruiting on FitnessJobs.com call 800-259-4397.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What Type of Fitness Job Do You Want?



If you are a recent high school or college graduate or someone looking for a career change, you have an abundance of choices in different vertical markets of the fitness and recreation industry. Your education and experience will open or close some doors, but if you look at the hundreds of job posted on FitnessJobs.com, you will see there are plenty of jobs for everyone.

The vertical markets refer to the different segments of the fitness, recreation and leisure industries. The list below represents the main segments:



- Commercial health clubs


- Franchises (Anytime Fitness, Gold’s Gyms, Snap Fitness, etc).


- Medical Fitness (Developed by Hospitals)


- Corporate Fitness (Onsite fitness centers offered to company employees)


- Country Clubs


- Hotels/Resorts


- Municipal park and recreation departments


- Government/military sites


- Master planned communities


- Senior/active aging communities


- Colleges/Universities


- Non Profits (YMCA/JCC/Boys and Girls Clubs)


- Aquatics Facilities/Water Parks


The good news is, you have the opportunity to gain valuable experience as you work on finishing your education. You can get a part-time job as a cafĂ© or front desk associate while in high school or college. You can navigate your way through a variety of departments within the facility as you gain experience and education: Front desk, sales, restaurant, housekeeping, spa and salon, fitness floor staff, personal trainer,  childcare, maintenance, lifeguard and more! The fitness and recreation industry offers an unlimited amount of career opportunities. There are an abundance of part-time and full-time jobs for people just starting out or retirees looking for something to do and extra income. Plus you almost always get a free membership!


While completing your education it would be well worth your while to experience a variety of positions in different vertical markets. Once you do this, it may help you decide on what you need to do in terms of future experience/education/certifications to land your perfect job in your chosen segment of the industry.

Alan Cohen is the Founder and President of FitnessJobs.com and The Career Collection. Alan has spent over 35 years in the fitness industry and founded FitnessJobs.com 11+ years ago. Alan is passionate about the fitness and recreation industry and loves helping employers and employees connect for fruitful relationships. Check out Trade Talk on FitnessJobs.com for more fitness indsutry tips and information.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Ten Tips to Finding Your Dream Fitness Job

Timing is everything and NOW is the time most fitness companies are hiring as they prepare for the most important quarter of the year beginning January 2011. Below is a checklist of things to do if you want to capitalize on this opportunity to advance your fitness career.

1. Give your resume a tune-up. If you have any doubt that your resume is anything but an A+ calling card, get help. Ask a successful friend, family member or neighbor. Go online and review resume information. Just make sure you do it.


2. Make sure you have an engaging cover letter. Get help online or from a trusted advisor. If you are applying online for a position on sites such as FitnessJobs.com and need to email a resume, make SURE that your email to the hiring manager has an engaging message, similar to your cover letter.


3. Get your reference list updated. Make sure you have alerted former employers/managers, business references and personal references that they make be getting a reference call as you are looking for new opportunities. Make sure their phone numbers are accurate.


4. Research the companies you are interviewing with. If you are local, ask associates what they know about the organization. Shop the club and make mental notes about how the business is run. Research them online and become an EXPERT about their organization. Be able to recite their mission statement.


5. Buy a book on interviewing. This will be a great tune-up for you if you haven’t interviewed for a while. If you have been on lots of interviews and are not getting any offers, this would be a worthy investment.


6. Network. If you are in the running for a position, think about everyone you know who may have an inside track on the company. PLAY THAT HAND!


7. Make sure your interview wardrobe is in order. Make sure you are visiting the salon regularly, so if you get a last minute interview you are looking good!


8. Know what you compensation requirements are. You need to know your bottom line for accepting a job and you also want to know where you ideally want to be.


9. Have 5-8 questions prepared in advance that are not compensation/benefit related. When asked if you have any questions, you will be prepared for some well thought out questions about the company or the position.


10. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Send out as many resumes to QUALITY companies that you can. And be certain you FOLLOW up with personal notes, phone calls and emails. Be persistent!

Alan Cohen is the Founder and President of FitnessJobs.com and The Career Collection. Alan has spent over 35 years in the fitness industry and founded FitnessJobs.com 11+ years ago. Alan is passionate about the fitness & recreation industry and loves helping employers and employees connect for fruitful relationships. Check out Trade Talk on FitnessJobs.com for more fitness indsutry tips and information.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

How to Maximize Responses From Job Postings

There are many ways to optimize your job postings on FitnessJobs.com and other online job boards. Below you   will find some key strategies to improve the branding of yourrecruitment ads and leveraging your recruiting dollars.

  • Create a dynamic ad. Take the time to create an ad that inspires a candidate to want to work for your business. You can use up to 2000 words on FitnessJobs.com. You wouldn’t write a 2 line ad and hope to inspire potential members to join your club would you? Recruiting Top Talent is no different. If creative writing is not your expertise, get assistance in creating your ad.

  • Create a motivating headline, as it is the most important part of your ad. If the headline grabs the attention of the job seeker, you’ll stimulate the reader to learn more. Appeal to their emotions. Job seekers are looking for: better pay, continuing education reimbursement, health and medical benefits, paid time off, retirement plans and a stimulating work environment. If you provide any benefits, include them in your ad. This is extremely important to job candidates! There is a lot of competition for Top Talent; don’t settle for inferior employees because experienced candidates are going elsewhere.
  • Tell a compelling story about the company.
  • Mention favorable things about the community where your business is located.
  • Describe your facility, and any unique features, programs, equipment, etc.
  • Describe the membership or client base.
  • List compensation, benefits, continuing education reimbursement, relocation assistance, signing bonuses or paid time off benefits.
  • Be specific in your requirements and be very clear about responsibilities. This will help save you valuable time by not interviewing unqualified staff.
  • Provide e-mails, faxes and apply online info as response mechanisms, unless you want to be playing phone tag.
  • Respond to applicants promptly. If you don’t, you’ll be wasting your money, as your top candidate will be working for your competitor!
  • Acknowledge all applicants that apply! The easiest way to do this is through a career e-mail address, which you can set up with an auto-response. Keep in mind, you may not hire someone today, but you may want to hire them 3 months from now. Also, they may be potential customers, so treat applicants as you would customers.
  • Recruit quarterly whether you have an opening or not. This allows you to get to know who’s in the market, or wants to be there. Wouldn’t it be great if you could develop a waiting list for those candidates who want to work for you?
  • Conduct a compensation analysis in your market and make sure you have a competitive compensation plan.
Questions on recruiting? Call FitnessJobs.com at 800-259-4397 and we will be happy to assist you!

Monday, October 11, 2010

If it's Not in Writing it Doesn't Exist!

We've all heard that saying sometime before in our life. There is no situation more applicable than in the workplace when it comes to accepting a job or hiring new employees. If a company doesn't have an employee handbook/manual, job description, offer letter - buyer beware.

From a job seekers standpoint you would like to know that everything told to you by your supervisor or hiring manager is accurate. Your job responsibilities, schedule, pay/compensation, when are you eligible for reviews, benefits if available, your contribution to benefits, paid time off, etc.

As an employer, you want to make sure your new employee is informed about all of the above, plus company policies in a wide variety of areas: Attire, drug policies, maternity leave, time cards/pay periods, attendance, telephone/Internet use, employee conduct, and much, much more. It is imperative that an organization has the fundamental hiring tools in place:
1. Offer Letter
2. Job Descriptions
3. Employee handbook/manual

I can give a couple first hand examples that echoes the above:
1. I joined a fairly large company many years ago as a general manager. After 90 days, I must of had 5 incidents where supervisors came to me saying their staff members were upset because they hadn't received an hourly increase after their 90 day probation period. Reason? No offer letters to front line employees and a misinterpretation of company policy. This was added to the employee manual and all front line employees were given offer letters addressing this issue.

2. My wife was being recruited aggressively by a large company/sales organization. After 3 interviews with the President/CEO and VP of Sales they offered her a job. She asked them about a formal offer letter outlining the opportunity, benefit program and a job description. They agreed to get it off to her asap.

After a few days of not receiving this information, she followed up with a call and email but to no avail. This company never responded. They are probably just BAD OPERATORS, and they have plenty of company.

If you want to get your documentaion house in order, the Internet has made it real easy. For offer letters, you have lots of options on Google. For job descriptions that have been created specifically for the fitness industry FitnessJobs.com sells a great package of 12 job descriptions and corresponding interview questions. For an employee handbook/manual, once again just Google: employee manuals, but check out Standard Legal's products, starting at just $34.95. (It's important to get regular updates and law changes, as well as local and state laws into these type of documents).

Remember these words: If a company doesn't have an employee handbook/manual, job description and offer letter - buyer beware!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pre-Employment Screening Pays Huge Dividends



Prudent employers/hiring managers in the fitness and recreation industry are falling inline fast on pre-employment screening procedures. Everything from verifying 1-9 documentation to background checks for child care workers. Many ask “Do I have to comply?” The answer is yes and no. Yes to I-9 and also knowing the state and federal laws for certain positions is critical. No to conducting background checks and employment verification on all positions.

In the fitness and recreation industry because of all the hiring that goes on between seasonal, part-time and full-time staff, interviewing and hiring can get overwhelming. Just ask your office manager or HR Manager.
Why are we so paranoid about who we hire? Here are some of the reasons why: Child abuse/child abductions, terrorist acts, negligent hiring practices-where a staff member’s past, comes into play for a problem created within your company, and federal/state laws to name a few. It only takes one law suit to bring down a small company.

So, why wouldn’t you want to spend $25-$30 on a prospective full-time employee on a background check? It is small dollars compared to hiring and separating with an employee that has an unfavorable work history.

Background checks are relatively easy to do once you are registered with a pre-employment screening/background check company. In the past I have used the Kroll Company that offered good service, good products and excellent pricing.

Here are a few things to do:
1. In your job postings let candidates know that you will be conducting background checks. This will save you valuable time by eliminating unqualified candidates. On FitnessJobs.com there are two places within our job posting templates to enter this information should you choose to ad it.
2. You must get written permission from the job candidate before you proceed.
3. Should you want to do any pre-employment screening in the area of psychological testing, personality tests and job aptitude testing for key positions you can look at Management Momentum’s website which is a company that has extensive experience in the fitness industry.

There is an abundance of information on all search engines in this arena. Investing a small amount of time with human resources will pay you huge dividends today and down the road.

Alan Cohen is the Founder and President of FitnessJobs.com and The Career Collection. Alan has spent over 35 years in the fitness industry working as a front desk staff member, bartender in a tennis club, club supervisor, club manager, general manager, sales representative, sales director, area director and regional marketing director. He is passionate about the fitness and recreation industry and loves helping employers and employees connect for fruitful relationships.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Compensation for Membership Sales Staff in the Fitness Industry

This is the time of year owners and Sr. Management are creating budgets for 2011. The question that always comes up is: Are we compensating our membership sales staff and sales management fairly?

Are we paying too much, too little, are salaries too high, too low, and so on. My background has seen 35+ years of fitness industry experience. I am a die hard sales and marketing professional, recruiter and for the past 11 years owner of FitnessJobs.com. Of course I am in favor of offering a top compensation plan for the sales teams!

The biggest reason to offer top pay is to hire the Top Talent and avoid turnover at all cost. The engine that drives the fitness industry is derived from the membership base - initiation fees, dues, personal training etc. Isn't that the spot on your team that you want the very best players possible? And, by the way, they really don't need to be from the fitness industry. Just passionate about fitness, and equally as passionate about sales with STRONG BUSINESS ACUMEN.

The biggest puzzle to solve has to do with the type of club or facility you operate. What are our average dues, initiation fees, and sales volume?

Here are my thoughts on compensation packages for fitness sales staff:
Membership Rep
Salary: $24,000-$28,000 annually.
Commission: $25-50 per sale. (25-35 sales per month)
Monthly bonus: $100-$300.
Full benefits that employees contribute towards.
Membership Directors
Salary: $25,000-$35,000 annually
Commission: $25-50 per sale. (15-20 sales per month)

Monthly Team Bonus: $300-$500 per month.
Quarterly Team Bonus: $500-$1,000.
Annual Bonus: 10-15% for meeting department budget and personal performance objectives.
Full benefits that employees contribute towards.

Also, it is very important to do a competitive compensation anaylisis each year for all of your positions; locally and nationally to make sure you are in the game. You'd hate to lose a valuable asset to your business over $2,000 per year and a better benefit program!

Alan Cohen is the Founder and President of FitnessJobs.com and The Career Collection. Alan has spent over 35 years in the fitness industry working as a front desk staff member, bartender in a tennis club, club supervisor, club manager, general manager, sales representative, sales director, area director and regional marketing director. He is passionate about the fitness and recreation industry and loves helping employers and employees connect for fruitful relationships.