Thursday, May 16, 2019

Fitness Recruiting - Where to Recruit Fitness Professionals Cost-Efficiently?

A Recent Recruiting Experience Worth Reading for Hiring Managers in the Fitness Industry.

In addition to being the Founder and President of, I also assist fitness organizations with staffing and recruiting.

During a recent recruiting assignment to hire a Club Manager for a brand new Anytime Fitness in Union, NJ, I learned a real-life lesson using a few different job boards to generate candidates. I have always advocated using several recruitment sites, as not to put all your eggs in one basket. Plus, the urgency of filling openings is too critical to lose any kind of time.

I will outline what I did and things that I found out along the way. My goals were to use 4 sites:, Glassdoor, LinkedIn and Indeed. As the owner, was going to be free of course. Glassdoor’s pricing was $249 for one job and $295 for two jobs, for 30 days. Based on that information, I decided I was going to skip Glassdoor and focus on Indeed and LinkedIn.

I was going to use the Indeed and LinkedIn cost per click model. I was familiar with Indeed, as exported jobs to Indeed for years when they first started. They were a job board, compiled of hundreds of other job boards. Our clients not only got top quality traffic from, but they got bonus traffic from Indeed. A true win/win.

Recruiting directly on Indeed was interesting. The great thing was, they have a slick admin portal that helps you manage candidates. Several more bells and whistles than the applicant tracing system. When I posted the ad, I decided I was going to budget $10 per day at .50 cost per click, or $300 for the month. I knew if I had a great response, I would stop the job 12-15 days into it spending about $120-$150.

So, what happens, true to form, I was getting a bunch of resumes each day for about 7-8 days. 80% were not meeting the requirements listed in the job; most weren’t even close to meeting basic requirements. But I did get about 6 decent resumes. What happened next, was UGLY in my mind. Over the weekend, indeed started doubling my daily spend, from $10 per day to $20 per day. This went on for 3 days and I said enough is enough and reached out to them via chat. I was told the monthly budget is what they work off. Really what they were saying and doing is most people stop their job posting, like I was going to do 12-15 days into it. So, they want to JAM you and make sure they collect as much money as possible before you stop the ad.

After I expressed my displeasure with this, the chat woman said there is another setting (Advanced) where they won’t do this. That setting is not offered up front or buried somewhere. I was able to find it for a 2nd post.

I told the chat lady; well I want to change my setting. NOPE. Can’t do it once an ad is already running. I told her, well, I’ll just cancel my ad (Which is what I did) and create a new post with the CORRECT setting. NOPE. Can’t re-run the same ad-Confusing to job seekers. Really?

She did offer me an Insiders hint: Just change up your ad title and some copy and you should be able to re-post it.

Also, indeed has made it so easy for job seekers to upload resumes and apply for jobs, most employers I speak to in the fitness industry are saying Indeed is becoming a waste of time and money. Too many not qualified candidates, wasting way too much time for hiring managers, sorting through all the garbage resumes. People can be sitting in a bar and apply for 25-50 jobs before they finish their drink! No cover letters, no experience. Just ready, aim, apply.

The good news is I did get 3 good people from Indeed and one was hired as the club manager. PHEW!

LinkedIn had related issues. I thought this was going to be a really good experience. NOT. When I was ready to post the ad, I was going to test the same budget, $10 per day. I was immediately prompted to set a $17 per day budget. That would project out to $510 for the month. I said, no, I’ll try my $10 per day. Because I have done a lot of online marketing with Google AdWords, Bing and others, they always try to push your budget. I always stand pat, and usually, make out sticking to my budget. I only got 1 resume from LinkedIn that was not qualified.

I went to cancel the ad after 14 days and immediately got a reply/warning I will not be able to post this job again if I cancel it. REALLY? Confusing to job seekers again?

On, we got 3 candidates. 1 not qualified, 1 over-qualified, and 1 not willing to relocate. At least with, you pay a set fee for 30-60 day, anywhere from $95-$150. You’ll know what you are spending. Most candidates on meet or exceed the requirements, you don’t get hundreds of junk resumes. You’ll get fewer resumes than Indeed, but almost always someone that meets your requirements. Also, has an annual unlimited job posting subscription for just $299, which should be part of everyone’s recruiting strategy.

The moral of the story is that as before, don’t put all your eggs in one basket when recruiting. If you use Indeed, use the Advanced Settings and be patient wading thru non-qualified resumes. If you choose to use LinkedIn, be prepared to spend much more then you want. Glassdoor is probably worth a shot too, for $249 for 30 days. And of course, has 20+ year’s experience as a proven recruitment resource for the fitness and recreation industry.

This recent experience has inspired me to continue to invest in so hiring managers in the health and fitness industry won’t have to experience what I recently went through.

Alan Cohen is a renowned fitness industry expert with more than 30+ years of experience in the health and fitness industry. He is the president and founder of He can be reached at 602-334-7898 or by email:

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Is Your Fitness Career in a Tailspin?
Dead End? No Hope in Sight?

Well, you are certainly not alone. Not everyone takes the time to create a strategic plan for a prosperous career and future. Most people look at their future as one job at a time.

 What inspires fitness professionals to make changes and take steps to improve their career? Usually, it is a series of bad luck; choosing the wrong job, bad employer or having a difficult supervisor.

The next motivation is salary and compensation package. When the ether wears off and your net pay is deposited in your bank account, that's when the light goes off LOUD and CLEAR!

There are many options for resurrecting your career. You can look for a mentor or advocate in your current organization. In time, confide with them your career aspirations and ask for advice.

You can participate in industry trade organizations where you will not only learn about the industry, but you will meet valuable connections through networking.

You can spend a lot of time networking through numerous social media sites, which is almost a given these days. But, what if there was a short-cut that would save you time and money and prepare you for a successful career NOW!

Make sure you visit regularly for the top opportunities in the health and fitness industry!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Personal Trainer Job Opportunities

Finding Hidden Gems in the Health and Fitness Industry

There you are: all dressed up, ready to work in the fitness field and not sure where to go.  There’s no reason you can’t find that perfect job, the one that lets you grow as a person and professionally, and get promotions and higher pay.

The health and fitness industry is beckoning with such jobs as a personal trainer, personal training manager, fitness director or even owner of a personal training studio.

In fact, there is an almost infinite number of jobs in the fitness industry, including lots of positions you may never have thought of.  That’s because many applicants limit their search to health clubs, which are the mainstream of the industry.  That leaves lots of other fitness-related businesses begging for good candidates.

Consider these possibilities:

1. Medical Fitness Centers. This country features more than 1,000 medical fitness centers throughout the U.S. Developed and run by hospital groups or health care systems, they are designed to merge healthcare services, wellness, and fitness programs to prevent illnesses or to manage diseases.  They do require certification, but there are multiple ways you can obtain certified as a personal trainer, including in-house programs.  Many organizations provide that benefit.

2. Municipal park and recreation departments.  Cities around the country provide wide-ranging programs for their residents.  Positions there vary from lifeguarding, activity coordinators, personal trainers and more. Many park and recreation departments have full-blown health clubs with fitness, court sports, and aquatics.

3. Golf and country clubs.  You don’t have to pick up a club to find a good position on a golf course.  An estimated 65 percent of private clubs provide fitness programs for their members, including fitness centers, tennis courts to swimming pools. Personal trainers, lifeguard, and activities positions are par for the course.

4. Retirement communities.  One of the fastest growing segments in housing, an estimated 74 percent of these communities provide a formal wellness program, according to the International Council on Active Aging.  These communities need someone to oversee wellness, fitness, and social activities as well as assistants for all those posts.  They pay well, too. 

5. Hotels and resorts.  Many offer fitness and aquatic programs.   In a resort community like Ormond Beach, where I live, these positions are both bountiful and readily available.

6. Jewish Community Centers and YMCA’s.  In this country, there are more than 1000 such centers that provide a wide array of fitness programs, aquatics, courses, and activities for people of all ages. These organizations also have their own certification programs as well.

7.  Colleges and Universities.  Almost every institution of higher learning provides fitness programs for students, faculty, and staff.  That could be a gym, workout facility, and a pool, all of which need fitness personnel.

Some of these places post their openings on line.  It doesn’t hurt to check, but you’ll do much better by visiting and applying in person.  That way, you can see what they have to offer and where you could fit in.

All of them are different.  Hours vary as do benefits and salaries.  The key is to get your foot in the door. 

Every day, I tell people like you that “after gaining experience as a personal trainer, you may be able to move your fitness career ahead with a job as a Personal Training Manager, Fitness Director or even open your own Personal Training Studio.”

You don’t have to ask about the availability of jobs.  That’s a given.  The industry is growing.  In 2015, the U.S. health and fitness industry collected more than $25.8 billion while garnering $81 billion worldwide.  It’s hard to be healthier than that since, according to surveys, 1 in 5 Americans now belongs to some kind of health club.

That creates oodles of job opportunities with no falloff in sight.  The Bureau of Labor forecasts a 31 percent growth of jobs in this field by 2020.

As a result, if you are planning on a career in the health and fitness industry, there will be no shortage of opportunities at every stage of your career.

You just have to know where to look.

Alan Cohen is a renowned fitness industry career expert with more than 30 years of experience in the health and fitness industry.  He is the founder and president of Alan can be reached at or by calling 602-334-7898.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

3 Things You Must do to Recruit Top Personal Trainers

When it comes to recruiting personal trainers for the health and fitness industry, employers and hiring managers need to rethink their message. Top talent isn’t going to respond to job postings with a two-line job ad, or a mercenary ad that screams “We just care if you reach your quota”. Job seekers are interested in “What’s in it for me”?
Here are 3 tips on how to meet the needs and desires of accomplished fitness professionals:

1.      Really great candidates want to work for terrific companies. When creating job postings, hiring managers need to take the same care in crafting their message as the marketing team does when advertising for new members. Branding your recruitment ads is critical. Your opening paragraph should tell a story about your club and organization, any unique elements and accolades your organization may have. Speak about the amenities, equipment and all the things a prospective employee would want to know before they come to work for you.

2.      Your job description should address specific needs your fitness department has. Most clubs and studios have a wide range of members. If you have a large senior population and are looking for personal trainers with experience in this group, say that in your ad. Also, sports performance training is gaining in popularity as parents are investing in their kids with the hopes of obtaining college scholarships. Certainly, clubs are looking for trainers who are experienced in personal training, with education and certifications and know how to self-market and sell personal training. Take time to create this message so you don’t scare off quality candidates with a mercenary message.

3.      Job seekers are interested in what’s in it for them. Think about your program and explain your compensation plan in detail. Don’t just list $18-$55 an hour in your ads. Let people know what to expect in a crystal-clear message. As an example, if trainers with zero experience are a consideration, say that in your ad and explain what their hourly rate would be plus commissions and bonus. If accomplished trainers with education, numerous certification and 5+ years of experience are joining your team and you are paying a guarantee for 20 hours per week with hourly pay, plus commissions and bonus, plus paid time off, continuing education reimbursement, and health care contributions, spell out the details in your ad.

When recruiting for your business, the way you represent yourself in recruitment ads, speaks volumes about the way you run your business. I would recommend that the fitness department and key marketing staff create job postings together. Take your time to create well thought out job postings and you will receive a tremendous payback!

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 602-334-7898.

Monday, January 23, 2017


Employee Retention in the Fitness Industry

Retaining employees in any industry are 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 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 acknowledgment 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 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 602-334-7898.

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 the 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 at 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 602-334-7898 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 then 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 aspects 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 602-334-7898 or by email: