What to Look for When Hiring Employees for Your Sports, Fitness or Gym Franchise

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As people become more interested in maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle, the number of employees working in the fitness, sports and gym sectors is expected to rise. This is great news for franchisees developing a fitness franchise unit, who can take on more workers to grow the business quickly. But how do you make sure you choose the right employees to represent your unit?


In recent years, the amount of people employed within the fitness industry has soared. In 2014, the UK total number of fitness instructors stood at 44,000. By 2019, it had jumped to 69,000 an annual increase of over eight percent.

The sports industry is a popular one for graduates and experienced professionals alike, and there are plenty of advantages to becoming a fitness professional. The role attracts those who want a job that allows them to get away from the desk, meet new people and boost their personal health. However, 78 percent of candidates who apply for roles in the sector dont have the right skills, and 70 percent dont have experience working on the gym floor.

So, how can you make sure you choose the right people for the job? Here are a few recruitment tips for hiring employees in your fitness, sports or gym franchise.



Qualities of a fitness franchise employee

1. In-depth knowledge of the human body and how lifestyle can impact health

One of the most important attributes for a fitness instructor is a robust understanding of the human body. Depending on the type of franchise unit you run, its likely clients will ask employees questions about how to improve their health. These could range from concerns about diet and sleeping habits to specific exercises or bodily injuries.

Being able to provide an accurate answer and helpful suggestions should boost the franchise units credibility and professionalism in the eyes of customers, leading to increased sales income in the long run. A confident attitude will also have a big impact on how the customer perceives the brand. Theyre much more likely to respect the staff member and take on any advice if the tuition is given with confidence.

2. Passion for fitness and a knowledge of industry trends

An employee with a love of fitness is likely to be a better mentor to your customers in the long run. Their passion will drive them to be as knowledgeable as possible and have fun, which should make the customer experience more enjoyable. Look out for candidates who like to stay up to date with industry trends and try out the latest crazes. Those who listen to fitness-related podcasts and attend industry exhibitions, networking events and webinars will give your franchise unit an edge over others.

They should also have the motivation to maintain their personal fitness as well as help others improve their health. Ideally, they should be interested in customers goals and willing to celebrate with them when they reach their targets. This should mean the employee will be able to empathise with their struggles and make sure they feel valued.

3. Good communication skills

In most cases, fitness franchise employees will be talking with customers regularly. Their job will involve communicating complicated processes clearly and making sure their instructions are understood. Concise and straightforward explanations are key to the role. Visitors to a gym franchise, for example, run the risk of injuring themselves if their personal trainer hasnt told them exactly how to do a particular exercise.

Sometimes, it can take time for a customer to get the hang of a specific activity, so patience is also a virtue when it comes to working in a fitness franchise. And employees shouldnt be afraid to be honest during the learning process either, as its important they can correct any mistakes early on.

4. The ability to listen

Although the employee will become a fitness expert and spend their working days supporting customers to achieve similar goals, they should understand that everyone is different. Great brand representatives are always ready to listen to clients individual needs and ambitions, and tailor their service accordingly.

Sometimes, the road to good health can be a tough one, so its vital employees can work with compassion and sympathy, if not empathy. This will help foster a personal relationship with the customer, who will be more inclined to continue using the franchises services if they feel valued and listened to on a personal level.

5. Awareness of safe practice

As previously mentioned, every body is different. Employees are the experts; customers may find it more difficult to perform certain exercises and some may not be able to do them at all. Anyone you recruit should be able to appreciate the limits of their customers body and know when to stop pushing forward if necessary. This is key to making sure everyone is always exercising safely.

6. Smart physical appearance

Regardless of how we feel about judging appearances, customers will be more likely to put their trust into a franchise if its employees look fit and healthy. Itll probably gain even more credibility by hiring staff members with a smart appearance and good personal hygiene, particularly if theyre going to be personal trainers. Customers will look up to their mentor as a role model, so they should be someone they can identify with and aspire to resemble.

What to look for when hiring employees for your sports, fitness or gym franchise

Weve listed the top six attributes of a fantastic fitness franchise employee, but this doesnt mean you only hire people who display all of them. By putting a comprehensive staff training programme in place, you can provide your candidates with all the knowledge and experience they need to make a fantastic employee.

To make sure youre hiring the best people for the job, look for people with:

  • A passion for fitness
  • Good communication skills
  • The ability to listen
  • A smart physical appearance

You can teach them the rest.

Creating an employee training scheme for your fitness, sports or gym franchise

Your training scheme should include lessons on the human body and how different lifestyles can impact health, as well as individuals capabilities and how to use safe practices. You could also consider offering access to platforms where employees can learn about the latest industry trends, so they can always keep their customers informed.

Of course, youll also need to make sure your candidates are able to offer all the franchises services. This could include training them in specific exercise techniques and specialisms, like senior fitness, group work or water-based activities. You should also teach motivation strategies to keep customers coming back again and again.



Building your sports, fitness or gym franchise

Your employees will form the face of your business, so its vital you make the right decisions during your recruitment phase. Finding candidates with all the required qualities is ideal, but its unrealistic to expect this. So, look for people who display the right attitude and a drive to succeed in the fitness industry; then, you can teach them the skills theyll need to work as part of the brand. You can check out our 'Top 10 Sports, Fitness, and Gym Franchises in the UK' article here. Or just browse our entire catalogue of sports, fitness and gym franchises here.

>> Read more articles on the Sports sector

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