I worked in the recruiting world for close to a decade and saw many inevitable, disastrous hiring decisions made. The aftermath affects businesses for months, and causes so much stress for hiring managers. When I said adios to recruiting, I was really excited to finally be in charge of my own hiring at my yoga studio. I was convinced that I had the formula down, and that I’d never make the mistakes other hiring managers had made. Spoiler alert….I was totally wrong. Not only is the wellness and fitness industry completely different from corporate america, but I underestimated the time & energy commitment it took every time I needed to hire. I feel your pain. Hiring can be brutal. So, over the last two years, I decided to really keep track of what worked, what didn’t, and how I could make this process less of a headache for everyone. Here are my top 5 ways to hire effectively at your wellness business.
- Weed out unaccountable candidates immediately: Your time is precious, don’t waste it worrying if candidates are going to show up, or if they can follow direction. In your job posting, ask 3 questions – ex: what 3 words would your friends use to describe you? or What makes you passionate about fitness? If someone doesn’t answer all 3, toss out that resume. Also, after you’ve confirmed someone for the interview, ask them to email a confirmation to you the day before the interview. If you don’t hear from them, they’re out. Lastly, ask them to come take a class at your studio before the interview. Give them a week to do so. Part of the interview can be about their experience that day, and you’ll find out how passionate they can be about what you do. Pay attention to who is on time for the interview. If someone is late, they probably are late a lot. (Bonus- keep track of the answers you get to the 3 questions in this process. You will start to see trends amongst the “A” candidates’ answers).
- Group interviews work: If you are hiring for desk staff, managers, or a sales team members, group interviews are the best way to go. Think about it. If you meet with five candidates, that’s five hours or more of your time, with a likely second round for your top two candidates. So, seven hours (after searching through resumes for hours prior). Yikes. A group interview for six to eight people takes an hour to 90 minutes. The benefits are obvious. The irresistible people stand out, you get to watch them interact with each other, they are forced to sell themselves and you save boatloads of time.
- Ask unconventional questions in the interview: Surprise them! No one wants to talk about their 3 weaknesses, right? Ask questions like ”tell me about a blunder you’ve made…what was it like? How did you recover?”, “what annoys you most in a workplace?” or “how would you change or innovate the approach the desk staff took when you came in for your class?” And ALWAYS end with the question “there is only one job available, who in this group should get it?” If you are hiring for a more operational focused role, you want the person who has a strategic answer that isn’t always them. If this is a sales role, you better believe that the right candidate says ME loud and clear.
- Do references: Most people overlook references because they think the references will always be positive. You’re right. Most references are super positive. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn A LOT about the candidate from them. Make sure it is a previous manager. Ask questions that will help you understand who the candidate is at their workplace. “What drives the candidate?”, “Here is the job description that they would be taking on, what would they be best at, and where would they need a little more training?” and “What would you do to get the most out of the candidate?” You will be amazed at how much you find out!
- Create a supportive onboarding process: Does your desk staff training consist of giving them the MINDBODY tech support number and saying “just check people in.” I’ve seen it happen. The results aren’t pretty. When staff members aren’t supported with a committed training process from the start, the likelihood of them sticking around for more than a few months is dismal. Be sure to have a training manual to refer to. Integrate them into the team by having current team members be part of the training. Have one week, one month and quarterly check ins. Have them take classes at your studio so you know they can speak to your product. Lastly, keep an open door and listen. They will usually ask for the support they need.
Hiring can be miserable, or you can make it an exciting part of your success as a wellness business. Each time you bring on a new team member, you are offering your clients a chance to connect with someone passionate about what you do. You are empowering another person to sell and educate clients on your services. You are giving yourself time and the opportunity to make more money. If you’d like coaching through the process, or me to run it for you, connect with me to schedule your FREE 30 minute consult.