Nobody wants to work in a company with a poor reputation. Especially in the boutique fitness industry, where word-of-mouth is a prominent marketing channel, reputation and connection are arguably the most important factor in the recruitment phase.
There are two types of corporate branding, internal and external; both are equally as important. While external branding is about how your members see your studio, and how you communicate and deliver your promise to your members, internal branding focuses more on how you communicate your values thus creating a unique culture for your company. Alignment between both elements, coupled with maintaining a stable reputation over time will put you in a good position to attract high-quality instructors.
On the other hand, the connection is an open secret cheat key in the fitness industry. Besides potential and existing members, another key stakeholder would be your fellow fitness enthusiasts and studio owners. Recently, ‘Hong Kong Alliance of Boutique Fitness Operators’ was formed which represents more than 100 studios in Hong Kong. By building a good rapport with people from the same industry, you can get tips on how to scale your boutique fitness business and provide support to other fitness operators in the city.
Another important factor that people often neglect is to be conscious about how you portray your brand during the recruitment phase. To put it simply, do your recruitment like how you would do sales. Note down where you left off and keep the leads warm. Because who knows, they might just be your instructor or even partner in the future.
There are many platforms and opportunities where you can engage and recruit people to be your instructors.
a. Fitness expo
In Hong Kong, there are quite a number of wellness, health and fitness exhibitions. For instance, earlier in June this year, the Hong Kong Beauty & Fitness Expo was organized. There was another exhibition conducted from early to mid-July this year, known as Hong Kong Sport and Leisure Expo conducted at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). In these expos, thousands of people from the fitness industry gather. It is a great place to connect with people and indirectly find instructors for your studio.
Facebook and Instagram are popular among fitness enthusiasts. You can join fitness groups on Facebook where people actively share and advertise their studio/experiences to find qualified trainers. Instagram on the other hand, might be a tad more tricky to find people. One tip is to try searching for them with popular hashtags like #yogini or #hkmuaythai.
c.Your studio’s career page
Based on research done by CareerPlug, 74% of fitness industry hires come from their own company career page. We recommend adding a career page to your website as it has been proven to be an effective and efficient recruitment method. It seems like there is a good overlap between customers and potential instructors.
Expectation mismatch is the root cause of all problems. So if you want to prevent as many problems as possible, then define and clarify as many expectations as possible.
First of all, understand your own expectations. Identify your company values and use them as your main recruitment guide. Then, the next step would be to analyze what your members want from their instructors. For instance, generally, people prefer yoga instructors to have a gentle and patient demeanor, while dance instructors are more easy-going and fashionable. However, boutique fitness is a niche industry. What your members are looking out for maybe more specific than general requirements. To get a sense of what your members are looking out for, gather feedback from them if your studio is already running, or you could do more in-depth research and find out from other similar studios if your studio is new.
You could also utilize the selection/interview phase to have a candid session of expectation setting. It’s an important platform for you to communicate what you need and what your studio’s culture is, and ask the candidate to communicate what they expect from the studio. Selecting the right instructor can be challenging, but there are some methods that can help you make a more informed selection. For example, you could test the industry knowledge and service level of a potential instructor by simulating scenarios such as pretending to be a member enquiring about fitness goals. Another popular method in the fitness industry would be to have a trial class. Let the potential instructor teach one class, see the fit, and ask for your members’ feedback.
There’s no doubt that recruitment is not easy. There are many variables that need to be well considered.
While recruiting more instructors could help you ease up some teaching duties to make time for scaling, you might also be looking for an easy solution that can help you with administrative work. Vibefam was built specially for boutique fitness studios, and we offer a one-stop solution for class scheduling, member engagement and studio analytics. Find out more about us here, and when you’re ready, schedule a personalized demo with our friendly team.