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Fitness Hiring: How to Recruit Personal Trainers

Anyone who’s followed a health regimen will tell you this: It isn’t easy. Personal fitness trainers are an invaluable resource for people who need guidance and motivation.  

But not all personal trainers are created equal. And since they can make or break a customer’s experience, you can’t afford to make a hiring mistake. 

When hiring stellar personal trainers, personality is key. That’s why top gyms look beyond the resume and hire according to talent optimization and people data. 

Using data gathered from behavioral assessments, our experts have been able to analyze hiring patterns for the fitness industry. As a result, we’ve identified the following five behavioral traits the best personal trainers exhibit

By seeking out trainers who demonstrate these qualities, you can narrow your candidate pool — and make the right hires. 

1. Sociable

Fitness training is a relationship-driven business. Customers seek guidance, assurance, and direction. So for candidates, the ability to quickly connect with people is a must.

During interviews, ask yourself how easily candidates strike up a conversation. When you pose a question, do they prefer to talk the answer out, or think it through? The more comfortable they are verbally expressing themselves, the warmer the reception they can provide your customers.

2. Driving

A good trainer has the ability to create an instant emotional connection with customers. A great trainer will use that rapport to build trust and propel their trainees forward.

To gauge how energetic, or “driving,” your candidates are, get a sense of their preferred work pace. Do they crave variety in their day-to-day? Do they like to multitask? This get-up-and-go attitude is a useful personality trait when it comes to motivating clients to hit their goals.

3. Patient

At the same time, you don’t want your trainer to be so energetic that they exhaust customers. Candidates who exercise a degree of patience can also make for great hires.

You can get a sense of a candidate’s patience level just by talking to them. Are they an active listener? Do they let you finish your thoughts, without interruption? Building trust with clients is easier when they perceive the trainer as approachable, and a calm demeanor goes a long way.

4. Informal

You may envision a model employee as someone who dots their i’s and crosses their t’s. But people who are too “by the book” may come across to your customers as cold or inflexible.

Rather, look for candidates who are comfortable being casual. Do candidates treat rules as gospel, or more as general guidelines? The latter may be a better fit when accommodating clients’ needs. 

5. Confident

Being flexible doesn’t mean you can’t have strong beliefs. If anything, you’ll want trainers who are confident in themselves and their abilities. That way, they can pass that confidence on to their trainees.

Look for candidates who don’t shy away from an opinion or debate. In an interview, ask if they’ve ever had to convince colleagues to change their thinking. If so, ask them how successful they were. The ability to persuade is one of the most empowering abilities a trainer can have.

Hire smart, so you can optimize your talent.

The workforce is filled with great talent, but not all will make for excellent fitness trainers. By keeping these behavioral traits in mind, you can ensure you’re hiring the right personalities. In hiring for behavioral fit, you’ll be better serving your customers.

More resources

Did you know that 74% of fitness industry hires come from company career pages? This is because there’s a huge overlap between your gym’s customers and your potential employees – people who love coming to your gym are often the people that are most interested in joining your team!

To learn more about how to effectively convert your customers into hires, watch CareerPlug’s health and fitness hiring webinar featuring experts from F45 Training and MindBody.


About the Author

David Silbert is a content writer and editor for The Predictive Index, the world’s leading talent optimization platform. In addition to helping leaders understand how personality drives workplace behavior, he enjoys basketball and singing.

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