One of the many difficulties of directing a children’s gym relates to managing staff. While the arena of staffing will always come with some challenges and tasks, the need for your involvement is intensified when employee turnover rates are high. Once you understand the basic issues that tend to lead to employee turnover, you’ll be able to take appropriate steps to help your gymnastics center hire staff members that will want to remain part of your team over the long haul — offering your gym greater stability as well as the ability to grow.
Finding Quality Candidates
When it comes to finding the right candidates, the key is to be selective. While you may want to fill those positions as quickly as possible, you’ll regret not being patient enough to find quality employees. Of course, you need to find instructors with excellent gymnastics skills and teaching ability as well as experience. However, just because a candidate looks great on paper doesn’t mean that individual will be the kind of person you want on your team.
Just like you teach your gymnastics students, character counts, and attitudes are contagious! After an in-person interview, consider whether you’d prefer to arrange your schedule so you wouldn’t have to work directly with the individual, or whether you’d actually enjoy being around him or her. If the person falls into the former category, you can guess that your gymnastics students and parents — as well as other staff members — will feel the same way.
In addition to “soft skills” like positive attitude, communication skills, and willingness to cooperate with others, you definitely want to make sure to attract only the candidates that can already demonstrate skills required and ability to fulfill the specific responsibilities of the position. To make sure you’re on the road to doing that, be sure to clearly define the types of skills and experience required. Of course, you may end up receiving fewer applicants by being more particular, but you’ll also avoid wasting time — both yours and those of potential candidates.
Choosing the Right Fit
Once you have collected resumes of several qualified candidates, it’s time to move on to the interview process. Your aim in this step is to evaluate whether candidates actually have the skills and experience described on their resumes as well as to discern whether their personal teaching style will mesh with your existing gymnastics studio team as well as your general aims.
The interview should involve asking open-ended questions — including hypothetical questions about what a candidate would do or has done in particular situations, such as conflicts with parents or injuries of gymnastics students. You can also include a role-playing opportunity in which you ask the candidate to pretend you are a student in need of learning a new skill or correcting form for a particular skill. The more you get the candidate talking, the more you’ll get to know him or her and be able to effectively determine whether the candidate will truly be a good fit.
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