Emma Masters shares her insights into what to look for when recruiting group exercise instructors.

Talent is hard to come by, believe me I know. I have been recruiting instructors over the last 12 years across multiple countries, I have consulted for clients who have the same ongoing issues; finding the right people is no easy feat! So what exactly should you be looking for when it comes to recruiting your instructor team?

Here is a breakdown of recommendations  to look for on the resumes of your next group of applicants:

Experience (in group coaching) 

You can be the most talented personal trainer, but that doesn’t always transfer to being able to take the lead in a group fitness atmosphere. It often takes a completely different skill set and approach.

Look for experience in teaching group fitness programs (freestyle or pre choreographed, or even if they have taken small group personal training)

Performing/public speaking background 

Some of the best group fitness instructors I have had the privilege of training or recruiting have had some past experience in performing arts or public speaking. This type of experience prepares you for the stage, it gives you excellent skills in communicating with large groups (Vocal projection, charisma, confidence) and those with a dance or singing  background have great knowledge of music and working with the beat. Great, especially if you are recruiting for a beat-based or music driven program!

Customer Service Skills 

Whether these recruits are only teaching group exercise or taking shifts on reception as well, excellent customer service skills are a must; so glancing over the resume for previous customer facing jobs is a great idea.

People skills can often be hard to teach, so those who already come with an awareness of  customer service could be a great addition to your team.

Qualities of a team player

Looking over that covering letter for examples of good sportsmanship is another top tip! Whether that be referencing a team sport or noting their willingness to be on the same page as their workmates is a huge must. When you have someone on your team who values the power of working together it is worth taking note of.

An eagerness to grow and/or upskill

No one is perfect, so looking for staff who are hungry to learn is hugely important.

Not only will they be more agreeable to feedback, they will want to attend upskill events and workshops and look for ways to improve their skills as a coach. Those with this drive to be better will also often be happy to stay employed by you whilst they are learning these new skills. Meaning longevity from your staff members.


Last, not least, but for me NOT the most important.

Controversial I know, and don’t get me wrong. Of course you want people to have the necessary Cert 3 and/or 4 to be fully insured to work at your facility. But do I believe a resume of 20 certifications outweighs the above? Nope!

I would rather a staff member be slightly less qualified yet with social and customer skills and a willingness to learn. As honestly, I can often teach the instructor the skills of the class, but the skills listed above  are a lot harder to come by.

Check out Hiring a two way street Part 1: Instructors how to choose the right business

By Emma Masters

Article courtesy of Active Management