By Brian Alexander owner of CrossFit Illumine and TwoBrain Mentor
Hiring in the CrossFit world is a bit tricky. To be an effective Leader and CEO of your gym you have to be able to empower others to Coach classes while you work on your business instead of in it. The ability to see things from a 10,000 foot perspective is critical to develop and implement strategies for long term growth and retention in order to make your business resilient and successful.
Most Affiliate Owners don’t have the luxury of having ten candidates to choose from at any given time and what that leaves us with is two choices:
1. Develop our own Coaches internally (Think ATC)
2. Find existing Coaches looking for opportunity
I’ve made more mistakes than I care to admit when it comes to hiring.
Here is what I have learned to ask myself when considering hiring a potential Coach to lead within your community and represent your brand.
1. Can they lead? I am a firm believer that a person is either a leader or they are not. Leadership can be developed but it’s takes years of life experience and opportunities. Picking a “fix-me-upper” candidate in this case can be a crap shoot. Sometimes it works, more often it doesn’t. Ask yourself this: Would you yourself work for them? That’s who I want representing my brand, someone I would work for myself.
2. Can they connect? Are they able to connect on a personal level with your members? Are they emotionally involved? Do they bring the energy needed to make class the best hour of your members day?
3. Do they represent your culture, its’ values and mission? Having a 20 year old fire breather with aspirations of making the CrossFit Games coaching a 45 year old Mom’s who just wants to move better, live longer and be happier isn’t the best fit. They are from different worlds with different life goals.
My perfect “pumpkins” are 30-60 year olds who look to us to help them with their fitness and nutrition. I look for these same characteristics when I hire Coaches.
Specifically, 30-60 year olds that are leaders who can connect with people (EQ) and represent my brand and its’ culture as well as I do. I hire my target market.
Hindsight is twenty-twenty. When you have made the mistakes I have you will begin to recognize when you are trying to fit a round peg in a square hole. Work on patience and discipline when hiring. Trust your gut, it is usually right. In fact, whenever I don’t trust my gut feeling I live to regret it every time.
Hire slow, and fire fast. Have clear expectations of the role and what values and attributes you are looking for in a coach representing your brand.
Protect your culture fiercely.