In our industry staffing is a huge issue, perhaps one of the most challenging we face. Most school owners struggle with staffing and compound the issue by being in a reactive mode. In other words, they have little or no bench strength.
If an instructor quits or gets sick, it’s a major issue. What does the owner do? He reacts and tries to hire another instructor to replace the one who left. By that time it’s often too late, the damage is done. By the time they have reacted and hired someone else, time has passed, They’ve e lost many students and have damaged the reputation of the school as well.
What’s the answer? Be proactive and work on staff constantly. That doesn’t just mean training your staff, as that’s the second part of a two part process. The first part is finding and recruiting the right people.
Allow me to share with you what three recruitment tips that work well for me.
- I run an ad in the newspaper about once a quarter whether I presently need new staff or not. The ad asks a simple question, “interested in a career in martial arts?” The reason I run the ad is that I’m always looking to add to the top and cut from the bottom. I’m looking for a motivated martial artist that’s a diamond in the rough.
Sometimes I find a special person, other times I don’t, but it’s not an exercise in futility. What I’m doing is being aggressively proactive in staff recruitment.
- About twice per year, I have my school managers and key staff members make a list of which students they feel would be the top ten candidates for a position in our schools. They are told not to pay any attention to the persons current occupation, age, marital status or anything else. The criteria they are to use is personality, attitude and energy level. Once the list is complete, I take over and we usually end up hiring someone from the list.
- Another thing I do is seek out quality people from other businesses. If I frequent a business and meet an employee who possesses the qualities I’m looking for, I slowly get to know them and lure them away from that business and into mine. I’m looking for friendly helpful people that would thrive in the environment of my schools.
I believe every owner needs to be proactive in staff recruitment and training. You never know when one of your staff is going to leave for another job or move away. Remember that those who fail to be proactive –end up reacting to less than perfect situations.