It happens earlier and earlier every year. You know the drill: the calendar flips to September and suddenly every retail aisle is packed with pumpkins and ghosts, turkeys and wreaths, menorahs and Christmas trees. Yet, there’s something inherently necessary about getting a jumpstart this time of year. The holidays are more avalanche than season. Once they start rolling, the days blur and suddenly it’s January 2nd, and a line of prospects are knocking at your club door.
More often than not, the January rush turns into a New Year crush. The door keeps swinging open, the phone keeps ringing, and another new face is always waiting to be greeted at the front desk. Want to survive thrive in January? Hire early. It’s an all-hands-on-deck month. It’s not the time to find yourself chronically short staffed.
Moreover, early staffing is all the more important when you consider the sizable time investment required for an employee to reach full productivity. According to Recruit Shop, new hires do not become fully productive in a position until one-to-two years on the job. Even if you don’t expect certain positions to retain the same team member for multiple years, this statistic makes a striking point: acclimation to job responsibilities takes time. A lot of time.
Below are four ways to ensure a successful hiring season:
Hire Before November
The holiday season tends to be a slow period. Quality applicants are typically scooped up during the fall hiring wave while remaining applicants frequently pause their job hunt due to travel plans. Have your job postings up in October to ensure you get the best candidates for your jobs.
Anticipate Staffing Needs
Fully staffed in October may not be comparable to staffing needs during an elevated membership period. A great way to accurately anticipate the team size needed for the coming new year is to review previous January sales numbers. As membership numbers continue to trend upwards in the fitness industry, you're likely to hit similar or higher numbers this coming year.
Relying on an informal on-the-job training style will likely lead to new staff hitting obstacles they are woefully unprepared for during the January rush. Layout an organized training plan to give new hires a broad and thorough job training. Additionally, enlist experienced staff members to mentor new hires as they have likely run into situations or problems that go beyond normal club training.
Onboard CRM Software
Ensure new staff members remain organized and productive during January by onboarding a CRM software early. This gives staff adequate time to learn the system thoroughly during the slower holiday period. An uptick in prospects and new members can lead to important reach outs falling through the cracks. A CRM automates reach outs to keep prospects and members in touch and engaged.
January success doesn’t stop with staffing. Gain more insights into nailing the New Year’s season with our free e-book, Crush the Rush: Proactive Strategies For Winning Big In January.