Premium Partners

Hiring Employees Who See Your Facility

Pay attention to a candidate's behavior during a job interview.

Recently, I interviewed a candidate for a management position. He had everything you could ask for on paper: ACSM-certified, almost 10 years of experience in the field (about half of those years in a management role), he taught group exercise classes and had a great personality. As with most interviews, I started with a tour of the facility. The tour serves two purposes: first, to show the candidate the facility and sell the highlights of our programs; second, to test the candidate on how focused they are on facility maintenance.

Wanted: Facility-focused candidates

As I tour candidates through the facility during an interview, I will pick up trash and towels as we go. I'll straighten chairs, re-rack weights and do general tidying as we move along. The unannounced test is to see whether the candidates will follow suit. If they do, they've cleared the first hurdle. The next challenge is when we sit down and start the verbal interview. I will quiz candidates about the facility, and ask them what they saw on our tour that needed attention. The right answer will be anything they saw that needs to be addressed. They may see additional towels that were on the floor, a treadmill out of alignment with the rest of the row, a sign advertising an event that has already passed, etc. This interview will tell you whether you have a facility-focused candidate. Some people see a 45-pound weight plate buried underneath six 35-pound plates and will dig through the 35-pounders to put the buried plate back in its place. Some won't. Some will see that crumpled up piece of paper on the floor, will pick it up and throw it away. Some won't. Some people can be trained to look for and find these things. Some can't. Make your job as a facility manager easier, and find out up front if your candidate has that natural eye for order and cleanliness.

Wanted: Team players

This also ties in to the team approach for facility maintenance and upkeep. If you're responsible for a 30,000-square-foot facility with a team of three to four employees per shift - each responsible for cleaning the facility, picking up and laundering towels, cleaning up the mud tracked in from the member who just went running outside and didn't wipe his feet - how can those employees do their jobs and all the little things, as well? Everyone needs to chip in and help as a team. Successful restaurants use this approach all the time. One person may take your drink order, another may take your food order. Seldom does your server bring out any of your food, and everyone helps to clear plates. How wonderful would it be if you were to receive questions or comments from members like, "Why was John, the personal trainer, cleaning the equipment this morning?" or "It was great to have Sarah, the group cycling instructor, help me re-rack my weights." It all starts in the screening process. You can't always make a hiring decision based on whether the candidate sees a piece of paper on the floor. However, you can build the best employees possible by cultivating a team feeling where helping others is status quo. And as for my candidate? He didn't do so hot on the test.
Buyer's Guide
Information on more than 3,000 companies, sorted by category. Listings are updated daily.
Learn More
Buyer's Guide
AB Show 2022 in Orlando
AB Show is a solution-focused event for athletics, fitness, recreation and military professionals.
Learn More
AB Show