There's no doubt in my mind, I truly believe hiring new trainers has been one of the single biggest challenges in my businesses. My first location is in a small city, so I naturally assumed that our recruiting challenges were a function of geographic size, there just were not a lot of trainers available. I opened my second location in a city of nearly a million people, I was certain generating applicants would be a breeze, I was wrong.

Now some of you may live in regions where an ad on Craigslist produces a number of applicants, only I bet even that process has been frustrating or discouraging. You've likely experienced unqualified people, not the right personalities or trainers with compensation expectations that weren't realistic or practical.

Essentially I had the same problem, only my number of applicants was so few and far between that I had to find a way to create trainers.

We began developing our own training and education engine, we began building trainers from the ground up. It seemed like we were on to something, only the manpower, time, attention and ultimately the cost was a really big problem.

Over the years I've encountered this same problem with a number of my coaching clients, we had to find a solution.

By this time I'd also learned something else important. A lot of times when we invested our time and energy to educate a client to become a trainer it just didn't work out, it was too overwhelming, or the novelty of the idea wore off and they moved on to something else. However, the trainers we educated that survived this challenging beginning have become our best, most loyal and trusted colleagues. In fact today more than 65% of my staff is made up of former clients or people directly from our mailing list.

I now spend the majority of my recruiting energy on my own list; I'm going to teach you the process you can use to adapt to your own business.

Our business is about people, trust, empathy and support, I'm sure there might be a certification for this but I'd argue that a number of your clients have already learned the true meaning of this under your guidance. Further I'd argue that they are the most competent people around to convey your vision of support to your other customers.

Create an internship.

We now recruit past and present clients into unpaid internships. They will spend five hours with a senior member of our team shadowing clients and classes. During this time they will observe and study coaching, cuing, biomechanics and more, but most importantly their objective is to get involved! Their job is to add value to the session through compassion, encouragement, and support, in a nutshell develop relationships.

This can be as simple as high fives, encouraging words between sets, or sharing tales of personal success. Our team member of course facilitates and steers the session to always maintain the value with the client, but it's their job to further evaluate our intern on the basis of how successfully they were able to engage, or how comfortably they may have attempted. After all their knowledge at this point is likely limited.

These days you can find just about anything on YouTube.

What we did was found a list of videos pertaining to our philosophies and base knowledge we would want a trainer to have. It should be a few hours of content to say the least.

Our interns are tasked to watch the videos through and then write a thorough summary of what they learned from each video and why they think that knowledge might be important in their position.

This task shows us how capable they are to take the initiative to learn, study and facilitate their growth. Within ten hours of on site time it gives us a low to no cost way to evaluate people that might be a good fit for our organization.

When the right people are found the investment of formal education and training is much easier to swallow.


How much of your time would you estimate you spend growing your business?