Swimming instructors are the life blood of the learn-to-swim industry. They are required to build the trust of families they have never met and take on the responsibility of providing children with a skill that will stay with them for life. Team a capable group of instructors with friendly, welcoming, and knowledgeable reception personnel, and you are on your way to creating a successful business.
Recruiting the right team is vital for swim school owners and operators in order to build a thriving business. In many instances, swim schools are the first educational environment parents introduce their children to. Oftentimes, parents may enrol their children in swimming lessons even before they are enrolled into childcare. For this reason swim schools need to ensure that they hire a team who not only posses the right skills and knowledge to interact with families but have the right motivations and values to ensure they stay with the swim school for the long term.
Establishing long term relationships and patronage with families enrolled in a swim school will undoubtedly contribute to the overall success of the business operation. With this in mind, and understanding the importance families place on swimming with particular instructors, it can be detrimental to the business if your swim school has a high staff turnover. Clients may see it as a reflection on the business if their favourite instructors are continually moving on and being replaced with someone new. This can be difficult to combat as the swimming industry can be seasonal depending on the location or the facility from which a swim school may operate and this can result in swim schools only being able to offer employment on a casual basis. Implementing the right recruitment process, coupled with a great working environment will boost a swim school’s staff retention and in turn boost their business. Below is a series of tips to help with the recruitment process.
1. Prepare for the Interview
Before conducting any interview it is important that the interviewer thoroughly reads through the applicants CV or resume. The interviewer should try to establish questions which will allow them to draw out more specific information about the person. The person conducting the interview should ensure they have a list of questions to ask prior to conducting the interview. Interviews should be conducted in an environment free from distractions. This can be difficult at swim schools particularly during lesson times, therefore, choose an appropriate time of day to make this easier.
2. Behavioural Questioning
Behavioural questioning can help swim schools identify future performance of candidates. The idea behind behavioural questioning is to ask applicants how they would respond to certain situations or how they have responded to situations in the past. By having applicants explain past experiences, the interviewer can identify whether the ideas and values of the applicant, are similar to that of the swim school.
3. Communicate Professionally and Clearly with the Applicant
Make sure you introduce yourself and anyone else in attendance. Explain to applicants the swim school’s history, future plans and goals and objectives. Give a brief overview of what will happen during the interviewing process and ensure you clearly explain to the applicant the roles and responsibilities for the position you are trying to fill. Make sure you ask the applicant if they have any questions about the role or the swim school. Finally, inform applicants of when they will be notified if they were successful or not in obtaining the position.
4. Review the Applicant
After conducting the interview give yourself time to make notes immediately following. This will ensure you have fresh in your mind any answers, impressions, personal style or attributes which will enable you to make a balanced opinion after interviewing other candidates. Take time to follow up on references as they help to ensure that you select a candidate that is appropriate for your team.