You Complete Me: The Dos And Don’ts Of Hiring A GM For Your Gym

The need for hiring a General Manager at your gym is a huge accomplishment! Here are five tips for hiring a GM seamlessly and effectively.

Emily Beers
February 15, 2023
You Complete Me: The Dos And Don’ts Of Hiring A GM For Your Gym
The need for hiring a General Manager at your gym is a huge accomplishment! Here are five tips for hiring a GM seamlessly and effectively.

The time has arrived. You’ve reached the point where admin and organizational tasks are too time-consuming. Or you want to start working on the business instead of in the business. All signs point to hiring a GM (General Manager) for your gym.

First, this is a big deal. Celebrate your win because gym growth of this degree is no small feat.

Second, make sure to invest the time and effort needed to find the right person for the role. Your GM is likely going to be your new right-hand person, so build a solid foundation from which you can grow.

Hiring a GM saves time and helps with gym growth

Every gym culture and owner/GM relationship is unique, but here are some general guidelines for a seamless, effective hiring process.

Five Recommendations For Hiring A GM:

1. Patience Will Go A Long Way.

We get it: When you decide it’s time to hire a GM, you’ll want it to happen yesterday. You have a million things to get done so the extra help will save your sanity. But DON’T rush the process.

When you DO exercise patience to find the right person, you’ll end up saving yourself time and stress in the long run. Start by creating a list of the non-negotiable qualifications. Organized, task-oriented, passionate, relatable? Your list is specific to your gym and your preferences, so be specific.

2. Seniority Isn’t The Primary Factor.

As tempting as it can be to hire your most senior coach, DON’T assume tenure makes them the most qualified. Yes, he or she may have put in the hours or proven their loyalty. But just because they’ve coached for years doesn’t qualify them to be your most effective General Manager.

Instead, DO take the time to find the person whose qualities fit what you need. Chances are, one of those qualities is being a self-starter.

You’ll want someone who’s able to make decisions. And not just that but good decisions. Decisions that you would approve of if you weren’t there to make them yourself. After all, the goal for hiring a GM is to take the work off your plate. So your new hire should (eventually) be able to handle trivial tasks and questions without needing your guidance.

Pro Tip: Use workflows to automate lead follow-up and social media posts to take even more work off your plate! Book a demo with the PushPress Grow team today to find out how!

3. Find Complimentary, Not Clone.

While it seems logical to find your clone to manage your gym, DON’T fall for the trap. It’s natural to assume the best person for the job is someone just like you. But that’s kind of like saying your romantic partner should be exactly like you.

Instead, DO consider the cliche, ‘Opposites Attract.’ In the case of your GM, resist the urge to look for your doppelgänger. The best person for the job is likely more like your polar opposite. This person’s strengths should balance your weaknesses, and even better if they enjoy the tasks you don’t love doing. This will lead to a stronger, more balanced business overall.

Find a coach that fits in with your gym community

4. Prioritize Relatability Over Availability.

Another potential pitfall is hiring a GM with an abundance of available time. DON’T assume that a flexible schedule equates to being qualified. After all, a student fresh out of college may have a ton of free time, but probably isn’t your best candidate.

Instead, DO focus on finding the person who will develop the best connection with your gym community. Your General Manager should be a people person. They should have the ability to communicate effectively with coaches, members and prospects.

If you’re hiring from within, this will be easier to deduce. For candidates coming from outside your gym, consider starting with a temporary membership. Let them act as a member for a few weeks to see how they interact with members and coaches. Then ask your community for feedback to gage compatibility.

5. Check Out GymJobs.com.

Finally, DON’T assume your ideal candidate has to be hired from within your gym. Even though it’s tempting to start and end your search within your four walls, consider all your options.

Use GymJobs.com for hiring a GM and coaches

When you’re hiring a GM, we DO recommend you check out GymJobs.com. It’s a fitness job board for gym owners who are looking to hire, as well as coaches looking for jobs.

In Summary: The Process Determines The Result

Hiring a GM is a huge decision that can launch your business to a new level. However, it shouldn’t be taken lightly or rushed. Invest the necessary time and effort to find the right person for the role. Instead of focusing on seniority or similarity, seek someone who balances your qualifications. Note that an abundance of availability isn’t as important as the ability to fit in well with your community. And finally, check out GymJobs.com to make sure you’re exploring all options to find the perfect fit.

Emily Beers

Emily Beers is a health, fitness and nutrition writer. She has also been coaching fitness at MadLab School of Fitness in Vancouver, B.C. since 2009.

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