Hiring Personal Trainers with Chans Brown
In the 2022 November/December issue, we spoke with Chans Brown, the fitness director at the YMCA of Cass and Clay Counties, about hiring personal trainers.
What’s the first step you take when it’s time to hire a new personal trainer?
I first look at what we need and what we’re looking for in a new trainer. While the main thing we like for trainers to do is meet with clients, we also like having trainers run various programs. Finding someone who is flexible and driven is the main goal when it comes time to hire.
What is the No. 1 quality you look for in a personal trainer and how do you assess if a potential new hire has that quality?
The No. 1 quality I look for when hiring personal trainers is an outgoing personality. While you are providing a service to help someone reach their fitness goals, having a trainer who will approach new people regularly assists them with potential new clients and retaining current ones. The way I like to assess if someone has this quality is dependent on the interview. If you can not only feel comfortable with the answers provided to your questions but also have a great conversation that goes back and forth, it’s a great indicator they will be personable with everyone who walks through your door.
What are some red flags to keep an eye out for when interviewing a potential candidate?
Red flags for me are dependent on the type of certifications a new trainer who is interviewing has. Some certifications, while providing knowledge for fitness, aren’t always the best overall certifications a trainer can get. I’m always looking for trainers who have accredited certifications such as NSCA, ACSM, etc. Educational background is also something I look for when interviewing. I like to make sure we are providing a strong knowledge-backed program and for a trainer to have a related degree is a huge bonus. Ideally, trainers should be capable of using their education as well as their certification to provide a knowledge-backed program for their clients.
What quick tips and advice can you share for other fitness directors when they’re in the process of hiring a new personal trainer?
Know the type of trainer your team needs and look for individuals who will help your team reach their goals. Find those trainers who are looking to grow and develop new skills within their field.