The Call You Didn't Make That Could Have Saved Your Business Thousands

I have a number of pet peeves relating to the fitness industry. These rants include things such as:

  • An insanely low barrier to entry that ultimately hurts the credibility of even the best coaches
  • The incessant need to bash competing training methodologies
  • The unexplained vitriol that recently populated my Facebook newsfeed discussing Pokémon-Go and its efficacy as a form of exercise (who cares?)

Today I want to add a newer, slightly more rational bullet point to my ever-growing list:

  •  The consistent failure of other gym owners to call references during their hiring processes

In 9 years of business (did you know CSP turned 9 yesterday?), I’ve come to learn that “because he interned under the supervision of Eric Cressey” isn’t enough of a reason to justify bypassing a reference check. 

Here’s why…

We haven’t earned your unconditional trust

You might be surprised to learn that close to two thirds of the 130+ former CSP interns who moved on to collect a paycheck in a fitness setting were (and in most cases are) employed by people who never bothered to call us at CSP to inquire about their employability.

While it is a compliment that an applicant’s affiliation with our business could serve as some sort of no-questions-asked stamp of approval during the job-hunting process, it is a dangerous game to play for gym owners.  Making the assumption that we are 100% thrilled with every single coach to make it through our program is careless, and ultimately detrimental to the reputation of both my business and yours. 

The occasional bad apple can and will make it in to the mix, and we do our best to make these coaches passable by the time that they move on to the next step in their professional development process. I am fully aware of the commitment of time, energy and funds that go in to working with us in an unpaid format, so the cut-your-losses and fire quickly approach does not apply to interns here at CSP.  It takes three or more big strikes before Eric or I will ever ask an underperforming intern to leave. 

However, that doesn’t mean that we can get past concerns about character, integrity or work ethic when it comes time to vouch for a coach who will move on to become an extension of our brand. Our reputation of being an excellent developer of talent will take a big hit if a mediocre intern alum moves on to be a mediocre coach, and their new employer decides that this individual is representative of the norm coming out of our system.

Additionally, some gym owners seem to forget that unique training models require unique personalities to function properly.  While we believe in the coaching abilities of every intern who completes our program, we do not believe that every one of these coaches would thrive in any training environment you choose to plug them in to.  Some of these individuals excel in fast-paced athlete supervision scenarios, while others are particularly effective moving methodically through a complex program in a one-on-one setting.

If you hire a pensive, slightly introverted former CSP intern to begin instructing in your fast, loud, and aggressive bootcamp setting, you’re going to find yourself burning through resources and payroll dollars onboarding a coach that was destined to fail from the start.  The good news is that we’ve had our eyes on each of these applicants for 300+ hours of interaction with our staff, our clients, and even parents of clients.  We’ve got a pretty good feel for their strengths and weaknesses.  You just need to ask us about them.

This would make me happy…

I would be thrilled to see two things happen:

  1. Have all former CSP interns find an employment scenario that allows them to make a good living, feel challenged professionally, and make a positive impact on this industry as a whole.
  2. Know that I helped in even the smallest way possible to insure that your next hire is a perfect fit for your operation.

Achieving both starts with just a 5-minute phone call.