The 9-member recruiting and talent team at Life Time Fitness knows something about hiring. They make 20,000 hires every single year. But despite the high volume, they felt they could shape up some key hiring areas.
“We wanted to go from filling field reqs to becoming a part of the strategy support team, and in the process bridge the gap between talent acquisition and operational strategy,” said Nicole Scheidt, Life Time Fitness Director of Talent Acquisition.
Their particular focus was on the personal training program. It’s a profit center for all of the clubs, and it was needing a lot of attention with some 900 hires annually in that business unit alone.
“There were several issues,” explained Scheidt, in the closing session at the recent Minnesota Recruiters Conference. “We experienced rapid growth nationally. There weren’t enough candidates, we had high turnover, in the 50% range, and there were leadership gaps.”
So the Life Time recruiters began to drill down and assess the problems, and figure out why this business unit was struggling to meet financial goals.
Here were the key findings on the candidate side:
- Candidates weren’t showing up for interviews and were falling out of the interview process
- Candidates were applying to openings at multiple clubs
- Hiring managers were fighting over the same good candidates
- The interview process was too long (8 interviews over the course of many weeks)
- There was a lack of clarity around the job scope
- Not enough follow-up from management following the interviews
- Not capturing passive candidates
- Not measuring sources
- Poor all around candidate experience
As for the turnover within the ranks of those who were already employees, they found three main – and fairly universal – issues:
- Management disagreements
- Lack of growth opportunities
“We knew we had to become more strategic and address all of those issues,” stated Katie Johnson, Senior Recruiter at Life Time Fitness. “So among other things, we created a staffing score card at each club that our general managers use.”
As for the new hires, Life Time also figured out they have to talk to candidates the way they talk to each other.
“Life Time receives 300,000 online visitors to our corporate career center every month, but beyond that, LinkedIn is the biggest way we find candidates,” Johnson says. “It has enabled us to build a talent community within the company by posting industry relevant updates and enabling people to access industry information through us.”
Web 3.0 and a focus on candidate distribution, the interview process and ongoing accountability at multiple levels certainly improved the metrics of this business unit.
Over a three-year time period the candidate-to-hire ratio went up 30%, team member satisfaction went up 4%, time to fill reqs went down by 12 days and turnover dropped by over 18%.
“Developing relationships is critical to long-term recruiting success,” says Johnson in closing.
“Go deep, be the educator about the industry and get to candidates before they know about you.”