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Monthly Archives: December 2017

Leisure Industry: Predictions for 2018

Leisure industry trends 2018 Part 2 (1)

As the door closes on 2017, another one opens on 2018. A fresh new year can bring new challenges, and also new opportunities.

We spoke to 4 Leisure Recruitment MD Jean Wing Hing to see what he thinks is going to be the big news in the UK leisure industry in 2018.

What do you think is going to be the damp squib of 2018?

Jean: We are starting to get wind of more and more trampoline parks shutting down. Word on the street is that prices can’t get any more competitive and there’s not enough room for everyone. As operators struggle to diversify their offering, we’re predicting much flatter growth for this sector in the coming months.

What developments in the gym sector?

Jean: The health and fitness industry has seen an explosion of so-called boutique health clubs over the last couple of years. These are typically smaller clubs with quite distinct identities that cater for the discerning gym goer who shies away from the big commercial gyms chains. They were seen as quirky, trendy retreats that only those in the know were members of. But the boutique chains have aggressively been rolling out sites and, together with them being ideally sized for franchisees to pick up, the boutique market has become somewhat mainstream, dare we say.

So what’s next? Specialist seems to be the new boutique. Not only does a gym brand have to be cool, individual and all of the above, but it now has to deliver a specialized service. They provide products that are slick and well-packaged yet still appeal to the masses. Have a look at 9Round and Barry’s Bootcamp as great examples of brands doing things in a new way.

What’s happening in the world of wearable tech, a topic we’ve been talking about for years?

Jean: One of the biggest trends we’re seeing at the moment is gym companies really embracing the tech available on the market and looking to integrate with personal devices. Soon it’s not unfeasible that we will we all be connected to our personal trainers 24/7. Whether that happens in 2018 is unlikely, but it’s coming.

What about the spa sector?

Jean: There have been many developments in the spa sector this last couple of years and I think that mindfulness will be the hot topic in 2018. With the trends moving from beauty treatments to wellness treatments recently, the next step is offer treatments which are more holistic and incorporate mental health as well as physical health and wellness. Industry leaders are already starting to develop an offering which is more in the mindfulness sphere than ever before.

Thanks, Jean. We will look out for these in the leisure industry in 2018.

To see a review of our 2017 and what 2018 may have in store for us here at 4 Leisure Recruitment, have a look at our last blog post.

2017 in review: and leisure recruitment predictions for 2018

2017 has been another funny old year. Maybe not quite as odd as 2016, but nonetheless we’ve had Trump, cyber attacks, hurricanes and storms, attacks that have torn us apart and brought us together, and moved two steps closer (and one step back) to leaving the EU.

While it’s not quite been as eventful in the world of leisure recruitment, we have had our moments, and there’s certainly a lot to look back on, and also to look forward to.

Leisure industry trends 2018

Migration and the leisure workforce

In January, we reported on the news that authorities were taking a harder line on employing illegal workers, and that several nail salons had been targeted and found to be employing foreign workers illegally. http://www.4leisurerecruitment.co.uk/blog/2017/01/

Whether you think this is a good thing or not, it is likely that a shortage of talent will continue into 2018 as fewer people come to the UK to work from the EU, and some EU nationals that are here start to leave the UK. It will continue to be a challenge to colleges to create the work-ready skilled workers that the beauty industry needs, and to employers to recruit and retain the home-grown talent that they need to meet demand.

The continued success of outdoor swimming

In February, we talked about the renaissance of lidos across the UK. http://www.4leisurerecruitment.co.uk/blog/2017/02/

An upturn in interest in outdoor swimming, whether in natural pools or in lidos has been a big story in 2016 and 2017. The trend shows no signs of slowing down in 2018 with reports of increased investment in outdoor swimming facilities, and in the lifeguard staff needed for the facilities to operate. Lifeguarding will continue to be an in-demand job in 2018 and there will continue to be plenty of work kicking around for NPLQ qualified lifeguards both on a permanent and temporary basis.

If you’re interested in being a lifeguard, or in hiring them from us, please do meet our lifeguard recruitment team

Start of the conference season

In March, we again attended Professional Beauty London where Jean sat on the panel for the education seminar. Again, Jean talked about the importance of producing beauty graduates who can do the basics well, and on the role of beauty employers in CPD. http://www.4leisurerecruitment.co.uk/blog/spaandbeauty-news/professional-beauty-london-2017/

In 2018, we hope that colleges take on board what the industry is asking for in terms of core skills and work experience and rise up to the challenge of playing their part in producing the workers of tomorrow.

Discrimination and tightening employment laws

In May, we were discussing the issue of employee discrimination in job interviews and how employers can land themselves in trouble if they inadvertently, or otherwise, ask something that could be considered discriminatory towards job candidates. It’s a tricky area but if you’re planning on interviewing your own candidates, then it’s something you should gen up on now.

It’s unlikely that employment discrimination legislation will change much in 2018 – if anything, it will get tighter. Have a read of our advice at http://www.4leisurerecruitment.co.uk/blog/2017/05/

Crazy summer season

In the summer, our thoughts again turned to lifeguards. With the annual rise in demand for qualified lifeguards, we discussed why anyone would have any reason to be a lifeguard. In fact, we found more than one good reason. Have a read at http://www.4leisurerecruitment.co.uk/blog/healthandfitness-news/why-would-you-want-to-be-a-lifeguard/

Are you going to need lifeguards in Summer 2018? If so, our best advice is to get in touch with us earlier in the year. In our experience, our lifeguards get booked up quick.

Recruitment scams and schemes

In the autumn, we talked about recruitment scams. They are everywhere and you need to be careful. Even schemes which are not scams could cost you if you don’t know what the deal is. For a run-down of scams, umbrella schemes, and what to watch out for, see http://www.4leisurerecruitment.co.uk/blog/2017/10/

Happy Birthday to us!

This year, we celebrated our 15 year anniversary. We had cake. We may or may not have had a celebratory pint or three. What we did do was grill founders Jean and James on their journey so far. You can read what they had to say at http://www.4leisurerecruitment.co.uk/blog/4leisure-news/4-leisure-recruitment-is-15-years-old/

Prediction for 2018 – we will turn 16 years old. And probably have more beer and cake. Happy Birthday to us!

If 2017 is anything to go by, 2018 is looking to be another year of growth for us. We have a record number of leisure jobs to recruit for – have a look at our website to find the perfect leisure job for you. 

If you’re looking for a new job in 2018, get in touch with us. Please pick up the phone and give us a call, or email us your CV in confidence to info@4LeisureRecruitment.co.uk  

Batten down the hatches – the new year is coming!

New year leisure recruitment

We are fast approaching the end of the year and beginning of 2018. With that in mind in the world of leisure recruitment, our minds turn from staffing luxury fragrance counters for the madness of the festive period to preparing for the stampede of new members in gyms and fitness centres across the UK.

While shops and restaurants are taking a well-earned breather in the month after Christmas, gyms and health and fitness providers see a massive upturn in business. Starting new year’s resolutions and fighting to work off the thousands of extra calories consumed over the Christmas period sees an increased demand for health and fitness services. In the leisure industry, we call it ‘the Golden Quarter’, and as leisure professionals, we have witnessed it ourselves, year after year.

With rises in total membership and reports of the growth of the industry, fitness operators nationwide are bracing themselves. Temporary skilled recruits are vital at this time of year. Whether it be membership sales consultants or temporary personal trainers to help with the influx, here at 4 Leisure we have an experienced team on hand to fill those gaps.

Looking for a new leisure job?

Likewise, if one of your resolutions is to get a new leisure job then now would be a good time to try out a new role on a temporary basis. Temporary work not only gives the chance for a trial for both the employer and the employee, but it can give vital training and experience for those who are trying to break into the industry. Or it could simply be a good way of getting a few more paid hours in while you can.

Do you need extra staff for your leisure business?

If you are a leisure business and are currently planning for January then get in touch we have a dedicated team who can tailor a recruitment package specific to your needs.

Here are some of the challenges involved in managing members of your health club.

Research from Mintel has shown that spending on fitness remains strong, despite a credible threat from fitness technology. Member retention can be an issue, however, with some members citing unfriendly staff as a problem. It is imperative that the staff you hire are aware of the impact that they can personally have on your gym’s success.

Read this article for more information – http://www.healthclubmanagement.co.uk/health-club-management-features/Mintel-UK-Health-and-Fitness-Club-Report-2017/32014

Recent intervention into gym membership deals by the CMA has made it harder for gym operators to lock clients into long-term contracts. This is a good thing for the client and makes gym membership an easier option, however, it does mean that gym brands can no longer rely on long-term commitment from clients and it will be necessary to find other ways to keep clients happy and paying for longer. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/gym-users-to-get-better-deal-in-2017

The idea that you can take advantage of someone’s good intentions in the new year and keep them paying for two years or longer has all but disappeared, and gyms are now having to work harder at client retention. The result should be happier clients whose needs are being met continuously and not just until they sign the membership contract.

That doesn’t mean that people will not be looking to join a gym after Christmas. However the government intervene in membership business models, people are still human and will be making all the right intentions to change their behaviour and health habits throughout January and into February.

If you need staff to plug a few holes and get those paying customers on board and happy for as long as possible, get in touch with our temporary division now.

temp gym recruitment

Photo by Martin Barák on Unsplash

4 Leisure Recruitment is 15 years old!

Happy Birthday 4 Leisure Recruitment

Did you know? 4 Leisure Recruitment is 15 years old this year?

On our 15th anniversary, we thought we’d take the opportunity to turn the tables and interview the Directors, Jean Wing Hing and James Procter to see how they fare under scrutiny for a change.

Jean Wing Hing and James Procter of 4 Leisure Recruitment

Let’s see how they did:

What made you get into recruitment?

JP Someone told me I could make a fortune?!

JWH Actually, for me, it was about helping health clubs to find good people as I’d had such difficulty finding them as a manager previously. I didn’t realise it was such a  good earner till I‘d started!

Why leisure?

JP: It’s my passion and it was a chance meeting with a former work colleague who was well connected within the sector that really sparked my interest.

JWH: We’d always worked in leisure so it made sense to use the knowledge we’d gained. Once we’d established ourselves in the health and fitness market, we were really surprised and excited by what else leisure had to offer. We branched out pretty quickly!

How did you get started?

JWH In all honesty, we probably should have looked for a bit of investment but we were adamant we could do it all ourselves (the fearlessness of youth!). That said, we were fortunate to have some fantastic connections, some of whom we are still recruiting for to this day and that really got us off to a running start.

JP: My Dad had always encouraged me to work for myself to shape my own future. We set up from the top floor of his house

JWH: We only had one internet cable on a dial-up connection which we had to take turns with when we wanted to send and receive emails or send a fax!!

Did you have any experience in recruitment before you started?

JP: Not really, apart from recruiting a few staff during my time with Holmes Place.

JWH: Nope, I didn’t even know how it worked.

Who was your inspiration?

JP That’s a tough one! I was very lucky to work for a couple of great General Managers that developed and believed in me. Jeremy Dahdi – Thank you

JWH I’d love to throw names out there like James Caan etc but I think I took more inspiration from the attitudes of some of the big sports stars. It was always about being as good as you can be and not limiting yourself. Do something every day that scares you. I’ll be doing the tea run for ten people today.

JP: That scares all of us!

If you could have given your younger self any advice about starting a business what would it be?

JWH: Probably to take it slowly and plan properly. I was a real salesman in my youth so it was all about making as much money as possible as fast as possible!

JP: Invest more time, money and learning in technology to drive your business

You must have seen the industry change considerably over the years. What have made the biggest impacts on the industry in your eyes?

JP: The budget fitness operators tore up the script and made every operator think again, those that didn’t are no longer here.

JWH: I’d say there have been three major changes. I’d agree, the budget health clubs really changed the game. The introduction and advancement of the living wage has also had a substantial impact. For a sector that relies on huge volumes of lower paid frontline staffing, it really has forced businesses to consider their staffing models. For us, as the only specialist recruiter providing temporary staff to the leisure industry, it’s been great. There’s been a clear upward trend to outsourcing some of these front-line functions to us so they can use them “as and when”.

Finally, the recent changes in the education system have had an impact on the type and volume of people entering leisure sectors. With rules on post-sixteen education changing, there seems to be a lot of people falling into courses like Beauty Therapy with no real desire to make a career out of it. As a result, employers are reporting increasing difficulties with recruiting and retaining staff.

JP: On a more positive note, it seems frontline staff retention is on the up as they’re feeling more valued and better remunerated!

Can you give me an example of the most challenging situation you’ve had to deal with? 

JWH: Every day is challenging in recruitment! In an environment where you don’t have total control of your end product, you’ve got to be comfortable that there’s only so much you can control. In all seriousness, the biggest challenges are when the government decides to change some legislation which results in loads more admin!

JP: Leisure recruitment is a very people-driven endeavour and losing a key member of our team last year and having to step into their role for 3 months while we searched for the right person was a challenge! Temporary recruitment is fast moving and getting myself up to speed with everything was certainly challenging!

What are you most excited about in this industry?

JP: The chance to support new operators and candidates that become clients. When you look at the diversity of what leisure provides now and the explosion of niche markets like trampoline parks and wellness businesses, there’s loads to be excited about.

JWH: I’d agree. When we look at the diversity of what we deal with these days, it’s a world apart from where we started.

So, another 15 years then?

JP: Why not!

JWH: Absolutely!

Happy birthday to us! It’s great for us all to see how we started and have a think about how we can move forward and embrace the future in leisure recruitment

Some of Our Clients