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Category Archives: Health & Fitness News

Health & Fitness Industry News from 4Leisure Recruitment

Leisure and fitness trends 2015 – our predictions

Leisure and fitness trends 2015

Want to know where the hot leisure jobs will be in 2015? What will be the big leisure industry developments? Well, we don’t know exactly either but being at the coalface of leisure recruitment, we have a good idea as to what will be hot and not next year. These are the leisure and fitness trends to watch in 2015…..

Group cycling

We think that group cycling studios will be big with plenty of new players entering the market. With 2014 seeing the Grand Depart of the Tour De France, and the UK getting behind the Commonwealth Games, it’s not hard to see why the country has reignited its passion for cycling, but the question is will this love affair be more of a short lived fad? To some extent it’s going to be about how fitness providers engage with their market and how to create a successful business model. With the move away from gym-like memberships and towards a more pay-as-you-go structure, the ability to keep people interested in the longer term will be key.

Growth of Parkour.

An activity that has historically been confirmed to empty car parks and back streets has now come to the fore with dedicated academies and venues popping up across London, and businesses like Parkour Generations providing a more commercial approach to this exciting style of recreation. If you fancy getting in on this, there are courses springing up to teach you how to lead others in Parkour.

Wearable tech

It’s all about the tech! There’s been an explosion of fitness technology lately with watches and monitors of varying usefulness emerging to give you feedback on your fitness, health and tell you the time! Surely it won’t be long before the health club operators recognise the revenue potential for these devices. If they can get them integrated into their own fitness systems, they’ll have a very powerful tool for retention as well as secondary spend. We’ve already spoken to a couple of operators who are employing specialists dedicated to exploiting these opportunities.

Stronger focus on leisure professionals

Leisure operators are actually starting to provide a better work/life balance for their employees. For many years it’s been the ironic status quo for people working in the health and fitness sector that they were worked so hard that they were actually far from healthy themselves. Many operators, with a history of micromanagement and aggressive targeting have burned people out much quicker than in other sectors.

We’ve recently seen a positive trend in some of these businesses really investing time into their people to make sure they actually enjoy their work. With unemployment figures low, businesses have to make the effort to make themselves attractive to candidates, and by providing them a better work/life balance, they’re really starting to see some positive returns on their investments. Not only is employment longevity improving but the quality of work also seems to be better. We’re pretty sure that the most successful businesses in the sector in 2015 will be those with a strong people focus.

Spa & Beauty

Will 2015 finally be the year that the sector gets its act together and sorts out the accreditation issue? It’s been going on for a while but the industry leaders really seem to have the impetus to get something resolved at the moment and with businesses like HABIA driving the changes it can’t be too far away now and will surely improve the standards across the sector.

So there we have it – five things we will be keeping an eye on in 2015. What are your leisure and fitness trend predictions for next year?

Leisure Industry Week 2014 – 30th September to 2nd October

We are going to Leisure Industry Week 2014! Are you?

Leisure Industry Week

Leisure Industry Week is the UK’s largest leisure industry exhibition covering all aspects of leisure today. It is a three-day long show at the NEC Birmingham, and yes, we will be going to see what’s hot for this year and next.  You can find out more about it here

There will be over 300 leading leisure industry companies exhibiting, as well as seminars, live workouts with brand new fitness equipment, and networking opportunities. We are very much looking forward to meeting up with old friends, and making lots of new ones.

We are particularly excited about the STA Swim Zone, which is a specially erected pool with lifesaving and pool plant demonstrations. There will be sessions from STA’s Junior Lifeguard Academy too.

Speakers include former Olympian Sally Gunnell MBE, and Dani King, champion cyclist.

Register in advance and you will get free entry. If you leave it until last minute, there is a £30 entry fee, so don’t delay! The show is strictly for trade visitors only, so if you fancy going, get your employers to register you.

Leisure Industry Week is sure to be another busy three days of leisure news, chat, and networking. If you see us wandering about, please come and say hello.

Are you going?

Do you have what it takes to be a CrossFit trainer?

CrossFit is a brand name for a training method which is high intensity, edgy, and produces results fast. It is a specialist training technique which is sometimes offered in regular health clubs, but more often than not in dedicated CrossFit facilities. CrossFit’s brand is underground and niche, with a small, personal community of hard-core fitness fanatics.

Crossfit instructor

Delivering training using CrossFit requires an in-depth understanding of the high-intensity methods and the safety involved, as well as unusual equipment, such as tractor tyres.

In Health Club Management Magazine there is a debate as to whether CrossFit will ever become a mainstream training method, or indeed, whether it can. Will making CrossFit appeal to the mass-market reduce its appeal to its relatively small but growing number of devotees? You can read the full article here.

We believe that Crossfit is here to stay in its own raw and tough form. Its popularity is rising as more people are realising the benefits of a programme designed for fast results. What we love about health and fitness is the variety of exercise programmes available. There is something to suit everyone, whether they’re exercising to improve their strength, to lose weight, or just to get their heart rate up a couple of times a week. We wouldn’t want to see the end of something good just because someone thinks that it should be done by more people. Not everyone wants to do Zumba!

CrossFit trainers are some of the most dedicated and relentless trainers in the business, and they have to be. The clients want results and fast, and the PTs need to know how to make that happen. CrossFit trainers have attitude and can push themselves, and their clients, to extremes. Have you got what it takes?

We are currently recruiting CrossFit trainers for a fitness company in the Middle-East. If you’ve got what it takes, and you fancy working somewhere a bit (a lot) sunnier, with accommodation, and a tax-free salary, then please get in touch.

For more information on this job, and others in the Middle-East, please click here

4Leisure Secure Outdoor Pool Contract

We’re happy to announce that we’ve just been awarded the contract to staff the Oakham open air swimming facility in Rutland throughout the summer.

We’re recruiting hard for NPLQ qualified Lifeguards in the area so if you’re looking for a fun and unique working environment this summer, get in touch today!

NPLQ courses also now available in the Rutland area at discounted rates. For more info, drop us a line.

Positive talk from DLL after sales goes through

Representatives at David Lloyd have been in a positive mood since the sale of the business to TDR Capital. Despite a drop in value, a strong EBITDA performance has buoyed confidence at the the premium health and racquets operator.

TDR have a good track record in leisure with Stonegate, Centerparcs and Pizzaexpress in their portfolio but industry insiders have speculated that a change at the top is what’s required at DLL to ensure the business stays at the forefront of the leisure industry.

It’s probably come as a relief for many though, that the operator hasn’t been snapped up by one of it’s rivals in an ever shrinking premium marketplace.


Is the quality of Health Club Managers really Dreadful?

Bold statement last week from Liz Terry Editorial Director of Health Club Management Magazine at the Annual Members Choice Health Club Awards, saying that there are too many “dreadful” health club managers running the UK’s clubs.

It won’t come as a great surprise to many industry insiders that the quality across the industry is varied to say the least. But it’s a subjective statement that needs to be clarified. Dreadful in relation to other managers in the industry? Dreadful in comparison to the quality of 5 years ago? Or dreadful when comparing against compatriots from other sectors?

From a recruiters perspective, we’ve found that a higher percentage of GMs that we talk to have lower skill levels and in particular lower levels of competencies around strategic decision making than 5 years ago. But is this indicative of the quality of staff that the leisure industry attracts or a result of a “paint by numbers” formulaic management model employed by so many operators? If people aren’t given the opportunity to make decisions, how do we breed strong decision makers?

It would certainly be an interesting exercise to use qualitative tools provided by companies such as Thomas International and SHL to map the abilities and attributes of GMs over a period of 5 years.

A goal of improving the quality of GMs is fine provided the operators can accommodate their skills and actually let them make decisions about their clubs. But which operators will be brave enough to allow the autonomy?

Fitness First Buoyant about the Future

The hype seems to be building around Fitness First and it has been reinforced by their CEO Andy Cosslett who spoke to the Evening Standard recently and outlined their plans for reinvention and growth.

In particular, it’s great to see someone who hasn’t avoided the issues with reputation and contractual terms and is indicating that they will become more transparent, a trend that is surely welcome news to the general public.

There can be no doubt they have some serious convincing to do with historically poor image perceived by their target market but they’re making all the right noises and we’ve seen some substantial changes in the attitudes, strategies and recruitment already. And with some great people on board, they’re certainly giving themselves every opportunity to pull it off.

Phoenix from the flames? The next 18 months will be key but it will be a remarkable return to glory for a business many had written off.

Read the full interview: Evening Standard

More on this story: Leisure Management

Do meticulous or excessive interview processes deter candidates?

Interviews are getting longer!

With a shortage of highly skilled, highly experienced candidates on the market, you might expect business would be keen to make quick appointments to secure the available talent.

But we’ve seen a trend over the last 12 months, that with some of the more established leisure operators, the interview process is actually becoming longer. Some candidates are even going through five or six stages including interviews, assessment centres and profiling over periods of up to six months.

There is an argument to say that employing a long and meticulous process engages candidates more effectively, gets them bought into the business and ensures that people really want to work for the business. Many operators will say that “if they want to work for us enough, they’ll wait.”

And that works in theory, but does it work when there is such competition for talent? We can talk from experience of candidates who have withdrawn from interview processes at the latter stages because another business has moved faster and made an offer.

Are businesses taking an arrogant approach and burying their heads in the sand? Placing all of your faith in your employer brand is a brave move in this climate.

Or do businesses need to change their recruitment strategy to reflect the current market?

Linkedin Poll

Xercise4less signs major deal with Tesco

Yorkshire-based low-cost gym operator Xercise4Less have signed a major deal with retail giant Tescos.

In a bold move for the gym operator, the deal will see gyms installed in several Tesco’s sites across the country. With a potential membership base on tap, is this the start of a trend of gym and retailer partnerships, or is this something we’ve seen come and go before with JJB?

Some of Our Clients