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Category Archives: Latest News

Why we support Mental Health Awareness Week – 13th – 19th May 2019

Are you looking for work in the Spa & Beauty industry? Check out our spa & beauty jobs board

The theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is Body Image and it’s a pertinent topic for those of us working in the health & fitness, and spa & beauty industries. Is your leisure business getting involved this week?

Learn more about Mental Health Awareness Week and how you can support it at

Mental Health Awareness Week 2019

The conversations around mental health have increased exponentially over the last decade. The steady removal of stigma and the decreasing reluctance to embrace the mental issues that define our very individuality may well be seen as a pivotal moment in the societal shift in our lifetime. This shift in how we accept each other affects every sector including the leisure industry, few more so than the health & beauty sector.

Spa & Beauty and body image

The beauty and wellness sector provides therapeutic services and products for clients. The whole ethos of the sector is to make clients feel good about themselves, but the focus is changing from how people are made to feel confident about the way they look to how people are gaining confidence through the way they feel. The focus much more is on the mental wellbeing of clients and how beauty and spa therapy can play a part in this. Has your spa and beauty business been shifting to cater to this new way of thinking?

The leisure industry has seen many campaigns recently where ‘real people’ are being used in marketing ads instead of models. ‘Real people’ are being used to highlight body-positive messages and work towards reducing the anxiety surrounding the issue of body image.

The ‘This Girl Can’ Campaign is a great example of how not focussing on body image but how promoting mental wellbeing alongside mental and physical strength can have positive effects. Their research shows  ‘many women are put off taking part in physical activity due to a fear of judgement – this might be about the way the look when they exercise, that they’re not good enough to join in or they should be spending more time on their families, studies or other priorities’

Soon, there will be a huge push in normalising the diverse range of people who do sport from a disability angle, in a similar vein to the This Girl Can campaign which played a big part in getting more women to take part in sport and exercise. Look out for it, it’s on its way! In beauty, a good example would be the marketing campaigns which use people of all races, genders, and ableness to break the myth that only one type of body is good enough.

Photo by Kevin André on Unsplash

The fitness industry and body image

The fitness industry has a crucial role in promoting body positive messages. The leisure industry is in a unique vantage point of being able to focus on building ‘healthy’ bodies and people who are confident regardless of their shape, height, weight or shoe size. Making health about health and not ‘body image’ is a task that the leisure industry can and will succeed in. Making health about overall wellness is already well underway and the future is already looking healthy.

The conversations that Mental Health Awareness Week raises are important every year – this year that of ‘Body Image’ is central to our industry and as such a conversation the industry will have to be a part of moving forward.

Photo by Mica Asato from Pexels

Promoting mental wellness

If your leisure business is not concerned with the growing focus on mental wellbeing, then it should be. Not only could your company help the thousands of people with mental health concerns but it’s good for business; more and more people are demanding therapies and training that incorporates mental wellbeing and promoting classes and programmes that only look at physical health won’t cut it for long.

Could there be more mental health counsellors within community leisure facilities? Everyone is talking about how exercise can boost people’s body confidence but that’s only half the battle. If operators really are concerned with wellness rather than just fitness, then there needs to be a shift towards a more comprehensive array of services from those that tackle obesity and healthy eating to those that work purely on mental wellbeing. It would seem to be the next natural step.

We’d love to see mental health services in public leisure centres, private gyms and spas but, are the UK public ready to open up?

Body image is a state of mind and too often a negative body image will stop people from getting the help that they need to improve their physical health and prevent disease. By removing the idea that there is a ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ body type, more people will feel that they are able to access health and wellbeing services. Your business can play a huge role in increasing participation from people with diverse body types and get them on the road to better health both physically and mentally.

How much is your leisure business keeping up with the mental wellbeing trend?

Congratulations to The Massage Company

We are delighted to share the news that The Massage Company won Best New Business in Surrey at the SME Surrey Business Awards. As recruiters for The Massage Company we couldn’t be happier for them in their success.


Charlie Thompson Operations Director said ‘We were delighted to win Best New Business in Surrey. As a business we bring a whole new concept to the UK. Massage should not just be a luxury-it should be a vital part of leading a balanced and healthy life’.

When we announced our partnership with The Massage Company we said then just how much we were looking forward to working with people with such a clear strategy, one that clearly is working! – Read more about our partnership at

From here we not only want to congratulate them on this fabulous award but we are also excited about what the future will hold for them. For more information about the company please visit their website

The SME Surrey Business Awards are an endorsement of hard-work, determination and enterprise in business. Winning such an award recognises a business and offers exceptional opportunities as well increasing credibility.

The Massge Company win Best New Business of 2016 at the SME Surrey Awards

Do recruiters use social media to check on candidates?

Do you think about what you post on your social media accounts? If you’re looking for a job then you should!

Recent research by CareerBuilder found that around 60% of recruiters in the US use social media to garner more information about a candidate. We imagine it’s a similar story here in the UK, though we’ll leave it to you to guess whether we are in the 60% ourselves!

Read the full article at –

Do recruiters use social media

The truth is that it is irrelevant whether you think it’s ethical for a recruiter to check out your personal social media feeds because it goes on regardless. It is part of a recruiter’s job to make sure their client is getting the best possible candidates for consideration. If you’re actively looking for a job, then you need to be careful what you post.

You may think that no-one really looks at your social media postings but once you cross the line and post something, it’s no longer a secret. Whether you have 1 follower, or 1 million, the content is there for all to see. Let’s hope Gary Lineker doesn’t regret this tweet from earlier this month.


Whether or not Gary is right or wrong in his early assessment of Leicester City’s likely league finishing position, it would take a very brave man to go back on this promise, especially as it’s been retweeted over 33,000 times, taking the reach of this lone tweet into the millions. OK, Gary is a very famous seller of crisps and will inevitably attract attention, but when you’re looking for a job, you’re trying to catch the attention of potential employers and those tasked with working on their behalf. Probably best to not give off a bad impression of yourself.

To make a bad impression of yourself, according to the research, you should use bad language, use inappropriate or provocative photos, show yourself up as a racist or bigot, bad-mouth your current or former employers, or show general poor communication skills.

To create a good impression, you should use a professional photograph, share updates which support the skills you claim to have, and have good communication skills.

It’s not a good idea to stay off social media altogether either – around 40% of employers say that lack of digital presence is off-putting. Maybe in this age of almost everyone using social media, it looks suspicious if you don’t.

So what can you do? First of all, look at all your social media accounts and put yourself in the recruiter’s shoes. Is there anything in there which would make a recruiter think twice before recommending you to an employer?

Then improve your accounts. Can you add positive stories to your accounts which reinforce your professional image? Can you replace your dodgy profile pic with something more professional, for example.

Going forward, employers have been known to use social media to keep a check on employees, so don’t think that the game stops once you’re safely in the job. Be mindful of what you post on social media all of the time – you never know who might be watching!

Why not follow us on social media too?

For National Spa Week: The history of the spa

The modern day Spa has centuries of history built into its structure.

As far back as Greek and Roman times bathing in spa waters was well known for medicinal and healing properties with people often making pilgrimages to help with their ailments. Even further back in time the Egyptians indulged in the taking of baths in healing waters with added oils and remedies. Spirituality played a key role in the importance of cleanliness and healing.

More recently and here in Europe historically, visiting spa towns to heal the body and mind was extremely fashionable in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. The wealthy loved visiting the spa towns to rest and recuperate after or during illness as it was much believed to improve the health of the body and the mind.

The history of the spa

It seems as a human race we have for thousands of years enjoyed taking part in indulgent activity we feel improves our health and state of mind and that also has a side effect of making us feel more beautiful.

The modern day spa has developed and branched into a hugely diverse industry. The human need to feel pampered and ‘healed’ in mind and body has expanded. Across the world spas and associated treatments cater for both men and women and almost any treatment imaginable is now available.

The history of the spa

Spas and treatments improve bodily function, combat insomnia, improve skin quality, relax and refresh tired, aching and painful muscles and reduce anxiety and stress. Associated treatments can remove unwanted hair, shape brows, deliver light and heat therapy…..whatever treatment we want there is a spa that provides it. As an expanding industry the spa industry caters for what seems to be a primal need to be ‘touched’, ‘healed’ and generally made to feel better about ourselves.

National Spa Week 2016

Celebrating and promoting the spa industry is National Spa Week from October 31st-November 4th when UK spas and salons are opening their doors to entice new and existing customers to visit, and further promote the work of spas and spa therapists.

Even better, participating salons are invited to help raise money for Macmillan Cancer Care during the week by donating a percentage of the profit during National Spa Week. So if you have ever considered a hot stone massage, a detox body wrap or an Indian head massage this could be the week to book it in and support a fantastic charity. Looking after our emotional and physical health has never been more important in the hectic lifestyle of this century!

For more information about National Spa Week, please visit

Four leisure jobs fit for a football manager (or an ex-football manager)

Have you had to leave a high-profile well-paid job in sport recently? *coughs* It’s bad times but don’t despair. If you have experience in sports and transferable skills then there will be a leisure job for you, even if you were, for example, as high-up as the manager of the England football team.

Leisure jobs

You may want to take a break for a while, maybe to refresh your mind and body, before you get stuck back in to sports and leisure again, but rest assured, 4Leisure Recruitment are here to help.

Here are four leisure jobs which could be a great fit for you…..

General Manager for a leisure complex

If you are confident in managing a team of high-performing people, have steely determination, and are able to inspire and lead, then maybe you could be a general manager for a leading leisure brand at their complex in the Bedfordshire/Buckinghamshire/Hertfordshire area.

With a salary of £40,000 – £45,000 and an achievable bonus package, this is not to be sniffed at. It might be less than you’re used to, but it’s working for a company with room for development and you won’t have the press on your doorstep if you slip up occasionally. Hopefully.

Learn more at

How about being a sales manager?

Are you an inspirational leader who can get the best from your team? Then come and work somewhere a bit more scenic, and away from the spotlight of London. A Dorset-based health and fitness provider is seeking a tenacious sales manager to join their team.

Your job is to increase footfall and convert leads into new memberships by innovative marketing and inspiring your sales staff. It requires some evenings and weekend working, but you can do this in the very nice high-end facility rather than facing the wind and rain in a dugout in some European town.

Fancy this one? There is more information at

A lifeguard?

If you can swim 50 metres in less than 60 seconds, jump or dive deep in to the water, and have a passion for keeping people of all ages safe and sound, then you can take your NPLQ and be a lifeguard. Lifeguarding gets a bad rep sometimes but I don’t really know why. It’s a great job that teaches you the basics you will need for working in the leisure industry, and often provides flexible work you can do in on evenings and weekends, or just in the summer, or off-season if you like. In fact, why not do it anyway and you can work it around another job for that bit of extra cash? Just don’t be trying to sell on pool noodles for profit to undercover reporters or you might find yourself back in the job centre.

Here’s a job that’s going right now

Beauty Brand Ambassador

If you’re available for ongoing work immediately (and a little bird told me that you are), then we are looking for beauty brand ambassadors. We need people with a passion for the beauty industry, with outgoing personalities, and exceptional customer service and communication skills. I mean, you have experience dealing with the press, right? We offer weekly pay and the opportunity to work with some luxury cosmetic and perfume brands. It might be a bit different to the sales patter that you’re known for, but if you have retail experience, then please consider this.

We are currently recruiting for Beauty Brand Ambassadors in Newbury, and all over greater London

If you’re looking for a new job in leisure, then please do get in touch

We’re here Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm on 01895 450640 or on email 24/7

All the best for the future in finding your next job. Just try to keep hold of that one for longer, eh?

Congratulations to Jodie (and mum!)

All the team here at 4Leisure wanted to say a huge well done to our own Jodie and mum Michele who completed the Race for Life in Hillingdon on Sunday (5th June) in 45 minutes!

Jodie sends thanks to all those generous souls who have sponsored her and helped her smash her target!

The weather was kind and runners took part in their droves. A truly amazing cause to raise money for, if anyone has picked up the running bug from Jodie there are many more events taking place during the rest of the year.

Well done Jodie and Michele, running in honour of a special lady and raising money for a great cause.

It’s not too late to sponsor Jodie and Michele – you can top up their total at

Jodie and Michele do Race for Life Jodie and Michele do Race for Life Jodie and Michele do Race for Life

Professional Beauty 2016

Last weekend, I hopped over to London Excel to attend Professional Beauty 2016, a two-day expo of spa and beauty businesses. It’s one of Europe’s leading events for beauty and spa professionals, attracting over 30,000 visitors and seeing exhibits from over 800 beauty and spa brands.

I was invited to sit on the panel at a talk called “How our company is developing. What we feel Colleges should focus on to meet the ever changing and diverse needs of the Beauty industry?” with other spa industry professionals such as Ceri Silk from Saks Hair & Beauty, and Helena Field from the Mandarin Oriental spa in London, as part of a morning of talks about education within the spa and beauty sector. As usual, it was very helpful and provided a fantastic insight into the challenges of providing relevant and industry-specific skills to budding and developing spa therapists.

So what were the findings from the talk? Well, there was a strong emphasis from the panel that there is a lack of commercial skills being trained in colleges, which is an issue we’ve discussed previously. However, frontline educators are aware of this but haven’t got the funding or the time to deliver those skills. Resources are often stretched thin and demands of employers are growing.

I suggested that there was a shift towards “total wellness” by the larger spa operators and getting the basics right without the need for the peripheral treatments. However, smaller spas and salons are looking for better value for money with the increase in Living Wage. They want more skills and experience for the money, so we’re advising therapists to perfect the core skills first to make sure they have a decent understanding of what’s required in each role, and then bolt on usable job-specific qualifications to add value.

The general consensus was that there is too much in the way of celebrity endorsed trends such as media make-up qualifications which lead people into qualifying with no jobs available to them. It’s important that the education sector train people to do that jobs that are available and that are in demand to make them more employable, and more useful to the spa and beauty sector.

It was an honour to once again help the development of the workforce to meet the demands of the spa and beauty industry and its employers. I hope that our insight into the gaps in skills supply that spa and beauty employers are experiencing will help inform spa and beauty teaching policy in a meaningful way.

Written by Jean Wing Hing

Jean Wing Hing of 4Leisure Recruitment

A new leisure job 4 better prospects

Sometimes you just get the feeling that as much as you love your job, you’d like to do something more. Maybe you’d like to be in charge for a while, learn high-end skills, maybe even run the entire company? Yes, you may ‘only’ be a leisure assistant, or a junior spa therapist right now, but your potential is screaming at you to move on up.

A new leisure job 4 better prospects

Then you come up against a brick wall – your company doesn’t have the space for you to grow, it doesn’t offer training opportunities, it doesn’t nurture its staff, and the MD has no plans to move aside any time soon. As good as you may be at your job, it looks like you’re going to be in it for the foreseeable future.

For many people, this isn’t a bad thing at all; job security and stability is a huge plus point, particularly those who need the steady income, but for those who want to grow in skills and earning power, being part of a company that just doesn’t have those opportunities is frustrating, and breeds resentment. It’s time to start looking for a job with better prospects.

A new leisure job for better prospects

Companies that have limited opportunity for development can be stifling environments to those who want to flourish. This doesn’t mean that the company is badly managed at all. In fact, it might be the most stable business around, but for those who value learning and progression over stability, it can start to feel like a prison, and that’s no way to make the most of people’s skills.

But where to go? If you’re looking to progress in your career, then finding a company with room to develop is a good start. You may have to make a sideways move, or even a backwards one to get in to the company, but look at the potential. Starting in a company in a job which isn’t particularly glamourous or taxing can open up huge opportunity. It’s not unknown for someone who starts as a lifeguard to end up as company director, for example. It has been done, but it won’t have been done with a company who isn’t open to bringing on its employees and who doesn’t provide the opportunity to grow and develop.

How to provide better prospects

If your staff are leaving you, and it seems to be the best ones first, then you may have a problem with employee development and engagement – the strongest rats are the ones who can jump from the sinking ship first, and they will!

Providing opportunity for growth and promotion to your best employees isn’t always easy – the jobs have to be there within your company for people to have the chance to do them. However, if the higher-level management jobs do exist then you could, for example, encourage promotion from within the team rather than bring in an external candidate to fill the position. Yes, your existing staff may not have the exact skills you need to be able to fulfil the role, but could you have provided training? This will show your employees that the prospects are there, should they be in a position to consider them.

Think about succession activity in advance of any vacancies. If you know your senior supervisor is going to retire in a few years, then find someone younger who can be trained in the interim as a potential successor, for example. It could be better to keep skilled employees with you who already know the company culture than bring in outsiders who could take some settling in. Not always, but worth considering.

You could provide your own in-house training to employees, or arrange for an external course at a local college or training centre, or try a correspondence course. Different types of training have advantages and disadvantages and you should choose the one which works best for your company, and its employees. It might be that you have to offer different options to employees with differing circumstances, or use a mix of in-house and external. Either way, if your employee takes it upon themselves to arrange their own training and development, they will not have so much as a strong sense of loyalty to you and your company. Ignore training and development at your peril!

Are you looking for better prospects?

If your job feels like it’s going nowhere, and your employers are not listening to your concerns about lack of development opportunities, then it could be time to find someone who will. Give us a call and tell us what you’re looking for in the leisure industry – we may just have the company you’re looking for. 01895 450640

A new leisure job 4 better pay?

Although many people think that pay is enough for anyone to consider a move to a new leisure job, actually it’s not as common as all that. Pay is but one factor that contributes to job satisfaction but that’s not to say that it’s not important.

new leisure jobs 4 better pay

Do you want better pay in your leisure job?

Within the leisure industry, employee pay can vary wildly. It’s worth shopping around. Money is not the be-all-and-end-all though. Also look at holiday allowance, pension contributions, benefits and perks such as discounts, and a bonus or commission scheme. Some employers will pay you a better hourly rate but not guarantee a minimum number of hours, whereas some employees are happy to work for less if they can guarantee a minimum income. Security can be a much bigger draw than potentially high but fluctuating pay.

It’s worth having a look around to see what’s on offer and find out what your ‘market value’ is. Yes, higher pay is a big draw, but the grass isn’t always greener and your pay may be as good as it gets. For now.

There are many factors which determine your market value, including your skills, your experience, your attitude to the job and to customers, how up to date your training is, and of course, how in demand your skills are. Is there anything you can do to justify a higher wage for yourself?

The National Living Wage

The National Living Wage is compulsory from April 2016 for anyone over the age of 25. It is estimated that six million people will benefit from a wage rise, though there is concern over subsequent job losses as employers seek to mitigate the inevitable rising costs. The NLW will be £7.20 per hour, which for over 25s, is a pay rise of 50p per hour over the minimum wage.

The NLW will impact on leisure as many employers are paid around this wage level. However, leisure is pretty labour-intensive. They’ve not yet invented a machine to pull struggling swimmers out of a pool effectively and quickly, so job losses should be minimal – although we have heard that some operators are looking into whether CCTV can be used as an alternative, which may have a negative effect on staffing levels.

There is concern that the higher costs will be passed onto customers which will affect overall demand for additional services such as beauty treatments, though UK-based beauty therapists are generally paid above the NLW already. Supporters of the NLW talk of improved staff retention leading to improved consistency of service. It remains to be seen what impact it will have on the leisure industry and on leisure jobs.

Employers be warned – it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of age, even if under 25s are cheaper!

What to do if your employees are demanding a pay rise

If an employee is leaving for a higher paid job, then it is a sign that your salary and benefits package might not be on a par with what other leisure operators are paying your skilled staff. Of course, their hourly rate is not the be-all-and-end-all and you should also look at the overall benefits package your employee will be enjoying in their new job. Can you offer something similar?

But pay is important to employees. Most people do their jobs because they have to make a living for themselves and their families. Higher hourly rate means they can work less hours, or have that bit of extra money to make their lives easier. While benefits such as free gym membership and discounts with popular retailers appeal to some, unless the employee is saving money on something they definitely would have used, then many would rather have the cold, hard cash that is accepted in exchange for the essentials in life.

This may mean creating a personalised wage and benefits package  – what suits one employee may not suit another, particularly if they are different stages in their lives. The key is communication and negotiation, and keeping employee engagement high, particularly if you know your wage isn’t as good as the gym or spa up the road. Small things can make a big difference – see our other articles about better working hours, or a change of scenery.

If you would like to discuss the right benefits package to help you attract the best leisure staff to your business, then please do get in touch 01895 450640

A new leisure job 4 better hours?

You may still enjoy your leisure job but are finding it hard to make your job fit into your life. If your life has changed in a major way because of children, caring responsibilities, or changing health you may need to rethink your work-life balance.

A new leisure job 4 better hours

Whether you need more predictable hours, or just want to work less weekends, speak to your boss. If they refuse to accommodate your needs, then maybe it’s time to start looking for someone who will.

Some jobs in leisure can’t be done at sociable hours, but the skills you have learnt as a leisure assistant, lifeguard, or therapist can help you transfer to a more family-friendly schedule. Or maybe a job in the evenings and weekends is what you need to fit in around something such as studying. Either way, changing jobs to get better hours to suit you is a common reason for leisure professionals to consider a move.

Flexible working

All employees have the right to request flexible working, not just those with children or other caring responsibilities. Your employer is obligated to deal with your request in a ‘reasonable manner’, and has every right to turn down the application for flexible working if they have a good business reason for doing so. You must have been working for the employer for 26 weeks before you can make an application and can only make one application every 12 months.

Flexible working can include part-time working rather than full-time, working from home when possible, job-sharing, or flexitime. These types of working may be a burden on the business and create extra costs or require staff reorganisation but employers have to give them serious consideration.

There is more information on flexible working at

What employers can do

Losing experienced staff is a blow to any business, but for those businesses that are built on human interaction losing a skilled pair of hands can affect customer satisfaction and result in reduced custom. Losing a skilled beauty therapist to a competitor for example, means you’re not only losing the staff member but also any loyal customers they take with them. Losing a member of staff can make all your training and development efforts seem like a waste of time and money, not to mention the cost of having to recruit (and train and develop all over again) a replacement.

If an employee approaches you with a request for flexible working then it can be a sign that their current working arrangements are not suiting them. If you can’t or won’t consider their requests for a change in their hours, then there is a good chance that they will go and look for something else more suitable. Often, the employee doesn’t want to leave but commitments outside of work force their hand.

Working with the employee to find a better way forward will keep them with you for longer and reduce the costs that can be associated with staff turnover. You may not be able to accommodate all of their requests, but even meeting them in part can pay dividends.

A member of staff may be wanting more family-friendly hours to fit in around school. They might want to work less weekends and make the time up during the week. This is fine if your weekly demand isn’t lower than on weekends, but for many leisure jobs this isn’t the case, and there may not be enough work to do on weekdays to make this a viable option for you as a business. Rather than saying no, how about a compromise where the staff member simply reduces their hours so they don’t have to do regular weekends? This would be better than losing the staff member altogether, and you still have them on board to do the odd weekend when you are especially busy. Or maybe you can find them things to do during the week which uses their skills and knowledge to benefit your business in other ways, such as carrying out marketing and promotional work, or helping to train newer employees.

How you accommodate employees wanting to work more flexibly is up to you and how it fits in with your business, however you do have an obligation to take requests seriously, and being able to accommodate an experienced and otherwise committed employee can do wonders for morale and staff loyalty.

What you can do if your employer says no

If your employer has seriously considered your request and genuinely cannot accommodate it due to the demands of your particular job, then you can do many things.

First of all, can you make changes in your personal life which makes your working life more feasible? Is there anyone who can help with caring responsibilities more often, or even someone you can pay to do what you need to do back home? It can be that you can earn more in the time than you pay someone else to do essential domestic or caring tasks.

Consider re-training in a related job that will have different demand on your hours. Ask your colleagues who seem to have more family-friendly hours how they got their job and see if it could be a viable option for you. For example, we have seen beauty therapists take post 16 teaching qualifications and land jobs as college tutors. Not only do these jobs tend to be weekdays only, but they can often be better paid too.

Lastly, you could just shop around for a more understanding employer with a better flexible working policy. With flexible working policies being a big draw for more experienced staff who are sometimes willing to sacrifice high pay for better working hours, more and more companies are jumping on board with flexible working.

Better hours in leisure jobs

Working sociable hours in leisure jobs may seem sometimes to be a pipe dream, but if you find your work-life balance is tipping over the edge, then talking about your concerns with your employer should be your first step.

Get in touch with us if you need a leisure job that fits in with your life.

Some of Our Clients