Lifeguard Recruitment January Journey

This post is from the professional opinion and experiences of myself. The goal is to get our seasonal aquatic facility followers a chance to envision their recruitment journey through the month of January.

The holidays are about over and the wait is over. Already over 50+ aquatic facilities have already began advertising their lifeguard, aquatic management, and swim instruction positions all over, Facebook, Instagram, linkedln, etc. Have you? If not, you need to get your positions posted quickly as it will take time.

Free social media websites to post your job openings:

  1. Facebook job posting- great place, be aware of spam applications, poorly finished applications, etc.
  2. Instagram- this is where you find the millennials!
  3. Linkedln- great to find your management staff.
  4. Instructors corner- you need to be an American Red Cross instructor to advertise.
  5.– limited visibility on free plans. Great way to see what your competitors are paying.
  6. Flyers around schools: great tool, but don’t expect a huge response. If it isn’t on their phones, the kids hardly pay attention.

Did you set up your school visits or your job fair visits?

Make sure you talk to whomever you need too. You need a seamless process. Think of it as a sale. If it is a long and complicated process for the customer to buy your product or service, your going to lose the customer. The same will happen with your recruits.

Red Cross or Ellis Training Classes:

Did you finish the course schedules? You need this ready to go. This should be given to your recruits.

Job fair giveaways;

Everyone loves freebies. What are you giving away? Definitely should be thinking about it! Some ideas that I saw from fairs and booths are as follows

  1. Pens- I love pens. Have your company contact information.
  2. Cups to hold the pens which include some candy, mints,etc.
  3. Raffle- have them put in tickets to earn apparel or win a discount on a course. If they decide not to join, pick the next recruit.
  4. Key chains, car bumpers, notebooks, phone cases, etc.

Let’s raise the competition

Get your team together and come up with a short 30 second to 1 minute video why it’s great to work with you. Have your guards do the talking. Put it on a CD and hand it to the guards while it’s plying at your booth! Have guards help promote the company.

Finalize any school visits or locations!

1 week before the start of your visits, you and your team should meet to discuss what everything will look like from set up, to operation, to FAQ’s, to the information you need to follow up with the recruits, to the paperwork needed to get hired.

Interviews for lifeguard positions can be done at the fairs. I DO NOT recommend doing any managerial or swim instruction interviews at the school visits.

Managers and swim instructors are specialized and go through more extensive trainings than the lifeguards do at most places. These individuals will be working with your clients on a more personal level.

Common questions I receive for the January journey:

  1. I am looking on and the pay rates that I am seeing my competitors put down is very high for me. Is there something wrong with my pay rates, should I back out of the visit or advertisement?

A lot of times, the companies are advertising higher pay rates to attract people to their jobs. It’s a marketing strategy. You know what you can and can not afford. If you are offering low wages such as $8.55 an hour to an 18 year old, you have to adjust as you will never get an 18 year old to work for you!

2. I am going to do the field interviews, one of the recruits I know will not be a good fit for my company. How do I break this news to the candidate without hurting their feelings or risk negative reviews?

This is a tough one. The best way to handle this is to make it clear from the get go that every step of the way is a job interview and job training. Honesty is the best policy. I would suggest that you speak with the recruit privately in front of another colleague or supervisor, and go over why you feel the recruit may not be a great fit. The other option is to have them go through the training course and decide if they meet your core values. Never hire someone to meet numbers. You will regret it!

3. The most common complaint that I get now is that the cost of training is too much.

Ouch…. yes we all know this. However, these are skills that last a lifetime. What you as a business have to decide is if you will cover the payment for the course, will the recruits cover the payment, or will you offer some sort of reimbursement.

If you are planning to cover the cost of the course, and unless you have specific policies, you will lose some money. Employees quit and leave for other positions all the time. I highly recommend developing policies to prevent turnover and resignation and losing your money for training.

If you are planning to reimburse the recruits, your policies have to be on par with your state labor and workforce departments. You need someone 18+ years of age and older to sign any form to go into effect.

4. Can you remind me what funnel I should have to get recruit information?

Keep it simple and have it integrate with your CRM or spreadsheet. I highly recommend a google form which is free and easy to use and see. You will need a google email account.

  • First and last name
  • Home address
  • Cell phone/home number
  • Email address
  • Birth date
  • Grade level or year of college
  • A fast scan of when they can work.
  • A fast scan when they are going to college.
  • Do they need training?
  • Can you follow up with them in 2 weeks.
  • Send a text right away to thank them for speaking with you!

5. I have a feeling that a recruit has a helicopter parent. This is going to be a problem!

Be NICE! Kill the parents with kindness during the recruitment process. This might be their first child’s job and they are nervous. There is nothing wrong with communicating with a parent about the process. Communicating with the parents build advocates and supporters of your business.

6. I am nervous about what my competitors are doing and it’s effecting my focus on what I need to do!

I would be lying to you to say that I have never felt this way. However, you can’t fixate on your competition’s behaviors. Take a deep breath. Your in business because you specialize and have a niche. Think about what that niche is, and why you are in business to begin with. Focus your energy there. Always research your market, but advertise your niche. You CAN do this!

Questions or concerns:

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