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Diversity in the Hiring Process Leads to a More Inclusive Environment at Your Fitness Business

By Mindbody

July 31, 2023

When you're looking to grow the team at your fitness studio, a focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) provides a range of benefits, including increased innovation and creativity, higher employee engagement, and a stronger community—not only for employees, but for your community of clients, too.

By making DEIB a focal point of your recruitment and hiring strategies, you can foster an inclusive environment while attracting a pool of talented candidates.

To start, you'll need to make a company-wide commitment to inclusivity. Establish Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to support networking for those with similar backgrounds or interests—and consider adding them to the interview process. You'll want to bring attention to potential instances of unconscious bias with diversity training, too. 

At Mindbody, we're actively working to champion diversity on our team—and it starts with the people we hire. We know we’re not alone in our efforts to create more inclusive workplaces. So, we thought we’d share a few things we’ve learned along the way.

Here’s how to get started.

Review your current hiring process

Before your next round of hiring, review your current staffing strategies and consider how diversity initiatives are built in. Are you successful in attracting employees with varied skills and fitness backgrounds? To pinpoint areas of potential improvement, you may need to review your processes.

  • How do you reach out to potential employees? Find the best places to meet your diverse staffing needs through job postings. There are sites and job boards specifically aimed at diverse groups, such as those that reach out to the LGBTQIA+ community, veterans, or other underrepresented groups. You can also attend diversity-focused job fairs, connect with workforce development programs that help place candidates, or ask current employees for referrals.
  • Are your recruiting materials attracting diverse applicants? Job candidates will likely research your studio or gym online before applying. Review your website and marketing materials with a critical eye to ensure you’re advertising in a way that’s authentic while also seeking to reach a broader audience. If you haven’t already, add a section or a dedicated page on your website explaining your diversity and equity initiatives. Revise job postings with inclusive language that encourages a broader range of applicants and mitigates bias in the hiring process.
  • Are current job postings welcoming and inclusive? Revise job postings with inclusive language that encourages a broader range of applicants. Stress your core values and avoid using technical industry jargon in your job descriptions. Pay attention to wording within postings that may be off-putting or that has an unconscious bias built in. You might even invest in a product that suggests language to attract underrepresented groups like Textio or Telvista.

Commit to Diversity in hiring

Once you've reviewed your current hiring process, consider taking steps to improve even more. You might decide to work with an DEIB consultant or have a dedicated DEIB Rep in-house. They’ll provide best practices and steps to move forward. Ask for feedback from recent hires, as well. They’ll help to identify what's working and what can be improved. Once you've gathered feedback, you may decide to take additional action.

  • Cast a wider net with recruiting. If you're looking to attract a larger number of candidates, job requirements may need to include inclusive language or be expanded to encourage more applications. Be sure to track your applicants from the beginning of the hiring process so you can accurately measure your progress with diverse candidates.
  • Ensure that qualified diverse candidates are moving forward in the hiring process. If this isn't the case, consider adjusting your resume review process and add a blind search element, which would remove names, addresses, gender identification, ages, and any other information that might affect a reviewer's unconscious bias.
  • Examine your interview questions and provide a consistent set of questions to help look at your candidates objectively.

Prioritize career advancement

Invest in your new employees by supporting their career goals and setting them up for long-term success in your fitness facility. Career advancement opportunities are a selling point for job candidates and another way to set yourself apart from the competition.

In addition to setting an initial goal of diversity in the hiring process, follow through with strategies to promote diverse candidates into management positions. Provide mentors for those interested in taking on additional responsibilities and encourage employees to increase their knowledge or specialize in a specific area with continued education. To make your business equitable for all, be transparent with how employees advance from the start. 

By reviewing your current hiring practices and making DEIB a focal point of your recruitment and hiring strategies, you can grow a team that better understands and represents your community. When employees recognize that their differences are embraced, their confidence and engagement are elevated to benefit your entire fitness business.

We’re taking steps to pursue workplace equity and are fully committed to our 2025 goals. We hope you’ll join us on our mission to champion equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging in the workplace.

Looking for more guidance to create an inclusive fitness business?

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About the author:

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Staff Writer

Mindbody is powering the world's fitness and wellness businesses, connecting them with more consumers, more effectively, than anyone else.


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