Group Fitness Instructors: Recruitment and Retention Tips

group fitness instructors

It’s one thing to hire someone to teach a group fitness class. It’s another to recruit group fitness instructors who are rock stars. That takes a focused effort.

Here are three tips to help fill up your roster and keep it filled with great teachers :

Reward Group Fitness Instructors

Instructor compensation matters. And rewarding instructors who go the extra mile can be a huge positive for you group fitness offerings.

For example, move beyond just a base pay and consider an additional reward system. They could be paid per member in their class or see a pay rate increase with consistently filling their classes.

Treating them like celebrities on social media can make them feel good as well. Interview them as experts on certain topics, or single them out in meetings to praise them for their teaching.

And make sure to care about them as a person. Support their interests outside of the studio, whether that’s going to a race they are running or showing interest in a hobby of theirs. 

Tap into the Right Instructor Pools

Ask your current instructors if any group fitness regulars stick out. They may have teacher potential. Take a class yourself to assess the member’s qualities and then make your ask. Or, have the instructor ask the member if they are interested in pursuing teaching.

Also, use social media to find potential candidates. Connect with them on these platforms, share what it looks like to be an instructor at your facility and post “Hiring now” information.

Another idea is to look at what local studios and fitness facilities are doing. What are their instructors like? What programs are popular? Attend classes and assess what makes their group fitness instructors rock stars.

Freedom Plus Communication

Give your group fitness instructors the reins to be creative with the classes they teach. This trust can go a long way to helping them stay employed at your rec center.

Finally, as their leader it’s key to keep an open line of communication with your instructors. Make sure you check in on their needs and help them feel part of the team.

Heather Hartmann is the editor for Campus Rec Magazine. She can be reached at

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