Anyone who has attended yoga classes can tell you the difference in their experience when being led by an average yoga teacher versus a great teacher.
It’s not just about knowledge, but about how the instructor makes you feel during the session. This kind of positive energy, charisma, aura, whatever you want to call it is not quantifiable, but it makes all the difference in the world.
So how do you recruit these unicorn yoga teachers to your studio? After all there are well over 50,000 yoga teachers in the U.S alone, and that number is growing. It is estimated that for every certified yoga teacher out there, there are two more aspiring yoga teachers looking to get certified.
So how do you go about recruiting the right yoga instructors for your school?
Define What You Need
Just like hiring for any position, you’ll need to define your job description, prerequisites, and qualifications necessary for the position. Because each studio is unique, there can’t be a single “one-size-fits-all” job description. Which is why you need to come up with your own unique description specific to your studio.
One tactic that you can borrow from the marketing world is the idea of creating a “persona”. In marketing you create personas to represent your ideal customers. These personas are hyper-detailed, encompassing everything from age to personality, name and behavioral characteristics. These are just meant to guide you in the recruiting process, it is very rare to find a candidate that lines up with your idealized persona. Nevertheless, it is an effective tool.
Building a Great Culture
“Culture” might be a vague, overused buzzword in Silicon Valley organizations, but the principles behind it are easy to grasp. It boils down to creating a positive work place, treating your employees with respect and building a work environment where employees wake up excited to go into work every day. For some this might seem like pie-in-the-sky thinking, but here at Zen Planner we’ve gone to great extents to build a company culture that attracts great employees.
So how do you apply these kinds of principles at your studio? A great place to start is crafting a set of guiding values that embodies what you want your studio to represent (read about our own OHANA values here). These values should include things like how you want your staff to interact with students, a broader mission of your studio and your vision for what you want your studio to become.
ABR (Always Be Recruiting)
A mistake many studio owners make is only recruiting when you have an opening or a need for a new instructor. It may seem counterintuitive to be looking for new teachers when you’re fully staffed, but you never know when your best instructor is going to decide to head off for a year-long sojourn in South America. When that happens, it is better to have a list of great candidates already established as opposed to scrambling to find a qualified candidate.
Find Out Where the Best Teachers Hang Out
If you want to get the best teachers for your studio, you have to find where they are. Thankfully, they’re not that elusive. You’ll find them hanging out on social media groups, conferences, workshops, meetups, or writing blogs. Simply by being present in these spaces you should find a few ideal candidates for your studio.
Host Teacher Training and Workshops
Teacher training, in addition to being a great source of revenue for your studio, is also one of the best ways to hire great instructors. During training you really get the chance to know prospective teachers, giving you the opportunity to see if they’d be a good cultural fit for your studio.
The same applies to conducting or sponsoring workshops. Except in this case a lot of the attendees will already be certified instructors looking to learn new skills. This is the perfect opportunity to make connections with teachers that you think would be a great fit for your studio. Even if you’re not hiring at the moment, just remember ABR.
Look at Your Current Students
Most studios have dozens of committed practitioners who have the potential to be great teachers should they choose to be. Many of them wouldn’t even consider being instructors because they don’t think they have the requisite skills. However, with some gentle nudging they might be inclined to get a certification and teach some classes for your studio down the road.
The search for the perfect instructors for your studio can be tedious, but it is well worth the effort. By constantly being on the look-out for potential teachers and building relationships in the broader yoga community you can set your studio up for success.