Updated: May 10, 2021
One of the most common frustrations I hear from my clients is the challenge of attracting good, qualified coaches. In this space I am going to discuss how to craft a posting that will attract the ideal coaching candidate.
An important first step is to remember that you want your identification, interviewing, recruiting and hiring process to go as smoothly and efficiently as possible. In an ideal world, you interview one person, they are a perfect fit, they want the job, and you hire them. It may be validating to receive hundreds of inquiries, responses and applications, but any good recruiter will tell you that volume < quality.
Consider the marketing perspective also. You want to ensure that your ideal candidate is not passing over your post because it is missing “curb appeal.” The position has to look positive (enjoyable & fulfilling), the organization should look trustworthy, and most important of all the organization must be professional.
Whether you are posting this position on your organization’s website (a must) or on a jobs classifieds (Row2K.com, LinkedIn, both also a must) You will need to start with a headline: the full position title, position status (full time, part time), compensation, hours, and the name of the organization. For example:
Assistant Coach - Masters, Part-Time, $15/hr, 10 hours/week. Perfect Rowing Club.
This is a fast screen; unqualified candidates that don’t think it’s a good fit based on those simple parameters will move on.
If you have caught their eye with the headline, then you need to follow it up with a simple summary. Include the scheduled hours, the specific team/squad of athletes (men/women/experienced/novice/youth/collegiate/masters), and if there is any expected travel. This simply expands the headline and provides more detail:
Perfect Rowing Club is searching for a part-time assistant coach for the women’s masters rowing team. The regular hours are M-F, 5AM-7AM and budgeted compensation is $15/hr. The team travels to 3-4 regattas a season (Fall, Winter, Spring) and travel with the team is expected.
This is where you have the opportunity to “sell” the position. While you want to fill in the gaps for your ideal candidate, you should also provide details about why this is a great position/opportunity, and why your organization provides a great coaching environment:
This position will support the Lead Coach of the Women’s Masters Rowing Team. The position offers support by coaching individual crews/boats as designated by the lead coach, as well as providing technical feedback to individuals that request it. The assistant coach may be asked to help with rigging, crew selection, training plans, and supervision of land workouts. The assistant coach will also be needed at all scheduled regattas to aid in boat transport, rigging, and race prep. The women’s masters team has a strong competitive record with multiple victories at USRowing Masters Nationals, USRowing Club Nationals, FISA World Masters, The San Diego Crew Classic and Head of The Charles. The club has been in existence for over 70 years and carries a diverse and active membership of over 500 athletes.
Finally, wrap it up with your position qualifications/requirements. Keep in mind that your requirements should be tied to the compensation you offer. For example, you shouldn’t offer minimum wage and expect 20 years of coaching experience, a championship record, and a masters degree in kinesiology. This is where I feel the majority of clubs overdo it. I have seen postings with a 15-point list of qualifications for a 10 hour/week position. Here are some reasonable qualifications to post along with the $15/hr example we are using here:
Minimum Qualifications for this position:
In-state boating safety certification license (The majority of states require this now)
CPR/First Aid certification (Red Cross is most common, but not the only kind)
1 year of coaching and launch driving experience.
2 years of competitive rowing experience.
Legally able to work in the United States.
A short list, but these are reasonable expectations for $15/hr. You can post a list of desired qualifications, but I feel that can be redundant. Of course you want someone with more than the minimum. You also want to make sure you have someone in place that can do the job.
Finally, I have some quick do’s and don’ts to consider: Do’s
Check all state and federal laws regarding advertising and hiring employees.
Remember to try and view the post and the position from a coach’s perspective.
Evaluate the success of your post. If you are able to place someone immediately, then keep the format for future use. If it is a struggle to get respondents, take a guess about what you can change. Always solicit feedback from your applicants.
Assume this is a year-round appointment. If it is for less than a year, then specify that.
As always, keep it professional.
You don’t need to post “wanted” or “needed” in the headline. It’s redundant.
Avoid a simple one paragraph, three sentence description with minimal information. It comes across as lazy and unprofessional.
Posts that are too long will also drive away applicants. Three, possible four paragraphs at most, and no more than 5 bullet points.
You don’t need to offer fringe benefits like free club membership, equipment usage/storage, This is a given.
Madder Consulting offers search and recruiting services for organizations looking for help. I offer a start-to-finish turnkey solution, or a la carte services specific to your needs. Contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.