TIME, MONEY AND R.O.I.
CONSIDERATIONS before listing your tennis director or RACQUET SPORTS PROFESSIONAL position on a job board
Hiring a new Department Head isn't a science, however there are critical components to consider and steps to complete, beyond sorting through the typical 100 Cover Letters and Resumes you will receive for a quality positions. Remember too, that the applications received as a result of posting your position on an industry job board will come almost exclusively from applicants who are actively looking for a new job. What about those professionals who have a reputation for excellence and success - these professionals may not be searching the job boards.
The support of a full-time, dedicated search professional who is exclusively focused on the tennis and racquet sports in private clubs, will not only minimize the time-drain associated with hiring a new professional, it will bolster the pool of highly qualified candidates to include those who might not be pro-actively looking for a new position. A search professional will also bring an often needed, and always appreciated, objective “third perspective” to the decision-making process with your search committee. Yes, there is a cost, although typically with the expedited search timeline and flat-fee pricing model from mcmahon | 10s, clients are able to complete their search relatively quickly, often with a zero net cost to the Department P&L. Consider too, the value of your time, and the cost of not getting it right. While it could be said that you’re only hiring another Department Head, it’s also true that you’re hiring a highly skilled specialist, with on-court and off-court skills and nuances, that can only be fully appreciated by someone who has been successful in the same role.
Some of the key areas of responsibility which the manager must consider when hiring include how well the new professional will manage Adult Group Instruction; Ladies Teams & League Play; Other League Team Programming; Social Events and Tournaments; Junior Program; Administration; Pro Shop / Retail; Member Communications; Maintenance & Facilities and Human Resources / Staffing.
Defining the needs of the program and uncovering the expectations of the entire membership are first steps in any successful hire, and critical when selecting a new sports professional. It’s equally important to clearly define and prioritize those member expectations so they can be managed and measured. Completing an assessment of the existing program and defining priorities for your new hire, in advance of listing your open position, will ensure that the interview process remains objective and that the selection phase is not overly influenced by just one or a couple of powerful search committee personalities. Simply put, investing time on the front end, increases the chances for success on the back end.
Should you invest in securing professional assistance with your search? That depends of your risk-tolerance and the value you place on finding the ‘right’ professional for your club on the first attempt. The true value of getting it right cannot be determined without also understanding the costs of getting it wrong. These costs extend well beyond the actual costs of recruitment, bringing candidates to your club for interviews and lost program revenue. The 'soft' costs of a less-than-ideal hire extends well beyond the hard costs. A mistake realized after a year or two, has an negative impact on department morale and your members, not to mention the General Manager’s and the Search Team's time - and energy.
An experienced tennis and racquets-focused search consultant such as McMahon, brings an impartial and objective perspective to the decision-making process, a decision that must be based on more than a candidate’s personality or a committee’s ‘gut feel’.
Recruiting top performing professionals is labor-intensive, complex, and requires a rare set of skills and expertise. An average search process can involve up to 150 man-hours. We all know of outcomes where a new hire fails within a short period of time and studies have revealed that over 90% of new hires who fail within the first 12 months of employment, are the result of a poor evaluation of the candidate. No one wants responsibility for a hire that fails within a short period of time.
Engaging the services of a consultant such as McMahon provides your team with an objective perspective on your search that only a career of more than 30 years as a private club Director of Tennis and Search Consultant can provide. It ensures that your position is placed front of the best professionals in the private club industry, many of whom may be not actively ‘looking’ for a new position. More critically, once your position is stretgically promoted, Mark McMahon becomes a consultative partner to your team throughout your process.
McMahon also handles all of the often tedious, pre-interview tasks that are a part of a professional search including receiving, reviewing and responding to all of the submitted resumes and cover letters (which all soon begin to look and sound very similar), providing a position-specific questionnaire, and completing initial video interviews with each of the top Suitably Qualified Candidates (SQC’s). McMahon will recommend a list of 4 - 8 finalists for your approval, compile a detailed Candidate Packet for each finalist and complete background checks, reference checks and verify professional certification, employment history and education.
McMahon brings leadership, organization and clarity to a process which deserves dedicated and special attention. With any search guaranteed to put pressure on your already full schedule, our clients tell us that we not only helped them make a great decision - but that we saved the club and search team many, many hours.