Just recently an esteemed colleague of mine has had to choose between two seasonal jobs. At this time of year, this is a regular occurence for us professionals who service club members in the Northern part of the USA and then head South to warmer climes for the winter months. We follow the sun – and we follow our members.
My colleague has been calling me daily, frustrated that he hasn’t received anything in writing from either club involved. This, unfortunately, is far too often the case. With this particular example, one of the Directors of Tennis is of the age when nothing had to be written and a handshake was all that was needed to agree to an 8-month placement. The opposing Director of Tennis is brand new in the position, and is hesitant to push for more information with a General Manager who is revered by her membership at one of the more elite clubs in America. He lacks any real information in regard to the new club.
I cringe when I hear some of the stories behind new placements and hires and the lack of information or formality.
I looked back at my original offer to work away from my home when I had a few opportunities ahead of me almost a decade ago. The Director who made the offer of the job I took is a businessman – he owns three companies in fact and his email to me was succint and to the point and I have edited the initial letter to show themes of the offer:
But what was most interesting in the letter for this particular job, which I ended up taking and loving for many years, was that the Director discussed how he treated past employees fairly and honorably, and as he checked my references, he offered references as an employee. He mentioned the costs that the club sustained on my behalf and broke down why the Club clawed back some of those costs from my on-court revenues.
Timely communication is important too. Once you, as a Director, have decided upon a candidate, getting these details to your candidate after you’ve offered the job initially or with the initial offer, is an integral part of hiring. Offers need to be made in full with as much information as soon as possible to the candidate.
So, in summary, open, honest, and timely communication with a possible new hire is just simply irreplaceable and honorable. We should all take note that whether our new fitness or tennis instructor is an employee or a 1099 independent contractor, they are putting their livelihoods in our hands as Directors for at least a few months, if not for a few years or more. Something to keep in mind as you work toward a new hire.
Ed Shanaphy is President of BeyondTheBaselines.com and has been a Director of Tennis for over 10 years.