ARTICLE: Racquets Search Committee Best Practices

Hiring the best Director of Racquet Sports at any club or resort who is the best “fit” for the role, is obviously imperative in determining the success of the racquet sports program and overall organization.  However, the exercise of forming a search committee is arguably the most important in the process of hiring a top notch, Director of Racquet Sports.  

Consider these 6 tips that will help set you and your organization up for success!  

  1. Confidentiality 
    • First and foremost, confidentiality is the most important component when determining who should be selected to the search committee.  The only people who should serve on the search committee are those that will not, under any circumstances, reveal any information about candidates. Organization reputations are at stake, as well as the candidates’ current jobs.  Even the slightest inquiry with a friend or colleague who knows a candidate could cause a major issue and could lead to job loss!  For this reason, only trusted members who can provide complete confidentiality should be invited to serve on the search committee.
  2. Number of Committee Members 
    • A recommendation of five (5) people for the search committee – seven (7) is the maximum.  Odd numbers are better in case of a tie, and the fewer the better because of the confidentiality required and mentioned previously.  Too many “cooks in the kitchen” and opinions will also work against you in the process! 
  3. Diversity of Committee
    • The composition of the committee should include some representation from the various demographics and club constituencies including active members who represent all aspects of your racquet sports program (tennis, pickleball, platform tennis, padel, POP tennis, squash).  Typically, frequent users of the club and a cross section of tenured, senior members; and younger, newer members is recommended.  Members who are currently serving on a club committee or board are especially valuable since they already have a good understanding of how the management/governance works and they are truly committed to the club.
  4. Time & Commitment Needed 
    • Serving on the search committee requires a great deal of time, effort and commitment. Committee members will receive a lot of information and documentation about top candidates prior to interviewing them at the club.  Typically, the committee members will be responsible for reviewing resumes, questionnaire responses, professional portfolios, and behavioral assessment results.  Additionally, the search committee will be required to participate in a full day(s) of interviews.  A commitment to participating in interviews is important because each search committee member will have some time to ask the candidates questions.  Also, this will give the candidates time to ask questions they have about the club, the club culture and the membership.
  5. Role of Search Committee
    • Another decision to make is determining the role of the search committee.  Best practice is for the search committee to make a recommendation to the GM/COO. From there the GM/COO will be part of making the final decision, notifying the club’s board members, and extending the employment offer with the input and support of the search committee. 
  6. Candidate Relations  
    • Finally, at the end of the day, look for committee members who enjoy the club and will represent the membership in a very positive manner.  While their purpose is to interview the candidates to see who the most capable leader for the club’s program is, keep in mind that the candidates will also be closely observing the search committee members to determine if the culture of the club is compatible with their career goals.  The more “chamber of commerce” type members of the committee, the better!  
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