By Scott McNett, | Senior Principal, GSI Executive Search
Private clubs – from country clubs, athletic clubs, city clubs and yacht clubs to other business and professional clubs – are at their core people-centric organizations. They are run by people for people. It’s critical, therefore, that the people who run your club and service your membership at every level are the best, the brightest, and the most committed to providing premier service.
When it comes to hiring executive positions at private clubs, there is much to be gained through a great hire—and an equal amount to be lost with one that doesn’t measure up. With intense competition for members, clubs ill afford to make inadequate hiring decisions, whether they’re for a general manager/COO, food and beverage director, executive chef, director of golf or tennis or otherwise. Doing so is a disservice to your club and its members—and it can negatively impact your club for years.
Turnover in the private club industry is traditionally high. In fact, the average tenure of a private club general manager is four years. If your private club hasn’t faced a hiring challenge lately, chances are excellent that it will—soon.
Private clubs know the stakes when it comes to hiring decisions—and many of them throughout the U.S. wisely don’t leave executive recruitment to chance. Rather, they hire executive search firms that specialize in placing premier professionals at private clubs.
In our more than 20 years as a leading private club and hospitality executive search firm, the professionals of GSI Executive Search know first-hand what it takes to recruit and place successful talent throughout the private club job ranks. Through development and implementation of our proven process, we’ve identified 7 key variables that distinguish truly exceptional private club search firms. If your club’s board of trustees or search committee is considering a private club search firm for an upcoming search, we encourage you to consider these 7 qualities in your selection criteria:
Finally – and it should go without saying – the private club executive search firm you hire should demonstrate the highest degree of integrity, honesty and ethics in all its dealings. Talk to friends, colleagues, industry professionals and members of other club boards and committees. Get their feedback and take their advice to heart. Good, capable and experienced professionals are, in the end, best suited to helping private clubs land placements that stick over time and drive continual improvement in the member experience..
About the Author
Scott McNett is the Senior Principal with GSI Executive Search and is based in the firm’s Midwest office in St. Louis. He has executed roughly 400 successful placements of senior and mid-level management with two club- and hospitality-specific search firms. His 30 years of professional experience spans executive search, homeowner associations, professional sports, sports marketing and management, health and tennis club operations and community service. You can reach Scott by email or at 314-854-1321.