Each of the four candidates for the role of Slim Gym’s General Manager position has their own strengths and weaknesses. In choosing the best candidate, it is necessary to find an individual who can be both singularly focused on particular tasks, as well as flexible enough to deal with new issues as they arise. They should have the experience that comes from a variegated background (both in and out of the workplace) and still possess the ability to feel the pulse of the city. To customers, they must be both consummate business professionals and personal friends looking out for the well being of those that they care for.
Guido Passerelli is the first candidate for the position, and represents something of a mixed bag as far as this opportunity goes. He is the oldest candidate, which can be both an asset and a liability: he will work well as a voice of authority…when combined with his fluency in Italian and Spanish, his handsome and clean appearance, and his experience running a small business, may translate well to a role that customers feel they can trust. However, despite his fluency in Italian and Spanish, he speaks English with a bit of hesitance.
Customers, particularly customers with problems, are going to want someone who is able to clearly articulate the stance of Slim Gym, as well as deal delicately with any problems that may come up. Among the candidates, he also possesses the lowest level of education: against three other degreed candidates, this is unfortunate. Additionally, the lifeblood of new business for a gym is often younger customers. At fifty-two years of age, Passerelli may put off clients who feel they cannot relate as well to them.
This is something that came across in his interview as well: Passerelli’s admittedly good ideas should ideally be tempered by a personable, relatable nature: instead, he came across as forceful, arguing with someone (the interviewer) that, frankly, it was in his best interest to appease. If this is an indicator of how he would deal with clients, then he should be scratched off the list. Gloria Daniels is another candidate for the position. Her education and experience are both solid: she has a degree in Sports Management, and worked for three years for a chain of fitness centers.
She is also very good at negotiation, mentioning during the interview that she reached a deal with baseball star Hank Robbins to promote him exclusively. This would translate well to negotiations with Slim Gym clients. Finally, there is her appearance: stylish, with a face that belongs to a movie star. There are some drawbacks to her candidacy: as far as proficiency in other languages goes, she has only an “elementary” knowledge of Spanish and Italian. Other candidates are fluent in at least one language, which can help establish a rapport in building a customer base.
The interviewer also noted that she appeared overconfident, which may not translate well to working with both clients and her own team. Finally, her focus seems to be on clients with more money, as her chief idea during the interview was for Slim Gym to raise money by offering shares to wealthy individuals. While this is not necessarily a bad idea, it does show a “top-down” focus on clients: when attempting to rebuild a customer base, focusing more on incentives for younger, less affluent individuals is a better path to mass appeal.
For these reasons, her name should be put on the backburner. Martine Lemaire is the third candidate for this position. Her education is top notch, with a Biology degree from Sorbonne and a Master’s in dietetics from Yale University. She has experience as both a dietician and a sales manager, which may translate well to the role of General Manager. She is fluent in French, with a solid grasp of Spanish as well. She appeared very fashionable. However, the interviewer noted that her “dynamic and ambitious” personality was paired with the quality of being assertive…perhaps too assertive.
Additionally, her primary idea for increasing the profits of Slim Gym is to spend large amounts of money on advertisement. This suggests a fundamental disconnect in her evaluation of Slim Gym’s financial state: the “spend money to make money” approach does not work as well when there is such a dearth of clients, resulting in a lack of money to spend on advertisement. Finally, her work experience indicates that she lost her previous position due to stress-induced health problems. A candidate with a history of stress-related illness would not be the best candidate to place in a high stress position like General Manager.
David Chen is the final candidate for the position, and the one most suited for it. His education is extensive, and uniquely suited for this position: he has a degree in Physical Education, as well as a Master’s degree in Business Administration. Ultimately, this is what edges his education out over Martine Lemaire’s: while her degrees all focus on aspects of the body, Chen partners his training in physical education with training in running a business, which is a perfect educational marriage for being a General Manager for Slim Gym.
Of all the candidates, he also seems the most physically active: while Lemaire does weekly aerobics, Chen has a black belt in karate and has continued a focus on Eastern contact sports. His work experience is also very solid for the needs of Slim Gym: he has been the Sports Administrator for a large university, organizing several sporting events during his time there. This experience dealing with college-age students and his focus on sports is very important, as it means he has knowledge in both attracting young people to events, and also dealing with them on a one-on-one basis.
If the future of Slim Gym is to attract newer and likely younger clients, his ability to deal with them will be invaluable. His interview experience was quite solid as well: he showed the ability to appear both formal and relaxed, and was noted as “determined, polite, and diplomatic. ” The other candidates often came across as overconfident, overassertive, or downright aggressive: by contrast, Chen simply asked many questions.
He is fluent in Chinese and English, and has some grasp of Italian, as well as much experience with computers. Long-term, this means he may be able to use various cheap (or free) online methods of attracting newer customers, without requiring Slim Gym to sink large amounts of money into it. His ideas for increasing profit were simple and direct: he wants to offer additional services (such as instructions in salsa dancing and to sell sports equipment) that would cost the company little, and greatly increase its public profile.
He also has ideas to cut company operating costs, meaning that the implementation of his ideas would be, essentially, free. In fact, the only negative aspect the interviewer mentioned was that he seemed “quiet” and was “shy if he didn’t know the answer to a question. ” However, his education and experience shows a willingness to learn, meaning that he’s unlikely to be caught not knowing an answer…and being athletic and personable, can deal with those situations with grace and aplomb.
The role of General Manager for Slim Gym is not to be taken lightly, because it represents both a short- and long-term investment for the company. Slim Gym needs someone who is able to recruit many new clients in the short-term, and then offer outstanding customer service and increasing gym amenities and events in order to keep them for the long-term. Chen has ideas that will appeal to a younger crowd (the target audience) and experience working with said younger crowd.
He is also computer-savvy and athletic, with ideas for how to cut costs and the educational experience that shows his ability to really do it. While many of the candidates have experience dealing with different cultures, his is that much more variegated, as he pursued degrees in Hawaii and Hong Kong. He can and will appeal to a diverse group, and represents everything that Slim Gym ideally hopes to transform clients into: workers as focused on their minds as on their bodies, able to better deal with other people, and focused on the promise of a better future.