Incentive Referral Programs – Are They Worth It?

Wednesday December 7, 2022

Keeping good talent is hard work. Hiring new talent is even harder. 59club USA – in partnership with 59club Study – conducted a survey of 67 private club managers on the effectiveness of their recruitment tools with regard to hiring new, non-management staff. The results are interesting.

Most clubs employ the standard practice of creating and populating a “careers” page on the club website, but without putting money towards advertising the page, the number of visitors is extremely low. Of the 67 participants in the study, seven said social media is their main recruitment tool. Makes sense when you consider how much Meta (formally Facebook) has invested in their employment marketplace. The majority of participants (47%) selected “specific online tools” as their recruitment vehicle of choice. Again, not surprising. Ziprecruiter and others changed the hiring game decades ago and have enjoyed monumental success – to the point of some companies even purchasing stadium naming rights.

But of the private club operators surveyed, only 30% of participants say they employ a referral program. And NONE said they offered an incentive program. With unemployment at a 20-year low, and one participant saying “all recruitment is extremely challenging for us,” and another operator stating “our members are our best recruitment tool,” why would those operators not offer a time tested program? There seems to be a disconnect.

Here are a few reasons to try out an incentive-based recruitment program at your club:

Employees who refer their friends or colleagues are more likely to refer individuals who are a good fit for the company culture and values. These individuals are already familiar with the company’s work environment and are likely to be a better fit for the team. This can lead to higher retention rates and better overall job satisfaction.

Another reason employee referral programs are successful is because they often result in faster hiring. Employees who refer their friends or colleagues are usually able to provide a strong recommendation, which can expedite the hiring process. This is especially important for companies that are looking to fill a position quickly.

In addition, employee referral programs can also be cost-effective. Traditional recruitment methods, such as posting job ads and using recruiting agencies, can be expensive. By relying on employee referrals, companies can save on these costs while still attracting high-quality candidates.

Finally, employee referral programs can also help companies improve their employer branding. When employees refer their friends and colleagues, it sends a message that they are happy and satisfied with their job. This can help attract more top talent to the organization.

Study Finds Managers are Way Too Stressed

Friday December 2, 2022

The holidays can be stressful. And while most people are busy worrying about what their kids want for Christmas or how to ensure their mother-in-law doesn’t bring up that embarrassing story or the time you burned the roast, club operators are stressed for different reasons. Employee turnover and training, increased quotas despite slowing demand and decisions based on holiday hours are stressing out club operators all over the country. In fact, a recent survey of American club operators found the stress level of an average golf club general manager is a whopping 7.6 out of 10. That’s not exactly reminiscent of a cool breeze on a tropical island.

So, we have a group of stressed-out managers during the most stressful time of the year. How can we not only alleviate that stress in the short term, but also make sure managers are better prepared to handle stressful situations in the future? In short, look at the data. Here are a few examples.

Mystery Shopping Data – On Course

Especially for clubs in traditionally warmer climates who overseed their fairways, mystery shopping data provided by 59club USA ensures operators have the most up-to-date data on the health and playability of their golf courses. So, while operators are busy putting together holiday specials, employee schedules and new F&B options for a winter menu, they can rest assured they know where all problem areas are on the golf course and begin to remedy any issues as they arise. 

Member Survey Data – New Menus

Do my members want a special holiday menu? What about a traditional winter cocktail like spiked eggnog or hot chocolate? How would you know? Using 59club USA survey tools, managers can ask questions of their members in and collect data to help them make decisions about what new or seasonal menu items would be nice for the holidays. No more guesswork. What about using an example of what type of entertainment to use for the NY Eve party? Live band, DJ, Casino Night, etc. to get input on that decision and then once the party is over, finding out what the members thought of that special evening through a follow up survey

Mystery Shopping Data – F&B

Picking up from the previous example, the member survey returned data suggesting the vast majority of members would like an addition to the menu in the form of spiked hot chocolate. Are your servers pushing that new drink? After all, your purchasing manager just spent additional funds to service that request. Mystery shopping data from 59club USA will alert managers if their servers and other staff are not pushing specials or upselling drinks at the club.

Take the stress out of management. To learn more about 59club USA mystery shopping and survey tools, contact managing partner Mike Kelly –