Swim Life Magazine

              Aquatic Staff Recruitment and Retention
                            Stratagems - Model 1                                                               
YMCA Canada


Copyright © Swim Life Magazine 2016 – all rights reserved


The YMCA of Canada’s approach focuses on building staff from within and providing ongoing opportunities for personal development to both Youth and Adults. The YMCA hires young workers in a wide variety of positions in Aquatics and throughout their organization.

This employer asks; are we offering what young people want? Their understanding from talking to young people tells them young people want;

- To be part of groups

- To be part of decision making

- To be valued as individuals

- They want more technology in the workplace

- They need in-person learning, mentoring and collaboration

- They want to play at work.

- They want to receive frequent feedback – they know it is

  key to  personal development

- They want opportunities to build skills, more than money.


To answer YMCA Associations’ demand for staff the organization has; 

1. Created new aquatic volunteer and paid positions for young teens

2. Are hiring assistant lifeguard and swim instructor positions

3. And are recruiting directly from last level of swim lessons (equivalent to Bronze Star) for aquatic leadership courses, clubs, volunteer positions and projects.

4. Recruiting and training adults, and tapping into provincial job retraining funding.

5. Collaborating with high schools, colleges and universities to link aquatic leadership courses with educational credits and co-ops, and with other aquatic employers to train and share staff


6. Offered combined courses – the “Ultimate Lifeguard”
Reduced certification costs by providing options for borrowing manuals and for payment plans.


Special thanks to Carolyn Tyner of YMCA Canada for her expertise.