No matter the size of the event you are responsible for, nothing is ever too challenging when you have a great team by your side. Not only will a friendly, hardworking and reliable team of passionate individuals help to plan a smooth-running event, but they can also provide support and reassurance when things get a little tricky.
The most time-consuming and tedious part of running an event planning business is finding those ideal candidates who will join together to make the perfect team. It can often be somewhat difficult to know where to start when it comes to hiring event staff.
Key Steps Towards Hiring Event Staff
Depending on the size of your business, you may be lucky enough only to have to hire one staff member at a time, which is considerably more straightforward than a whole team worth of vacancies. Those who run a large business will have different levels of hierarchy that they will need to fill, which will require multiple different sets of job descriptions, interviews and training. Either way, there is a set of easy to follow steps that will point you in the right direction to ensure that you are not left with regrets and staff mishaps.
1. Understand The Requirements
First thing’s first, are you looking for staff to cover a one-off event? Or do you need a team that will work on a long-term, permanent basis? Understanding what your key requirements are is the first step towards beginning any staff-hunting process.
If you work as an event planner for a single, large business, then it would be highly beneficial to hire a team of event staff that will be able to cover shifts for all events. For example, event planners for sports games at stadiums will have the same team of security, hospitality and customer service that will help out at each event. If you have regular events, even if they are only on a monthly basis, again, consider whether you can draw up a contract which allows the same staff to always be on hand.
On the other hand, you may be planning a one-off event such as a charity ball or fashion show, which means that single, non-permanent contracts will need to be created. If this is the case, it is imperative to ensure that all vacancy advertising makes it clear that employees will not be kept on once the event comes to a close.
2. Establish Your Budget
Budgeting is a vital aspect of planning any factor that contributes towards an event, from venues and catering to entertainment and staff. Many companies opt for enlisting the help of a staffing agency, which will take the worry of recruiting staff off their hands. They can focus on planning the foundation of the event, and the recruitment agency will aim to fill any open vacancies with an individual fitting your requirements. If this is something that you are interested in, then you will need to allocate a huge chunk of your budget to cover the fees.
Not only are staffing agencies ideal for helping to track staff down, but also to give you an idea on how much you will need to set aside for wages, which is particularly beneficial if you are planning your first event. They would have past experience hiring staff for a variety of roles so will help to give a good indication on a realistic salary that you should ideally work around.
Always set aside an extra budget in case of an emergency, as well as having either current staff available to work overtime, or a few additional team members. Ensuring that you are a little more flexible with your budget means that you will have more leeway if an unexpected issue does arise.
3. Create The Perfect Description
An informative, reliable job description will help in creating a positive first impression of your business. Potential staff will not even consider applying if your description is not able to grab their attention. Writing the perfect job description that you will use to advertise your role will take some initial time and care; it is unlikely to be something that you will be able to crack in a few hours.
There are several different points that are absolute ‘must-haves’ when it comes to writing a job description, and these are:
- A specific, targeted job title – this will avoid wasted applications because the title was too brief and created confusion.
- A brief job summary – begin with something punchy and attention-grabbing, show off what makes your business unique from your competitors.
- Responsibilities and duties – applicants need to know the core responsibilities that they will be given, the day-to-day activities that they will need to complete and how their roles functions within the company.
For more information on the do’s and dont’s of writing a job description, take a look at The Overture Group website.
4. Consider Expectations
Before you can begin interviews, you need to establish what expectations you have of applicants and what would make them the perfect individual to fit the roles. Consider whether you would like for them to have specific qualifications or a certain level of experience.
If you are in charge of a large-scale, VIP event, then both qualifications and experience may be required for staff to be able to handle the quick-paced, pressurised environment. However, these types of applicants will come alongside a higher wage, which would need to be factored in.
5. Carry Out Interviews
It is true that you can never really get to know someone or get a realistic idea of them unless you have met face to face, which is where an interview becomes one of the most important steps of the process. Although it is likely to take extra time, try to interview as many candidates as possible. The more choice you have in potential employees, the more informed a decision you will be able to make.
During an interview, it is important not only to get to know your candidates but also to slightly test them to see whether they are able to take on the pressure on being involved in an event. Of course, you do not want to make them feel as if they are in a police interrogation and cannot wait for the interview to end, but there are a few effective, more friendly, questions that you can ask. We have listed below some of the key interview questions to ask event staff:
- Why are you interested in working in the event industry?
- Can you give an example of a situation which has required problem-solving?
- To you, what defines a successful event?
- Can you give an example of a situation where you have worked in a group and another independently?
For more great event-related interview questions, head over to the Eventbrite Blog.
6. Ask For References
Although everyone would like to think that an individual’s description of themselves is accurate and they are telling the truth about their skills and work ethos, you can never be entirely sure; this is where you can begin to use references to your advantage.
Once you have tracked down your top few candidates, it pays to contact those who have been stated as their references to get an idea on their personality, work ethic and the impact that they have on the working environment. References are the last puzzle piece which helps you to decide whether you are keen to offer a job role to the ideal candidate.
7. Establish Whether Training Is Required
In some cases, new staff may need training in order to actively start their new roles; however, this differs depending on the industry. Similarly to the example of the sports stadium mentioned previously, staff members who are responsible for front of house tasks are likely to require training. Every organisation works differently, which means that while individuals may have excellent personal skills, they will need time to get used to the equipment and technology that you use. This means that it is vital to schedule training sessions or training days prior to the date of your event to ensure that all staff are ready to go smash the event and give it their all!
8. Be Prepared To Answer Questions
One important factor that needs to be highlighted is that although after a while it may become a nuisance, you must be prepared for new even staff to ask you questions. Planning an event can be incredibly stressful, which means that sometimes you will feel as if all you need is peace and quiet, but be patient with staff and allow them to begin to feel comfortable. Staff want the event to be a success just as much as you do, and do not want to be the reason as to why the schedule does not entirely go to plan. They want to meet your expectations, impress you and build a good relationship.
A fantastic way to avoid a rush of questions is to arrange a staff meeting the evening before or a few hours prior to the start of the event. Here you, or an allocated team leader, will be able to give a full briefing and staff will have the opportunity to ask any urgent questions.
9. Research The Legal Side
Not only are legal requirements imperative for running an event efficiently and safely, but also when it comes to hiring staff. When hiring staff, no matter the industry, there are a set of rules that you must comply with to guarantee that you stay the right side of the law. Spend time researching important requirements such as the National Minimum Wage, whether your staff need DBS checks, employment insurance and how to decipher whether someone has the legal right to work in the UK. If you are unsure on any of the legal working requirements, take a look at the GOV.UK website.
Hire The Perfect Event Staff
Hiring a team of staff who are able to support you and help towards running a successful event can be a little tedious in the beginning, but is most definitely worth the work. Once you have a hardworking team, you will be able to take on an event of any scale. We love working with planners to throw fantastic events and provide entertainment through our luxury photo booth hire London! For more information on our services, please feel free to contact us and if you thought this article was helpful, why not share on social media?