Planning an event means you’re creating an experience and having the right event staff can either make or break that experience. Knowing that hiring the right people is such a critical component of the planning process can be a significant source of stress, but with the proper preparation and method of approach, it doesn’t have to be.
Whether this is your first-time handling staffing logistics or you’re looking to streamline the staff hiring process, we’ve put together a few key considerations to keep in mind along the way, as well as offered some helpful tips on how to ensure the staff you are hiring is effective.
Things to Consider Before Hiring Event Staff
What staff roles do you need?
Before you can start filling roles, you need to be certain about what responsibilities are needed during the event. Having a solid grip on what positions you need filled can help with defining expectations and experience required for each role.
Common roles you may need to fill include but aren’t limited to:
- Security. Having reliable security on the premises is necessary to ensure the safety of your staff and attendees.
- Field jobs and basic event staff positions. This may include registration and signing in, scanning or selling tickets at the door, running childcare, directing and guiding attendees, assisting vendors, taking care of set up and tear down, and cleaning up after the event.
- Logistics and planning. Depending on the size of your event, you may need a dedicated (or additional) person to keep track of what’s going on hour by hour. This is a good stage in the process to identify who your key players will be.
- Food. Depending on the type of event you’re running, this may involve hiring cooks, wait staff, and bussers.
We can’t stress this enough: budget is key. Your event budget determines what type of staff you can hire and how many you can afford. Remember, these people are going to be on your payroll.
It may be helpful to contact event staffing agencies to see if you can ballpark some staff cost estimates. The larger the scale of the event, the bigger the staff budget will need to be. While it’s important to mind your budget, you don’t want to cut too many corners. Your budget will need to be able to cover all costs, as well as extra costs that may arise due to unforeseen circumstances. After all, a key component of event planning is acknowledging that things may not go according to plan. Save yourself the stress and allow yourself a little wiggle room.
Rules and Regulations
When hiring staff for an event, you’ll need to adhere to rules and regulations. It is your responsibility to ensure that you’re aware of them and remember that there may be additional or specific regulations that vary by location (especially in the midst of the continuing pandemic and public health emergency).
As these rules and regulations can vary greatly, it can be difficult to provide a brief rundown on what you need to know. However, we generally recommend the following:
- Sign a contract with each hired individual, requesting they abide by all rules and regulations of the event, location, etc.
- Familiarize yourself with local laws and regulations, especially if you’re planning a destination event.
How to Hire Event Staff
Create Job Descriptions
Come up with job descriptions based on the staff roles needed for the event. Write out the job responsibilities, the type of person you’re looking to fill the role, and what is expected of them, such as their experience, work ethic, etc.
Are there any specific skill sets, temperaments, or personality you’re looking for? Add it to the description. Try to be specific with your expectations. For example, instead of writing “candidate must have 3 years of customer service experience,” try something along the lines of “the ideal candidate will have 3 years of experience assisting patrons in high-energy, high-traffic environments.”
Avoid Using Family and Friends
It can be tempting to use family and friends as event staff, either to cut corners or as a favor to yourself or them. As fun as it may seem to work alongside family and friends, doing so is usually a recipe for disaster. For starters, working with loved ones can make it hard to act as their boss. When it comes to running a successful event, it’s important to be able to execute without any conflicts of interest.
Create Online Applications
Creating an online application portal makes it easier to receive and file through job applications. You can create free online applications with SurveyMonkey or Google Forms.
Ask the Right Questions
When it’s finally time to bring the candidates in for an interview, make sure to ask them the right questions. Certain questions will vary depending on the nature of the role, especially roles that are higher up and managerial in nature, but the following are some examples of interview questions catered towards event staff:
- What is your experience working events?
- What attracted you to this position?
- Describe your decision-making process.
- How do you handle scenarios in which things don’t go as planned?
Hiring event staff can be a tricky process for both novice and seasoned event planners. We hope the pointers outlined above serve as a solid starting point in your event staff recruiting process. Now that you’re ready to start recruiting, it’s important to remember that hiring the staff for your next event is just the beginning, and that ensuring your staff is properly trained for the event is just as crucial.
Ready to create your next experience? Contact us today!