The Most Effective Ways to Hire Event Staff

Hiring event staff

Did you know an Encore® Las Vegas nightclub sells a $10,000 cocktail? It’s a top-shelf combination of cognac and champagne. But it also includes some things similar cocktails don’t—a Tahitian black pearl necklace and Mont Blanc 18K gold cuff links. There’s no doubt owner Steve Wynn offers his guests a truly luxurious experience that can’t be found anywhere else. And it’s all served up by the best people he can find.

The Connection Between Wynn’s $10,000 Cocktail and How You Hire Event Staff

usa-1059238_1920Like offering a product that is unique in both luxury and experience, Wynn once said, “Human Resources isn’t a thing we do. It’s the thing that runs our business.” Yet, his quote on the importance of personnel isn’t the first we’ve heard from highly successful entrepreneurs. In fact, Steve Jobs declared “the secret” to his success is having “gone to exceptional lengths to hire the best people in the world.” And yet Jobs also noted, “Recruiting is hard.”

It doesn’t matter if you are scouting developers for your next innovation or seeking talent for your next marketing event. The people you choose are of the utmost importance to your ability to be effective in any endeavor. Selecting the right team to meet your expectations and that of your audience is critical and oftentimes difficult. Not only do you need to know where to look, you must narrow the pool based on your specific criteria. In a sense, like the $10,000 cocktail, you must find your own top-shelf recruiting and hiring combination.

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3 Ingredients to Effectively Hire Event Staff

Your company may be delving into event or experiential marketing for the first time and seeking input on event staffing. Or you may be using existing event staffing methods and finding they don’t deliver desired results. Create your top-shelf combination and maximize your event’s ROI when you hire event staff based on these three key ingredients.

1. Their qualifications.

First and foremost, the event staff you choose must be right for the task at hand. So, when putting the word out, be sure you’re clear on your expectations and needs. This helps ensure only qualified individuals apply, which saves you time (and ultimately, money) in the process. Here are criteria for consideration:

  • Their appearance. Your event staff personify your company and brand. This may mean you need someone with an edgier look vs. a polished appearance or vice versa. Make sure their appearance is right for you.
  • Their knowledge. If you’re a mobile phone provider, for example, technical skills are a must. On the other hand, cosmetic or health care companies need other types of people. Seek those with expertise or certifications related to event responsibilities.
  • Their physical abilities. Events or experiential marketing activities may place physical demands on talent. Are they up to the challenge, whether lifting heavy objects or spending extended time on their feet?
  • Their demeanor. There’s no doubt you need people who can easily interact with your customers or prospects to achieve a personal connection. You (and your customers) may prefer someone extremely outgoing, while others may seek talent more subtle in personality and volume. Also, events require people who are open to change and adapt quickly. Keep flexibility and attitude in mind when assessing candidates.
  • Their reliability. Confirm that candidates are available on the particular days and times of your event with zero conflicts. You need staff who will see the event through from hiring and training to execution and wrap-up. Find people with a solid history of showing up early and giving 110%.

Many organizations use Craigslist or other forums to hire event staff. Yet, experienced event planners and marketing agencies often look to event staffing companies for the best individuals. In doing so, they gain access to expertise in candidate selection and a carefully developed pool of skilled talent. They also minimize their role in the process, allowing them to focus on other critical event tasks.

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2. Your brand and asset security.

Once you’ve found the perfect talent for your event, you may believe the hard work to be over. It’s not. In fact, it’s now time to verify company security with your decisions. This means a few things:

  • Does their background pose risks? For example, if you’re selling product on site, you do not want individuals with any criminal history handling transactions. Take advantage of background checks when applicable.
  • Do they have a good online image? Google every candidate you hire and check the results. Make sure there is nothing out of the ordinary. Also view their social media profiles to ensure the way they represent themselves aligns with your brand.
  • Have you verified their photos and credentials are up to date? It’s important to confirm the talent’s appearance is as you believe it to be. Don’t let a 10-year-old headshot fool you. Also, if choosing people based on certain skills or certifications, are they still qualified?
  • Are you following U.S. law for hiring event staff? You’ve asked talent to work certain hours, perform specific duties and represent your company or brand a particular way. You have essentially removed their rights as independent contractors. Therefore, you must employ them using a W-2 hiring model to avoid liability and misclassification risk under U.S. law.

Hiring an event staffing company can also mitigate your risk in hiring event staff. A proactive agency will carefully screen to ensure individuals are who they say. It will also use a W-2 hiring model for event staff, removing any liability and legal hardship for themselves and most importantly, you.

[Tweet “Consider their qualifications, your security and event timing when hiring event staff.”]

3. Event timing.

A big mistake many companies make when looking to hire event staff is to wait until the last minute. As important as these people are to your success, you should begin your search as soon as possible. This will guarantee:

  • Larger and better variety. Event marketing usually consumes 20-25% of a company’s marketing budget.” This means organizations are continuously seeking event talent. And experienced event marketers are getting a jump on the competition by looking as early as possible. Don’t limit your options by waiting too late.
  • Adequate time for training. Another mistake companies make is letting consumers outsmart their poorly-trained event staff—a huge turnoff. Therefore, ensure customers remain stimulated and interested when you allow enough time to train your event’s people.

In the end, as many experienced event marketers know, the most effective way to hire event staff is to partner with an event staffing company. This relieves the burden from the brand’s team and safeguards the event’s outcome. Staffing agencies have access to a large talent pool to quickly secure qualified individuals. Further, they should provide a variety of training options to ensure your message is understood and retained. Relying on event staffing experts helps to guarantee the right people with the proper knowledge will be delivering the best experience for your guests.

Having led the event staffing industry since 1999, the team at EventPro Strategies (EPS) knows what it takes to hire the best event staff for each event. Contact us to get the top-shelf results your event deserves.  

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