If you have an event coming up and are still orchestrating all of the logistics, the thought of hiring event staff can feel overwhelming. Luckily, you don't have to navigate this process alone! This guide will help you with every step, from budgeting and setting expectations to vetting and interviewing quality candidates. Read on for top tips and what to look for when hiring event staff.
How to Hire Event Staff: Top 5 Tips
There are five essential tips to keep in mind when you’re hiring event staff, no matter how large your event is and how many roles you need to fill. Let's take a look.
1. Set a Budget
The first thing you should do before you begin to look for event staff is to decide what your budget will be. Keep in mind your total budget and what that would work out to in an hourly wage. Remember that even if your event is for a specific number of hours, your event staff will need to arrive earlier than the start and stay later than the end time. So, be sure to factor those extra hours into your budget. Here's a free budget template to get you started!
2. Create Quality Job Listings
The next thing you will want to do is ensure that the job listings you create accurately reflect your event needs. Explain what makes your company unique, the skills you’re seeking, the base pay rate, and any other benefits the staff will receive, such as dinner or tips. The more specific and clear your job posting is, the more likely it is that applicants will be a good fit.
3. Interview Carefully
When interviewing potential candidates, ask them specific questions to determine whether they have the experience needed to make your event a success. Be sure to ask them about their skills and how they feel about performing certain duties. Asking such questions during the interview phase will prevent any confusion on expectations later.
4. Ask for References
Most candidates will be able to provide you with references who have seen them in action. Feel free to call these references and ask about a candidate's work history and work ethic. This will give you an idea of what the candidate is like to work with and if they are the right fit for the event.
5. Hire Versatile Workers
Events move quickly, and sometimes unanticipated needs pop up or extra hands must be shuffled around. Perhaps you have more servers than bartenders, but suddenly the line at the bar is too long for two bartenders to keep up with. Having at least a few versatile staff members who are skilled in multiple roles will take the stress out of these situations.
Now that you know the steps for hiring event staff, let's take a look at some of the specifics you should look for when considering individual candidates.
What Qualities to Look for in Event Staff
There are a few specific qualities to look for when you’re interviewing and vetting candidates for your event.
Experience is a must; preferably experience working events that are similar to the one you are hosting. Look for candidates with a minimum of six months of experience, and ideally at least a year.
(Tip: An easy way to find event professionals with prior experience is by staffing with Qwick. All of Qwick’s hospitality freelancers have at least one year of experience in the shifts they work.)
Skilled staff members will understand the importance of punctuality. The team will need to arrive before the event to ensure everything is prepared and ready when the guests arrive. Pay attention to whether a candidate shows up to the interview at the right time, or even a bit early.
Ability to Multi-task
Seasoned event staff members should be comfortable multi-tasking and working on their own without too much guidance. Ask potential candidates about their experience handling multiple tasks at once at similar events and how they prioritize.
Good Customer Service Skills
Because your staff will communicate with and interact with the guests, being polite and personable is extremely important. Ensure that your candidate has the skills needed to communicate effectively and politely with all of your guests so that they feel taken care of.
Reliability is paramount. When you hire a staff member, you need to feel confident that they will show up on time and perform the assigned tasks. Ask the references you contact if the candidate is a reliable worker.
Because event staff members work together to ensure everything runs smoothly, teamwork is essential. Make sure that the candidates for your event are happy to work on a team and communicate with others.
Now that you know the steps for hiring event staff and the essential qualities to look for, where do you begin to find quality candidates? Well, you could hit the job boards, or you could save time and tap into Qwick’s network of top hospitality talent.
Staff Your Events With Qwick
Qwick is a technology platform that matches experienced hospitality freelancers with businesses that need to fill shifts. Whether you need a few banquet servers for an upcoming party, or a few hundred event staff for a festival, Qwick has your event staffing needs covered.