Finding the Best Seasonal Staff

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April 18, 2017

It can be hard enough to find staff for a long-term position, but putting together a team to work with just during the busiest months can be very difficult. In part one of this two-part series, we discuss the challenges, benefits and best practices for hiring seasonal staff with Amanda Gallion, staffing manager at The Wild Thyme Company in San Diego. Read on for insight into another caterer's hiring process and to see how you can change yours for the better.

First, Who Do You Need? And How Many?
It's a bit of a no-brainer—when starting to hire seasonal staff, you have to first establish how many you'll need. Gallion explained that they typically add 10 to 30 employees, depending on the season, who will work as "event captains, event leads, servers, bartenders, cooks, event chefs and event chef assistants."

For some of these positions, the eager college kid will do, but a few require a stronger skill set. Connecting with the exact people you need is important.

Next, How Do You Find Them?
With new technologies popping up to help with every problem imaginable, Gallion takes advantage of online resources. She shared that they find "A LOT" of applicants with their new website, which features an employment page. This is one of the best tools to reach out, because when looking for information about the company, any potential staff member can easily be directed to the page and fill out an online form, applying for the position in minutes.

Sometimes you can't rely on the internet, though. Gallion also added that they "work heavily with employee referrals and college job fairs." Make sure, though, that you are "always on the lookout for great service," as Gallion said that they've "found cooks at [their] favorite sandwich shop, bartenders at a nightclub and servers at the coffee shop on a Sunday morning."

Gallion also gave one last bit of advice on reaching out to potential employees: "Chat them up and share your passion for what you do!" When they see how passionate caterers are about the craft, they'll want to join the fun.

The Wild Thyme Company is proud members of the ICA. To learn more about the ICA, visit http://internationalcaterers.org/.

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