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Excerpt: The Caterer’s Guide to Managing Event Staff

How do the best caterers hire and develop event staff? I’ve noticed three key differences between what they do and what everyone else does. 

1. They commit to succeeding in hiring

The catering companies that I see consistently field strong event teams don’t treat hiring like a burden to slog through. They approach it with the same enthusiastic attitude that they do their events, telling themselves, “We’re going to be excellent at hiring.” That mindset ensures the entire team understands the high stakes of bringing on the right staff and brings their A-game to the hiring process.

Job candidates can sense this attitude as well. They notice when your team is on the ball and taking the hiring process seriously, versus treating it as another box to tick. This attitude sets the tone for their relationship with your company, scares off the flakier types, and lets them know they’ll need to give it their all if you hire them. 

2. They create a positive experience for job applicants

Think about the economy right now. As I write this in July of 2019, unemployment is at its lowest point in decades, which is great for the economy, but makes things tough for caterers looking to hire. With fewer job seekers, catering companies need to go out of their way to recruit and woo new event talent -- especially the most skilled ones fielding work opportunities from several different events companies. 

Keep this in mind in all your interactions with staff: Respond to their messages quickly, respect their time, and try to show them the fun side of the business! That last point is key. Some of the best event staff I’ve seen are folks with regular, 9-5 jobs during the week who like making an extra $800 a month to work parties with people they like. 

3. They use the numbers to achieve Kaizen

Kaizen is a business philosophy that emphasizes striving for constant improvement. It’s a great attitude to bring to all areas of your business -- especially hiring and management. After all, hiring is something you’re going to be focused on all year, which means you should always have both the motivation and the opportunity to do it better. 

Map out what the process looks like now and start looking for ways to improve it. Data is key here -- you can measure your success at every step of the process to see what you need to focus on. Look at numbers like:

• Number of applicants

• Percent of applicants moving to interview stage

• Percent of interviewed applicants who receive a job offer

• Percent of applicants offered who accept

• Percent of new hires who get promoted vs. get fired

These are just some of the data points you should be trying to optimize as you tweak your hiring process. 

Read on to learn more

Now that you know a bit about how to think about hiring and management, download our full guide here to learn everything there is to know about managing event staff.

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