Event rentals and catering are seasonal businesses which presents a staffing challenge. You don’t need all of your employees year-round, but when you do, you want trained, responsible staff representing your brand. What do you do?
Hiring Seasonal Staff
One successful strategy for having enough staff year-round is to work with a staffing agency that really understands your needs. They are experts at temporary employment and can assist you with finding the right matches for your specific requirements.
Another solution is to partner formally or informally with companies in other markets. We have employees who work with other companies in seasons that run opposite to ours. They work with us during one season, for example, and then go up north for the next. This way, the employees are able to work year-round, and we don’t have to worry about laying them off or claiming unemployment.
Ensuring that you keep your best year-round and seasonal staff requires consideration of how you pay your staff members. This can be a difficult budget conversation, however compensation drives retention and return. If your staff excels at their jobs, your company benefits greatly from their work. You need to give them an incentive to come back year after year.
When staffing multiple locations, first know your needs in each area. Understand that satellite locations may not require the same staff as the main location. However, it remains beneficial to hire someone who is very responsible and organized for your second location to ensure you have leader there to oversee operations, especially since you can’t be in two places at once.
When in Doubt, Over-staff
Every good rental business has to be at least marginally overstaffed, as you never know what will happen next. Sometimes temporary agencies can’t fill last-minute needs, so you need to pull someone from a different department to fill the gap. Over-hire responsibly. Always have an emergency driver on hand and make sure all of your staff is able to fulfill multiple roles in case movement is necessary.
The key to staffing seasonally is to watch your year-to-year patterns and analyze them so you are hiring with the most accurate data possible. Be prepared for anything and make sure that preserving the bottom line never compromises your product or services.
Heather Rouffe is the Director of Sales and Partner of Atlas Event Rental, a full-service event rental business serving the Southern Florida market for over 30 years. Recently named one of the top 30 rental companies in the US by Special Events Magazine, Atlas provides top quality merchandise and unparalleled customer service to each and every customer.