Event Staff Recruitment: Who Cuts the Mustard?

29 Oct

Event staff recruitment is a tricky business. The challenge lies, not so much in finding the numbers, but in finding candidates that are deemed fitting and impressive enough to welcome on board our carefully curated team. It’s a tough job for our recruitment team, but one they do exceptionally well. The question is, who cuts the mustard and why?

A little about us…

If you’re reading this you probably know who we are. But for those that don’t, we’re eventeem; a promotional & event staff recruitment agency based in Cardiff and London. The scope of our event staff recruitment services extends across the event and experiential landscape and includes promotional staff, conference staff and hosts/hostesses to name some.

Our staff work for us on a casual basis which means that, once approved, they sit dormant within our team until the perfect opportunity arises for an assignment with of one of our clients. There are a number of things we consider when matching staff to a brand, but even before that, they must navigate our stringent recruitment process to be accepted as a fully fledged member of our promotional and event team.

Event Staff
Rachel’s Breakfast Pot Sampling in Manchester

So firstly, where do our candidates come from?

Our event staff team is nothing if it’s not varied! It’s extremely diverse in terms of gender, age, race and geography, but also in terms skillset. As the scope of our work fluctuates significantly, we look for staff from all walks of life with varying personalities, experiences and abilities to ensure we can find exactly the right fit for each of our clients’ brands. We therefore source staff through a number of different channels including;

  • Word of mouth / Recommendations from our existing team. As with many forms of recruitment, a personal recommendation from an existing member of staff that we know and trust goes a long way, and is for this reason, our preferred method of growing our reputable team. Good staff recommend other good staff, and so the cycle continues!
  • Scouting. Ever seen those model scouts that traffic stop when they see what they think could be the next big face in the modelling world? We take a similar (although perhaps less dramatic) approach to event staff recruitment. Many of our new recruits have been scouted at events, instore, on the high street or at shopping centres where they have interacted with a member of our agency team whilst working for another brand. We are always on the look out for people that stand out from the crowd, for all the right reasons!
  • Social media. Along with the rest of the world, social media now forms a large part of our recruitment strategy. We have built up a decent social media following on our own agency page, but also use select industry specific Facebook groups in which we sometimes post job opportunities, to engage with a wider audience and broaden the reach of our ads.

Event Staff Recruitment
Promotional campaign for CRM Students at Cardiff University

But what determines a successful application?

As you can imagine we receive a plethora of new staff applications each week. These can include;

  • Students, that fill up their free time and university rest days with promotional and event work,
  • Actors, actresses and others from the performing arts world, that use our industry to fill in between performance roles and auditions,
  • Retail workers, who have the customer facing experience and are perhaps looking for a bit more flexibility from their jobs and,
  • Career event staff – usually the most experienced people in our team, these are the staff that are able to gather enough work for themselves to make a full time career out of promotions and events. Therefore it’s usually these staff that make up our more senior team leaders and event managers.

Whilst the large majority of staff apply with the best intentions, our challenge lies in picking out only the best people for our team. We achieve this by operating a stringent recruitment process for all staff that wish to join the fold, which will consist of application shortlisting, telephone interviews, Skype sessions and even face to face casting calls which we complete throughout the UK.

Our challenge lies in identifying the shirkers, the people that won’t pull their weight on site, the students that see promo staff bookings as “easy money” that requires minimal input on their part, and the actors that will drop us the day before a booking if the audition of a lifetime appears!

These people are however the minority, and our event staff recruitment engages with top notch, interesting and intriguing individuals on a daily basis. These are the key attributes we look out for and successful applicants will tick all these boxes without exception;

  • Clear communication; No matter what their conversational style, candidates must demonstrate clear and concise communication when engaging with our event staff recruitment team in the initial stages of the process. After all, communication forms a huge part of the job we are employing them to do on behalf of our clients and this is their opportunity to show us their stuff!
  • Exemplary English; Whilst we welcome applications from all nationalities, and whilst being able to converse in other languages is definitely a plus, it is absolutely vital that candidates can demonstrate an ability to converse fluently in our mother tongue. Our staff usually only have a few seconds to deliver those key campaign messages so it’s vital that language does note pose a barrier to engagement.
  • Punctuality and Preparedness; The interview, whether it be telephone, Skype or face to face, is the perfect opportunity for us to test the water in terms of punctuality and preparedness. Candidates are scrutinised from the off and any late arrivals or lack of preparation is duly noted!
  • Confidence; Whether bold and outgoing, or quietly self assured, it’s important to us that the event staff we employ are tenacious and keen spirited, able to adapt to changing requirements and step outside of their comfort zone in unforeseen circumstances, because let’s face it – there’s always something unforeseen where events are concerned!
  • Reliability; Admittedly this is a tricky attribute to prove during an interview and we can never measure a candidate’s reliability fully, until they start working for us. However, applicants that address reliability in the interview stages definitely win points. As with all casual staffing, reliability and changing availability can be an issue and it’s vital that we do everything we can to minimise our time spent on rebooking shifts whilst ensuring there is no disruption to our clients’ events as a result of staff absences. Particularly with our actors and actresses, how they manage their event bookings vs auditions is always something we challenge them on at the interview stage.
  • Presentation; For obvious reasons, being well presented is a key requirement from all our event staff. Even though we seek to grow a diverse team in terms of individual looks, there are basic standards of presentation that all staff must adhere to, and presenting themselves appropriately and professionally for the interview is something we look for. Even before the interview, candidates that upload profile photos that are not work appropriate are counted out straight away.

Promotional Staff in Manchester
Promotional Staff in Manchester

So we’ve covered the attributes that are absolutely key, but there are also a few other characteristics and skills that we look out for that are of benefit to the role, whilst not essential;

  • Industry Experience; It goes without saying that experience working at events and on promotional campaigns is clearly beneficial, and for more senior roles, essential. However we acknowledge that everyone has to start somewhere and we never count someone out because they don’t have direct experience. Instead we look for candidates that have the right personality, the right approach and a good attitude. Customer facing experience is beneficial, whether it’s from a retail or hospitality environment, but full training can be provided. When introducing new event staff to our team, we will usually place them with one of our regular team leaders who can show them the ropes on their first job with us.
  • Access to a Vehicle; A driving license and access to a vehicle can often be beneficial to reach far flung event locations, or to transport campaign collateral and/or distribution materials.
  • Additional Skills/Certificates; There are a number of skills and qualifications that are handy to have in our industry. For example, sampling staff must hold a valid level 2 food hygiene certificate, and if working with children, promotional staff often need to provide a recent DBS check before being approved for the event. Aside from this, we’re often asked to arrange event entertainment, and therefore welcome all sorts of circus and walkabout entertainers.

If you’d like to discuss event staff recruitment with our team>> Reach out to us on 02921 676 500 or hello@eventeem.co.uk and we will be in touch!

Or perhaps you’d like to work with us?>> Email staff@eventeem.co.uk and one of our event staff recruiters will be in touch with instructions on how to apply!