Promotional event staffing is the Land of Oz when it comes to traditional temp staffing. As head of recruitment for ATN Promo, my work life is centered around creativity and persistence.
What I do at ATN Promo is a mixture of “I know exactly what I am doing” to “WTF am I doing?” and everywhere in between.
In traditional recruitment, recruiters are seeking an extremely specialized individual to work a very specific position. In the general job market, there is much competition and recruiters receive hundreds of resumes for one position.
According to Glassdoor.com: On average, every corporate job opening attracts 250 resumes. But only 4 to 6 of these people will be called for an interview, and only 1 of those will be offered a job.
“98% of job seekers are eliminated at the initial resume screening and only the “Top 2%” of candidates make it to the interview”, says Robert Meier, President of Job Market Experts.
However, in the event marketing industry, we are doing the opposite of traditional recruitment. Knowing the who/what/where/whys of promotional event staffing helps in the direct hire process and/or what to ask when partnering with a staffing agency.
Staffing for promotional event roles tends to be finding a whole lot of people, in a short amount of time, for a job that doesn’t necessarily require a ton of experience for an event being held in extremely remote working locations.
When faced with these challenges, a good promotional event staffing agency will be able to pull people out of nowhere, a lot of them, all the while wizarding from behind the curtain. For it is pure magic where people come from and clients don’t care how it happens, they just want their event to be successful which is why they hire us.
So Shannon…how do you find event staff, anyways?
1- Years of experience: Fortunately for me I work for ATN, an agency that has 14+ years of staffing under it’s belt. More importantly: our internal team (myself included) have been out in the field and at event marketing agencies on the other end of things as brand ambassadors, managers, drivers, emcees, promo models, production coordinators, account managers E T to the C. In short: we know exactly what’s going on out there and understand the realistic challenges clients face when producing/staffing an event. We understand in a real life way who will be a great fit for what program. Experience is rewarded with efficiency. There is an art to placing people for this is an intuitive process of matchmaking resulting from years of experience.
2 – Creativity in resources: Our website, newsletter lists, blog posts, social media networking, virtual career fairs, job search apps/sites, industry connections, talent castings, cold/warm/hot individual outreach, referral bonus programs, newspaper ads, flyer-ing, college job boards, cold calling local businesses, modeling schools, language centers, community centers, trade schools, carrier pigeon, pony express..once I found people through my manicurist. I rule nothing out as to where I may find people and change it up frequently.
3 – The right fit: Giving people a calculated chance can result in the best staff you’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. Clearly we love having our pro brand ambassadors on the squad but that doesn’t mean others who lack direct experience but possess similar skills should be ruled out. Often times our very best brand ambassadors are those who have experience in similar professions and are excited about entering into the fold of high-energy promotional event jobs. People who are excited, motivated, professionally-minded and simply enthusiastic to be a part of the promo event environment are those we adore placing onsite.
4 – Always Be Recruiting: Although we have a very solid team in place for locations nationwide not all can be at every event, every single time. Our clients have very specific requests. It is imperative that we have quality staff members available who are specialized in every which way in ALL locations. Therefore, each day we continually fill our database with valuable team members. The promo event industry isn’t one that often provides long-term work for freelance brand ambassadors. Since these jobs are not always steady, we need as many people to choose from as possible. It’s completely understandable why a brand ambassador may move on to something more permanent or transition into another end of the biz (see #1).
5 – Systems: Our database system is on some genius level type stuff. Through the years, consistently, features are added or removed to streamline our staffing process. This makes my job infinitely easier. The more efficient and organized I can be, the more time I can spend on acquiring A+ team members and coming up with new ways to find them.
When it comes to promotional event staffing the most important thing is to be open to non-traditional recruitment techniques. Through innovation and teamwork staffing even the toughest event can be a magnificent experience!
Article by: Shannon Moore – Head of Recruitment/Digital Marketing Manager, ATN Promo