2020 was a difficult year for countless reasons, but one of the hardest challenges for business owners was the decision to lay off employees due to a lack of live events and, consequently, a drop in revenue. As the light at the end of the tunnel becomes brighter, some wedding pros will need to consider rehiring a team to handle the heavy workload that awaits the industry on the other side.
Balancing upcoming events along with those that have been postponed will require a team made up of skilled, hard-working individuals that will help you navigate the next year. Hiring in 2021 might look different—particularly if you’re remaining virtual for some time—but the fundamentals remain the same if not for a few tweaks to adapt to the circumstances.
Here are the three elements you must consider before kicking off your hiring process.
Your expectations for the position
The first thing you need to do is get crystal clear on what exactly you expect from a new hire. What responsibilities will you delegate? Are there specific skills you’ll need to require? Take some time to note all of the tasks you need to take off your plate and start creating a job description (or several) to outline the role’s expectations and requirements. Be as detailed as possible, as your job description will serve to weed out candidates and prevent you from wasting time on underqualified applicants.
Who you need to hire
Besides knowing what you’re hiring for, you also need to think hard about who you can employ. The most common hires in the event industry are employees, which are your standard W-4 team members that are put on payroll until they leave your company. Full-time employees will also require a benefits package. Since employees are a long-term commitment, some companies prefer to hire 1099 contractors as the process requires less oversight and is simpler to dissolve. Lastly, internship programs provide a low-budget option for temporary support but generally offer less experience and a lower skill set. Consider how much commitment you’re ready to make—both in terms of financial liability and leadership capacity—and determine what level of help will fill your needs.
Your onboarding procedures
Selecting the right candidate is only the first step to a successful hiring process. You also need to consider how you will onboard a new hire—whether on payroll or contracted—and ensure they have the resources they need to start on the right foot. Prepare a handbook to support self-guided training, but keep an open door for questions and check in regularly to confirm they are comfortable with the tasks at hand. An effective onboarding procedure leads to a happy and engaged team, so don’t shrug this responsibility off. As a leader, you must be prepared to guide your new hires to success.
The hiring process is long and time-consuming, but one made easier with the right forethought and preparation. Being strategic goes a long way and, when it comes to hiring, it’s better to do it thoroughly than to find out you need to replace someone six months down the road. Once you do land the perfect fit, you’ll reap the benefits of having a trusted team member support you.
Jennifer Taylor is the principal of Jen Taylor Consulting, a consulting firm that works with creative businesses of all sizes to implement streamlined workflows and organized systems to find more time and space for business growth and personal development. She is also the owner and founder of Taylor’d Events Group, a leading event planning company that serves local and destination clients in Washington State and Maui, HI.