Beyond Hiring: Retaining High-Quality Temporary Event Staff

Events Staffing

Organizing an event, be it a conference, a festival, or a corporate gathering, requires a lot of effort and meticulous planning. One of the most crucial aspects of event planning is staffing. Having the right team in place can make all the difference in the world when it comes to the success of your event. Often, event organizers rely on temporary event staff to fill various roles, from registration and customer service to valet and logistics. However, retaining high-quality temporary event staff can be a significant challenge for many event organizers. This blog article will explore some key strategies for not only hiring high-quality temporary staff but also retaining them for the duration of the event and, potentially, for future events.

Table of Contents

Challenges in retaining high-quality temporary events staff

Before diving into the strategies for retaining temporary event staff, it is essential to understand the challenges that event organizers face in this regard.

Short-term view: 

First and foremost, the very nature of temporary work is transient. These individuals often view their roles as stepping stones to other opportunities, rather than long-term engagements. This perception can often lead to a lack of motivation to go above and beyond in their roles, as they may feel that there is little opportunity for long-term gain or recognition.

High staff turnover: 

This short-term view can lead to high staff turnover, which can be particularly problematic during the event itself. High turnover can result in increased costs for the event organizer, as they may need to hire additional staff at the last minute, often at a higher rate. Additionally, constantly having to onboard new staff can lead to inefficiencies and disruptions in the event operations.

Lack of investment: 

Temporary staff may not be as invested in the event’s success as permanent staff, which can impact their performance and the overall event experience for attendees. This lack of investment can manifest in various ways, from a lack of enthusiasm and energy to a lack of attention to detail in their work.

Mismatch of expectations: 

Often, there is a mismatch of expectations between the event organizers and the temporary staff. The event organizers may expect the temporary staff to perform at the same level as their permanent staff, while the temporary staff may not fully understand the expectations or the importance of their role in the event’s success.

Lack of training: 

Temporary staff often do not receive the same level of training and onboarding as permanent staff. This lack of training can lead to a lack of knowledge and understanding of the event, the organization, and their role, which can impact their performance and ability to effectively contribute to the event’s success.

Creating an engaging and rewarding environment

Creating an environment where temporary staff feel valued, supported, and part of the team is crucial for their retention and overall job satisfaction. Here are several ways event organizers can achieve this:

Clear and comprehensive training:

Providing temporary staff with thorough training is crucial. They should not only understand the tasks they are responsible for but also the larger context of the event, the organization’s values, and how their role contributes to the event’s success. This comprehensive approach not only equips them with the tools they need to succeed but also helps them feel more connected to the event and its mission.

Setting clear expectations:

Clearly defined roles and expectations are crucial for temporary staff. They should know exactly what is expected of them, including their responsibilities, performance standards, and any deadlines or key milestones they need to meet. Clear expectations provide a roadmap for success and can help reduce confusion and frustration.

Continuous feedback and recognition:

Regular feedback is crucial for helping temporary staff improve and feel valued. It is essential to provide constructive feedback on their performance and acknowledge their hard work and contributions. Recognizing and celebrating successes, no matter how small, can boost morale and encourage a strong work ethic.

Encouraging teamwork and collaboration:

Creating a sense of community among temporary staff is essential for their retention and overall job satisfaction. Encourage teamwork and collaboration by organizing team-building activities, creating opportunities for social interaction, and fostering a positive and inclusive work environment. When temporary staff feel connected to their colleagues, they are more likely to stay engaged and committed to their work.

Providing opportunities for growth:

Even though temporary staff may only be with the organization for a short time, providing opportunities for growth and development can still be a strong motivator. Offering training sessions, workshops, or opportunities to take on new responsibilities can help temporary staff feel valued and invested in their role.

Competitive compensation and benefits:

While temporary staff may not be eligible for the same benefits as full-time employees, offering competitive compensation and some additional perks can make a big difference in their job satisfaction and commitment to the event. Consider providing meal allowances, transportation stipends, or performance-based bonuses to show appreciation for their hard work.

Creating a positive work culture:

A positive and inclusive work culture is essential for retaining high-quality temporary event staff. This includes treating all staff with respect and kindness, valuing diversity and inclusion, and fostering a sense of belonging. A positive work culture can help temporary staff feel more connected to the organization and more committed to their role.

To learn more about how to maximize your events ROI and how to identify and retain gig economy talent, read our How You Can Identify and Keep Gig Economy Talent blog article.

Staff training and development

Investing in staff training and development is not just a nice-to-have, but a necessity for retaining high-quality temporary event staff. It’s about equipping them with the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to perform at their best. Here’s why it’s so crucial:

  1. Understanding of roles and responsibilities: Comprehensive training ensures that temporary staff fully understand what is expected of them. This includes a detailed understanding of their roles and responsibilities, the goals of the event, and how they fit into the larger team and event structure.
  2. Skill and knowledge acquisition: Training provides an opportunity for temporary staff to acquire new skills or enhance existing ones. This could include customer service skills, technical skills related to event setup and management, or specific skills related to their role, such as registration, security, or catering.
  3. Sense of value and purpose: Offering opportunities for development and growth, even in a temporary role, can help create a sense of value and purpose among the staff. When they feel that they are learning, growing, and contributing meaningfully to the event, it can lead to increased engagement and a stronger commitment to doing their best.

Key components of effective training and development

  1. Pre-event training: Before the event, conduct thorough training sessions that cover all aspects of the temporary staff’s roles and responsibilities. This could include online training modules, in-person training sessions, or a combination of both.
  2. On-the-job training: On-the-job training provides an opportunity for temporary staff to apply what they have learned in a real-world setting. This could involve shadowing a more experienced staff member, participating in a mock event, or completing specific tasks under supervision.
  3. Continuous feedback: Provide continuous feedback throughout the event to help temporary staff understand how they are performing and where they can improve. This could involve daily debriefs, one-on-one feedback sessions, or written feedback.
  4. Opportunities for growth: Provide opportunities for temporary staff to take on additional responsibilities or challenges during the event. This could involve assigning them to a leadership role, giving them a special project, or providing opportunities for them to showcase their skills and knowledge.
  5. Recognition and rewards: Recognize and reward temporary staff for their hard work and contributions. This could involve verbal praise, certificates of appreciation, or tangible rewards such as gift cards or bonuses.

By investing in comprehensive training and development for temporary event staff, event organizers can not only ensure that they are well-equipped to perform their roles effectively but also create a sense of value and purpose that can lead to increased engagement and retention. This, in turn, can contribute to the overall success of the event and the satisfaction of all attendees.

Showing appreciation

Showing appreciation to your temporary staff is not just a courtesy but a crucial strategy for retaining high-quality personnel. It is about acknowledging the hard work, effort, and contribution of each staff member, and letting them know that their efforts are valued and recognized. Feeling appreciated can boost morale, increase job satisfaction, and lead to higher levels of engagement and commitment.

Appreciation doesn’t have to be elaborate or costly. Simple gestures can have a significant impact. Here are some ways to show appreciation to your temporary event staff:

  1. Say thank you: Sometimes, a simple “thank you” can go a long way. Make it a point to thank your staff regularly, both in person and in writing. Acknowledge their hard work, their positive attitude, or any other qualities that you appreciate.
  2. Acknowledge individual contributions: Make an effort to acknowledge the specific contributions of each staff member. This could involve highlighting a staff member who went above and beyond, acknowledging a team that worked well together, or recognizing an individual who showed exceptional leadership.
  3. Provide positive feedback: Provide positive feedback on a job well done. This could involve providing feedback during the event, at the end of the event, or in a follow-up email or letter.
  4. Tangible rewards: In addition to verbal appreciation and positive feedback, providing tangible rewards can also be a powerful way to show appreciation. Here are some ideas:
    • Bonuses: Provide a bonus for exceptional performance or for completing the event successfully. This could be a fixed amount or a percentage of their earnings for the event.
    • Gift cards: Provide gift cards as a token of appreciation. This could be for a popular retailer, a local restaurant, or an online store.
    • Meals: Providing meals during the event is not only a practical necessity but also a way to show appreciation. Consider providing high-quality meals, or even a special treat, as a way to show your gratitude.
    • Event swag: Providing event swag, such as t-shirts, hats, or other merchandise, can be a fun way to show appreciation and create a sense of team spirit.
    • Recommendation letters: Offer to provide a recommendation letter for temporary staff who performed exceptionally well. This can be a valuable addition to their professional portfolio and can help them in their future job search.

Common mistakes in hiring and retaining temporary staff

One common mistake that event organizers make when hiring temporary staff is not conducting thorough interviews or background checks. It is crucial to ensure that the temporary staff you hire are not only qualified for their roles but also reliable and trustworthy. During the interview process, it is important to assess not only the candidate’s skills and qualifications but also their attitude, work ethic, and cultural fit. Additionally, conducting background checks can help ensure that the candidates have a good track record and are suitable for the role.

Interactive job interviews and temporary events staffing

Interactive job interviews are an effective way to assess a candidate’s suitability for a temporary event staff role. Traditional interviews often focus on the candidate’s past experiences and qualifications, but interactive interviews can provide a more comprehensive assessment of the candidate’s skills, personality, and ability to work in a team.

Impact of retention on event success

The retention of high-quality temporary event staff can have a significant impact on the overall success of the event. High staff turnover can lead to disruptions and inefficiencies, which can negatively impact the event experience for attendees. Additionally, having a team of experienced and engaged temporary staff can help ensure that the event runs smoothly and that attendees have a positive experience.

Best practices for managing and retaining temporary event staff

  • Conduct thorough interviews and background checks to ensure that you are hiring high-quality temporary staff.
  • Provide comprehensive training and support to ensure that the temporary staff understand their roles and responsibilities and have the necessary skills and knowledge to perform their tasks effectively.
  • Set clear expectations and provide regular feedback and recognition to encourage engagement and commitment.
  • Create a sense of community among the temporary staff by encouraging teamwork and collaboration.
  • Show appreciation to the temporary staff by acknowledging their hard work and contributions and providing tangible rewards.

Where Jobble can help

In conclusion, hiring and retaining high-quality temporary event staff is crucial for the success of any event. It involves not only selecting the right candidates but also providing comprehensive training, setting clear expectations, offering continuous feedback, and showing appreciation. By creating an engaging, supportive, and rewarding work environment, event organizers can encourage temporary staff to stay committed and perform at their best, contributing to a successful event and a positive experience for all attendees.

For event organizers, managing all these aspects can be a daunting task, and this is where Jobble can help. Jobble is a platform that specializes in temporary events staffing, helping you find the right candidates, manage the hiring process, and ensure that your temporary staff are well-trained, engaged, and satisfied with their work. With Jobble, you can streamline your temporary events staffing process, ensuring that you have a team of high-quality, committed temporary staff to make your event a success.

Ultimately, the key to successfully hiring and retaining temporary event staff lies in treating them with respect, providing them with the necessary tools and support to succeed, and showing appreciation for their hard work and contributions. By doing so, event organizers can create a positive, rewarding work environment that encourages temporary staff to stay engaged, committed, and motivated, ultimately contributing to a successful event.

Remember, your event is only as good as the team behind it. Invest in your temporary event staff, and you will reap the rewards in the form of a successful, smoothly-run event that leaves a positive impression on all attendees.

To learn more about how Jobble can help with your temporary events staffing needs, schedule a demo with one of our hiring experts today.

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