An Event Planning Business can start up as a one-person team. However, it’s growth is directly related to good hiring and management.
Identifying quality candidates takes time, the pressure to fill the position is huge and the increasing workload overwhelms anyone looking for top talents. Good news is: it’s possible. To guarantee your agency’s accelerated growth, this post will help you in understanding the fundamentals of hiring and how to use its challenges in your favor.
Why good hiring is necessary to ignite and speed up growth.
Attracting quality candidates is the biggest issue faced by creative agencies, as stated per industry research. It’s not easy to compete with giant corporations with a way bigger budget and structured HR sectors. The key factor here is: people management and management are pretty much the same concept. Improvising hiring tasks as if that was a simple operational step could cost you time and money.
As well, keep an eye on your retention. Many entrepreneurs think turnover is a taboo, but it’s often needed at some level. Still, it’s a key performance indicator. The average for creative and advertising agencies, according to ANA, is 30%. Anything above that will damage your capacity to disseminate a culture that fits your mission and vision.
5 steps to hire well and accelerate your event planning business growth.
1. Detect what’s the level your new professional is gonna work in.
Many starting event planning agencies, as well as startups, may confuse autonomous teams with lack of organizational governance. Having a less rigid and more horizontal working structure might be good to accelerate task completion, but don’t assume that responsibilities will resolve themselves organically.
A level of hierarchy is required to maintain communications clear between you and your new collaborators. It also makes it easier for you to be specific for what you need, increasing the chances of finding a qualified candidate.
2 – Match candidate’s soft skills to your agency culture and to the future.
Digital transformation is revolutionizing professional relations radically. Being tech-savvy is a universal tendency. Generation X (people born from 1965 to 1980) was the last one to have resistance to technology. Millennials (born from mid-1990s to early 2000s) are taking over positions of leadership and Generation Z has a device on their hands before start speaking. But let’s have a look at what the most valued attributes will be in no more than three years, according to this World Economic Forum report about the future of work:
Can you see “technology use, monitoring and control” in the last column, losing space quickly? When hiring, of course its essential to consider if the professional has the technical skills. But more important than knowing their knowledge about specific tools, is to highlight the ones keeping up with tech literacy. These are the guys working to better adapt and develop themselves according to what is demanded.
3 – Check how candidates are keeping up with updates.
Some of the biggest regrets of older professionals: not having learned other languages and quitting studies. That’s a great clue if you’re selecting candidates for an open position. On an initial screening, have a look at:
- Certificates: is the professional you’re selecting an Excel dinosaur or he’s looking to keep up with automation softwares?
- Learning agility: nobody needs to learn everything that is available in ten minutes. agility here refers to continued education.
- Idioms: events industry requires a lot of empathy. You talk to stakeholders, to guests, to the team, etc. Despite English being the universal language, noticing that someone is interested in languages show how they are willing to build bridges.
4 – Deploy and strengthen your employer branding strategy.
Imagine two identical job openings, but for different companies. One of them has one candidate per vacant position, the other one has ten candidates per vacant position. Which one is more attractive?
You don’t want to list your core values in a document and leave it to accumulate dust. Therefore, employer branding is a set of practices that mix Marketing and HR strategies, leading to brand reputation and company culture. That means your company culture is going to be the output of a relationship created among the company itself and the people you hire. And the most important thing: this reputation is built around professionals that are no hired too. When pros in your industry niche want to work for you and start to recommend your business in their community, that becomes a key differential. Benefits of employer branding include:
- You attract more and better talents.
- There’s possibility of applying more filters.
- Candidates are likely to be a better cultural fit.
5 – Create a structure of Positions and Salaries
Imagine an old car, with no repair or maintenance for ages. Now think about driving it at 160 mph. What’s the most likely outcome of this situation? Exactly: the car will fall into pieces.
Same happens to your event planning business. It’s easy to fall in the trap of hiring the handyman / fix everything profile. But is this the person you really need?
Small businesses looking for accelerated growth need corporate governance. Establish what you need, exactly and specifically. And your framework for that is creating a Position / Salary structure. Know the responsibilities of the person you’re hiring and ways to measure the investment made on this collaborator.
Keep an eye on the following factors when creating a new vacancy on your Position / Salary structure:
- Is the position you’re creating temporary or it demands retention?
- How’s it gonna affect the organizational culture?
- What are abilities and specific knowledge this role demands?
- How much engagement this role demands?
- Does it require training? How much it will cost?
- Is the professional my company needs someone who cares about career progression? How will my business handle that?
- How will I attract this professional?
Your event planning business will eventually grow. And like anyone who’s growing, more maturity is gonna be demanded. For now, think like a corporation, but act like a startup. The growth of a company is as fast as its power of adaptation.
In your first hires, you’re still building a company culture that demands more inputs other than yours. But don’t confuse that with lack of organization. It’s vital to be prepared for eventual investors or big clients that can show up at any time.
Hiring well is starting a partnership. Focus on the value, productivity and results – all of them on short and long term. Remind yourself constantly that hiring is not a bureaucratic step. It’s rather a strategic decision that will impact your overall event planning business performance.
Keep learning. Don’t forget to check our event marketing resources to excel in your career:
- Event feedback: 10 ways to skyrocket attendee survey response rate.
- Crisis Management for Event Marketing: a step-by-step guide.
- NPS for events: why it’s crucial and how to apply
- Convince the boss: your company needs to go digital now.
- 7 essential competencies for the full-stack Event Manager
- Event planning schedule for any type of conference