Sporting Event Staffing: HSS Helps Stadium Clean Up for Large Scale Event
When it comes to event staffing, a large national event puts a team to the test. Recently, the HSS team had the chance to staff a large national sporting event that presented some unique challenges and opportunities for the team. Miguel Zarate is the HSS area manager for Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. He spoke about how his team approached these challenges and found success for the client in their sporting event staffing experience.
What is unique about working on a large scale event?
MZ: “For any event, you have all of the challenges of staffing, plus a tight timeline and ever changing venues. For example, if you are staffing a hotel, you and your employees are familiar with the layout and routine. With an event, that often is not the case. For a large scale event on the national stage, you have extra challenges to deal with, such as more scrutiny on background checks, increased security, and more pressure to ensure staff is available.”
How do you meet these challenges?
MZ: “You start by making sure that your talent pool is sufficiently large enough to handle the event. Having a reliable pool of talent ensures that you can satisfy the client’s needs with no gap in service. Secondly, we prepare in advance and communicate with our employees so that they are where they need to be when they need to be there. We employ technology to help with this. For example, we have an app that checks in our employees and tracks their hours on site. But we also rely on texting, phone calls, and briefing prior to the event taking place. Finally, bringing management staff on site to see that things are running smoothly. With a large scale national event, it’s worth the time and effort to have a team in place to ensure that everything runs smoothly.”
For this particular event, what sorts of positions did you fill?
MZ: “This event called for line cooks and other kitchen staff. However we supply event staff for a wide range of positions from servers to food runners to hosts, dishwashers, and bartenders. “
You mentioned working in hotels. How does HSS use its experience in hotels and resorts to staff events?
MZ: “There are many hotels that also have events so event staffing is a natural extension of what we do. However, moving into arenas such as stadiums and concert halls, requires some changes. For example, we are recruiting more people that like to have more flexibility in their schedule or have time in between jobs to take on more work for one-off events. We tend to recruit more aggressively for these types of events because assignments tend to be fast and we like to keep a healthy pool of talent to ensure we can meet demand for the next big event. Lastly, security for these events is often more rigorous. For this reason we have to do our own pre-screening of candidates and also broaden our search so that there are enough workers the day of the event.”
What are some of the surprises you did expect from this event in particular?
MZ: “I think the level of professionalism at every level. We work many sporting events, and there is always a need for attention to detail and meeting expectations. However, when everyone is on the national stage that drives you to go that extra mile. We pushed this from the initial stages of recruiting, to assignment to the day of the event. Our team exceeded their own high expectations. But you need to perform at that level in order to succeed in servicing a client a