How to Retain and Maintain Specialist Skills Within an Expanding Workforce

written by HA

As a key staffing partner to an ever expanding brand experience and live events industry, it is increasingly important we ensure our database of promotional staff is large enough to cope with the growing demand.  However, just focusing on scale is not enough to meet the needs of our clients.

Expanding a workforce on an ongoing basis naturally leads to issues that must be regularly addressed and resolved.  Most importantly for us, the focus is on maintaining the team’s balance of core skills and experience nationwide.  As the quality of skills and experience are so crucial to the service we offer as a company, we combat these challenges in a number of different ways:

Training

From stilt-walking jugglers to mixology, our Angels possess a vast array of skills and talents that we might need to call upon at any time.  However, due to the short-term and interchangeable nature of our industry, it is difficult to guarantee that the right staff with the right skills are available at the right time and in the right places.

Consistent training of our workforce helps to combat some of these issues. We make sure all our staff go through a rigorous introductory training programme and we top it up with refresher and specific skills training from then on.  We also encourage our staff to constantly update their profiles with any new skills or qualifications.  Our focus is on staff retention rather than having to recruit afresh for each new project, which is why we believe consistent and ongoing training is important to keep the staff engaged.

Temper influx of new skills

While we try not to turn away any budding Angels with useful and professional skills to offer, we also need to be careful that we do not have too many staff on our books competing for the same job.  If staff do not get offered a reasonable amount of regular work, they can be less likely to perform well on an intermittent basis.

The most important thing is to make sure we are hiring a suitable number of new Angels, with an array of specialist skills, in the right locations.  We aim for a leaner, more active database where we are utilising the skill set of the staff on a more regular basis.

Regular communication from the office team

Communication is at the heart of what we do and the quality of communication with our field staff is key. We speak to our staff constantly regarding jobs, we engage with them over Facebook and send them regular newsletters. We also ask for staff feedback after every job in order to understand how the staff performed – rewarding those who have done well and managing any issues for those who might have underperformed.

By showing the staff how much we value them by communicating with them properly, this is reflected in the pride they take in the jobs they do for us in the field when our brand ambassadors interact with the public on campaigns.

Monitoring staffing levels vs. work loads

In order to ensure that we are recruiting the right staff in the right places, constant monitoring of supply vs. demand is essential.   Our Project Managers and staff bookers feedback to our in-house talent team on a daily basis, updating them on upcoming projects, including geographical areas or specific roles.  The talent team can then create specific recruitments plans for a role or plan geographically where a recruitment push is needed in the near future.  This is essential in creating statistical reports and forecasts which help us identify our potential shortfalls.

When retaining and maintaining specialist skills sets within an expanding workforce, we believe that thorough recruitment plans combined with in-house training and a focus on staff retention leads to high performing teams.

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