No matter how many employees and trainees you have on your roster, you don’t have enough. Things are going to come up – schedule conflicts, incompetent hires you thought would work out, that crazy busy weekend that happened after that rainy weekend, it all adds up to subtract from your roster.
You need to keep hiring.
This time of year gets hectic, though it should never come as a surprise. We are in the middle of wine events, farm market, pick-your-own orchards, the corn maze is open every weekend, tours are starting… you know how it is, hectic.
Being short-staffed is a hassle right now, but it can become catastrophic in October, and you have a few weeks left to bolster your roster and prepare for the inevitable short-staffing that comes every year.
Your roster is an operations multiplier. A healthy roster makes handling busy times easier. A thin roster magnifies your weaknesses and degrades the guest experience.
Imagine you have a busy day, one of those beautiful October Saturday’s you’ve been hoping for and you are crowded, maybe even packed! All that hard work turns into negative reviews when you can’t make donuts, haul pumpkin pickers and rescue guests from the maze.
Your staff is your #1 marketing tool. Operators tell me all the time that “Word of Mouth” is the #1 marketing, but I disagree! Positive word of mouth only comes from positive interactions with your business through your staff.
So, Keep Hiring.
Three quick suggestions to keep applications coming in the front door. (If you haven’t participated in our Agritourism Manager Boot Camp to get a complete employee system, join this winter after your season to get the entire plan, PLUS a brand new way of interviewing.)
Three Recruiting Suggestions:
- Call your local guidance offices personally and ask them to send you quality candidates. I’ve found that local referral sources, such as guidance counselors, often assume that if they haven’t heard from you, you must have all the workers you need!
- Activate your existing crew. Your current staff needs reminders that you are still hiring, too! The best referral source for new employees is your existing staff (unless you are a real pain to work for.) Give your staff incentives to refer quality candidates and give them reminders that you are still hiring.
- Utilize your social media posts, internal email list AND external hiring sites, such as Indeed.com for specific positions. We used Indeed.com for hiring wine pourers and received 21 applications in 3 days, interviewed 9, and added six new pourers. However, Craigslist.com seems to refer lower quality candidates than the more focused employment sites.
Develop a process. Once you have applications coming in, you need a method for moving candidates through to hire. We have Janelle make all the calls to schedule all the interviews in a single day or evening. Michelle and I do the interviews and move qualified applicants to Group Orientation if selected.
NOTE: I don’t care how busy you are. Do NOT interview and/or hire one-at-a-time or while you are distracted working on other tasks.
Being distracted makes you seem unprofessional and disorganized to the applicants. Block out time without interruptions to make a good impression and to get good people. Good people want to work for businesses that ‘have it together.’ It’s worth your time investment!
Have a super successful season, train your people more than you think you need to and treat them well – Your staff are your best marketing!
Have a great week,
PS We have (3) NEW Hayride Audio Systems and (1) refurbished system in stock and ready to ship. If you don’t have the industry-standard audio tour system, give us a call and we’ll help you make every driver a great tour guide! If you have Hayride Audio boxes, please get them out for the season, hook them up and test them BEFORE your first tour day:-)
PPS If you need karts for this season, please call Dave Hahn at Pedal Karts USA (717) 881-9200. We collaborated on a FREE Pedal Kart Track Building & How-To Video Series at