Seasonal Staff Playbook: Hiring, Training & Retaining Great Teams

Every sports team has a series of plays – running plays, passing plays, defensive plays and so on. But no matter how many times you read playbook, what matters most is how the team executes on the field.

Stadium and other sport event venues have a front row seat to these plays – and to what happens when the right talent gets on the field and execute. Yet stadium venues today — and really any other seasonal operation — are struggling to make their own talent execute with that same effectiveness. The quick bursts of high traffic and heavy volume require maximum hours, manpower and attention to a great guest experience. Finding skilled talent isn’t easy.

So how do you stack your bench and coach your own team to maximum efficiency? We’ve got a few tips from the workforce management front office here at Fourth.

PLAY #1: Hire Quality Seasonal Staff

Hiring quality seasonal staff should be at the top of the list because we all know your starting line-up can make or break the season.

The first challenge for seasonal venues is stacking the bench when there just doesn’t seem to be enough people out there to hire. When the clock is running out and you’re low on options, there are a few resources that can help you achieve just that.

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Employee referrals are actually the best source of seasonal hiring (and frankly, hiring in general). Referrals are known as the best way to hire because of the reduced time, cost and turnover rates. Offering referral incentives (even a competition) keeps your pipeline of quality seasonal candidates fresh, and there’s motivation for them to stick around. So leverage that network!
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Social Media

The on-demand workforce has taken over. Younger workers pursue part-time, hourly or freelance work because of the flexibility. Odd hours don’t phase them, making this generation ideal for seasonal staffing. Where can you find them? You guessed it – social media. Use your Instagram, Facebook and/or Twitter feeds to announce job openings and have your team share them on their channels in order to amplify the message. You can create a hashtag dedicated to job postings that ties into the theme of your venue.

PLAY #2: Onboard & Train Your Seasonal Staff

Seasonal venues service tens of thousands of people – often in a single night! Without proper training and engagement opportunities, your seasonal staff can keep sales in the minor leagues.

Train and prepare staff to serve guests in a high-speed, high-volume environment. With the right training tools, you can provide effective onboarding and ongoing training that encourages your seasonal staff to tune in and engage from almost anywhere – think of it as coaching your team through regular practice sessions.


Effective & Efficient Onboarding Training

Delivering effective onboarding and training content is crucial, and video is your vehicle to just that. Online training videos can be captivating and engaging for your new seasonal staff. Keep it short by providing them with small chunks of information, or micro-learning, at a time. You want your new team to be skilled and ready to go, ASAP!

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On-the-Go Education With a Mobile Training App

The learning doesn’t stop after onboarding, and adopting a mobile-first learning strategy is essential to meet your organization’s rapidly changing goals. E-learning systems deliver training, tests and ongoing education on-demand. Using e-learning to customize content for on-the-go learners allows your team to access training material on their time, even from their own mobile devices.

Sometimes in-house or in-person training is costly and time-consuming, but there’s no need to worry about the costs of training someone on their own time or terms. The best learning management systems can give you access controls using geo-fencing or IP address lockdowns.

PLAY #3: Retain Your Seasonal Staff

If it feels like you’re always trading one player for another and getting nowhere, you’re not alone. While some of your team will stick around, the turnover trend continues to be the number one reason why hiring is so hard!

You’ve got to think about your team the same way you think about your fans – you want to give them the best possible experience so they come back!

To feed the hiring engine, it’s important to create a great work environment so your seasonal staff comes back the next season.

There’s a lot that goes into the culture of a great team – the intangibles. Just like building a powerhouse dynasty starts with forming a key foundation of players and coaches, your organizational culture starts with trust and communication from management while ensuring employees have the tools they need to execute their roles effectively. Have you created a supportive working environment? Would your workers recommend you to a friend?


Scheduling Seasonal Staff

Being an on-demand employer, it’s important to make it easy for your workforce to jump on their phone and pick up a shift or trade in a few easy steps. The ability to pick up a shift with the press of a button empowers you and your team to quickly make decisions in an environment where there simply is no time to waste.

Getting the right employee scheduling app allows you to effectively manage your workforce while giving your team the freedom they need to thrive in the workplace. In the height of the season, schedules drive happiness and employee productivity!

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Employee Communication

Adopt an ‘open door’ policy – even if it’s not in person. Mobile notifications are the preferred method of communication for the modern workforce. Mobile communication grants you and your team the flexibility to interact anywhere, anytime. You can even send a last-minute message of stadium closures or words of encouragement after a long game. Even frequent mobile check-ins with your team can alleviate room for mistakes and assumptions.

This of course doesn’t eliminate the human connection of in-person team meetings, but mobile notifications effectively keep your team in sync and communicate organizational pursuits.

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Recruiting for the Long Haul

When the fans exit the turnstiles for the last time and the players plan their offseason workouts, your own team will think about their long-term plans with the organization. If you provided a supportive and encouraging work environment, chances are your seasonal staff members will come back or recommend you to a friend. Found yourself an all-star? Give him or her a reason to come back!

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