Party Professor – July 2021


What a Year!

How Do We Hire in the “Now Normal”?

Beth Standlee 0319

Beth Standlee

By Beth Standlee, CEO, TrainerTainment

I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been shaken in some way and suspect that’s the same worldwide. We have experienced difficulty, fought through closures, juggled pandemic measures, and had some enlightening and depressing moments. We’ve been full of uncertainty, we’ve had time of overwhelm, and some have lost everything.

As we wake up from this once-in-a-100-year nightmare, I wonder what life looks like fully awake. Personally and professionally, my life looks a lot different then it did a year ago. I know many others who can say the same. There has been loss, grief, and hopefully recovery, too. It’s odd to hear people talk about “getting back to normal.” What does “normal” even mean?

Now Normal Adobe Stock Graphic - Party Professor 0721My hope is in the “now normal,” we focus more on caring for each other –– our family, friends, team members and guests. Being in service to each other is a strong position to take. I’m naive enough to believe the world could be a better place if we “got it” that we should be in service to one another. To that end, I want to encourage leaders to take on the very serious role of serving and growing your team.

Popular conversation is focused on how difficult it is to even get a good team of people to come to work at this time. The minimum wage debate, unemployment, fear of public work, “lazy kids” and other factors top the list of challenges involved in putting a strong team together. I’m not sure this is a new issue. Like everything during “Covid” times, a bright light is shone on tough parts of the business.

Let’s suppose there are front-line team members looking for “first-time” jobs and are able to come to work for you. Let’s imagine a supervisor or assistant manager who would love the opportunity to move up, and they get it that the unemployment train is about to run off the track.

What can you do to attract talent and give them a great place to grow? Below are several ideas that may have a lasting impact on your ability to recruit, hire, train and retain the right (and loyal) team members for your team.

1. Decide who you are. Why are you in business? What are your values? Share this information in the job ad. As an example: “If you are the kind of person who values fun and helping people make memories, you have a service attitude, and are willing to work nights and weekends, then ABC Family Entertainment has immediate openings for…Party Hosts, Guest Service Rep­re­sen­tatives, Cashiers and more.” Add pictures of team members helping others, high-fiving their teammates and holding a party. A picture is worth a thousand words. Use them to tell your story.

2. Audition your best candidates. Put them in a position to “try out” for the job.

3. Consider being a leader in the community when it comes to wages. I have the crazy idea that if you pay more, you’ll train better and put up with less. I happen to think that’s good for the team member, the leader and the business.

4. Consider benefits like a 3%-4% salary match with a 401K program. This may make a difference with full-time employees. Making it possible for part-timers to participate in benefit programs like PTO (paid time off) or 401K can make the difference in choosing to work for your location or the one down the street.

5. Have managers work a four-day work week with 10 hours per shift.

6. Consider marketing to young single moms and dads and instead of a hiring bonus, designate a childcare contribution of $100 a month for the team member’s first year of employment.

7. If you are providing PTO, make sure you market the benefit to future team members. If you are not providing PTO, maybe now is a good time to start.

8. Having a college tuition program could also be a way to set yourself apart.

9. Finally, decide if the jobs you provide are valuable. Consider that your community benefits from having your center in business, the guest needs a great experience delivered by engaged team members, and the employee has an opportunity to grow. Too many times I think we fall victim to the thinking that our front-line jobs and the people who work them are “disposable.” Not true! First-time jobs often make a lifetime difference in a person’s life.

I hope you’ll be a difference maker in your community. I know hiring is tough right now but isn’t it always a challenge? I look forward to better days ahead. It is time for us to get back to the party!


Beth is the CEO of TrainerTainment LLC, a training company devoted to the family entertainment and hospitality industries. Beth and her team are focused on helping the companies they serve to make more money through sales, guest service, leadership and social media marketing training. Training products and services are delivered in person, through books and DVDs, and virtually with e-learning courses, webinar development and 24/7 online access. Visit her company’s website at



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