EXPO 2014 Management Training Seminar
The first EXPO 2014 “management” training seminar started right at the beginning: Hiring. It’s a critical component in running any business—so how do you do it right?
Two industry experts with well over 50 years of combined experience—Dean Reardon, District Manager with the Spearmint Rhino club chain and a longtime club executive with the Christie’s Cabaret club chain, and David Boehm, longtime club executive and owner/operator of Club Consultant Pro 2.0—revealed their tips for hiring the best adult nightclub staff.
Dean Reardon, in his typically energetic, enthusiastic and informal style, began by stating that no matter what type of recruiting or hiring process an adult nightclub employs, it all starts within the club itself and its existing staff.
“The number one thing you can do in regard to recruiting is to have your shit together within your four walls, to have a great environment for your employees to work in,” said Reardon. “Treat the employees and entertainers with respect, dignity, and make sure they’re excited to come to work every day. Trust me, those people won’t keep (that type of environment) a secret. Create raving fans within your own club’s staff.”
Not wanting to simply toot the horn of the club chain he works for, Reardon noted that he was impressed by the “hype” behind the opening of E11EVEN in Miami, and he reached out to Adam Gould, the Director of Guest Development at E11EVEN, to find out what Gould’s top interview questions are:
• “Why are you sitting in front of me today?” • “Why did you decide you want to work in this industry?” • “Is there anything you’ve ever done that you’re ashamed to admit?” • “On a scale of 1-100, how honest do you rate yourself?” • “What are your biggest pet peeves, both personally and in the industry? • “What is your long-term goal? • “What will you do to improve my team or my brand? • “What would your co-workers say your weaknesses are? • Stand up and tell a joke (personality matters)
Reardon also added a few of his own favorite interview questions:
“What do you do to sell bottles? How do you close a sale? How do you approach a guest?” said Reardon. “You have to have energy, social skills, excitement and interactive ability to work in this industry. Also, if you’re hiring from outside of the industry, look at what type of person has a ‘sphere of influence’ to drive traffic to your club; maybe it’s a valet at a high-end nightclub or restaurant.”
Reardon went on to note that he believes it’s crucial to be honest with new hires, especially managers, about how much money they can expect to make. He also added that he often calls on someone’s resume references, and does background checks on new hires as well.
“But regardless of who you hire, or who you promote, we’ve got to be positive influences on these peoples’ lives,” said Reardon. “Your job is to get your staff to succeed, and to give them the tools to succeed. We have to train these new hires, but too many times we set them up for failure. For example, we put our hot new server together with our so-called ‘best’ cocktail waitress, and the next night that new server is gone because our ‘best’ server chased her off. Managers have to train these new hires and not take the lethargic way out.”
David Boehm spoke next, and spent much of his time emphasizing the “lost art of hospitality,” and noted how important it is to reintroduce this philosophy with each new staff member an adult club hires.
“Hospitality is a lost art, and we need to teach all of our current employees and new hires that the people who come into our clubs are guests, not customers,” said Boehm. “I walked into an adult nightclub recently, and I saw the front-door girl barefoot with her feet up on the front counter, reading a book. That’s not someone who wants to work, and that’s clearly not someone who cares about serving the guest. We need to hire people who are willing to work, who have a better work ethic.”
Boehm noted that new hires can be found almost anywhere, from the local Starbucks or even Walmart. These are people, he suggested, that already understand the art of “guest services” and can adapt those skills to an adult club.
“In terms of recruiting, you can find people anywhere, literally,” said Boehm. “If I see someone at a store, a bar, a restaurant, that I think will fit our club, I usually ask, ‘Are you happy here.’ If not, I have my ‘in.’ Putting a successful staff together can take weeks, even months. But once you have the right recipe, nurture it on a daily basis, and find people that aren’t just going to go through the motions.”
As Boehm also noted, he try to keep all of his job interview questions positive, but also makes the questions specifically targeted.
“Why do I need to hire you today; what are you going to bring to my club to make it more successful,” Boehm said. “I need to hear the answers to those questions.”
To listen to the entire seminar, click here!