Best Practices for Rehiring Quickly for the Entertainment and Amusement Industry


As the economy continues to re-open, rehiring quickly is on the top of the operator’s minds. The traditional recruiting time frame operators have been shortened substantially by COVID-19. Now is the time for theme parks to develop a contingency plan for rapidly hiring and training new employees. The pent-up demand for out of the public’s house activities could be a big surprise and shock for unprepared operators.

Make a plan for rehiring

Operators will need to be prepared to hire staff on the fly. The time lag between the end of COVID-19 and the re-opening of parks and other amusement businesses will be fast. Create action plans for what’s ahead. The goal is to prepare operators for multiple scenarios, including:

●     Delayed opening

●     Not opening

●     Partial opening

●     Preparing for the next business cycle

Recruiting methods

Did you know it costs six times more to train a new employee than to rehire someone from last season? Operators and hiring managers should be putting in the effort to stay in contact with past employees and let them know that as soon as the business can re-open, there will be a position waiting for them. One way to accomplish this is by creating chain e-mails for staying in touch with past and potential employees.

Former employees know their roles, which means they can add instant value and get a facility operating quickly. Past employees are also useful resources to use for recruiting new hires. Often, they know friends or family who end up filling in holes rapidly.

New interviewing process

Technology is an excellent tool for hiring season staff on the fly. Operators can use social media, the park’s website, and video calls to connect with candidates. Virtual interviews are easier to set up and allow management to choose from a larger pool of candidates.

Another option is to hold open interview days. Operators can announce its planned openings on company social media platforms and open an online application process to schedule in-person interviews.

Creative operators are using ticket booths to conduct the interviews and adhere to social distancing. If the right candidate shows up, operators can complete the entire hiring process on the spot, saving them time and mitigating the risk of a potential hire changing their mind later. Use the right personnel to conduct the interviews with the authority to make hiring decisions on the spot. 

Anticipate competition for rehiring

When parks, carnivals, arcades, and more open their doors, they will all be faced with the same need to rehire quickly. As a result of the high demand in a short time window, the competition for talented staff will be stiff. One way to secure experienced talent is to offer signing bonuses.

Another significant incentive is offering bonuses to staff that refers to friends. If a good worker is referring to someone, there’s a good chance the candidate will be a good worker too.

Stay in compliance and manage risks

Even though operators need to hire fast, they still need to stay in compliance and take the right steps in the hiring process. The need to hire quickly isn’t a green light to skip essential steps. Operators still need to stay in compliance with FLSA regulations (Fair Labor Standards Act), which establishes a minimum wage, overtime pay, record-keeping requirements, and other employment standards. As you navigate the rehiring process, don’t forget FLSA compliance. 

As you navigate the rehiring process, you may have questions about insurance or how to update or upgrade your current insurance. McGowan Allied Specialty Insurance is dedicated to the amusement and entertainment industry. Learn more about us and how we can help. 

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