A Working Weekend in Texas

RhonniRocks —  August 25, 2010 — Leave a comment

I’d forgotten how the Texas heat folds itself around you as you walk out of an air conditioned space. At first it’s pleasant, but I’m certain that extended exposure would be a very different experience. I’m just moving from the air conditioned store to my air conditioned rental car.

I’ve flown to Texas to hire staff for our fall show. I’m out of practice for southern summers, as I’ve spent the past 20 summers in New York. Our New York show is in its second of  eight weekends … which is hardly enough time to have our New York employees solid in their role … but The Hubby stayed to run our eight locations at the New York Renaissance Faire, and we’re blessed to have a large percentage of our team return every year. We’re still building our core team in Texas, hence my flight to Houston to work on hiring people.
Here in Texas, the Texas Renaissance Festival promotes a hiring fair. After an introduction to festival management, and an inspiring speech by the Entertainment Director Jeff Baldwin… the show allows each of us employers five minutes on stage to describe our shops, explain the skill set we’re looking for in a potential employee, and plead our case as an employer. We then scatter back to our shops and commence taking applications and doing interviews. I have about 15 positions to hire for amongst our four food locations, and I took in 60 applications on Saturday. Due to the nature of the event, we end up with qualified leads lining up at the counter. I have to say … right now I’m feeling really rich with my situation of choosing between ‘very-very-good’ and ‘awesome’ amongst the applicants.

This is about one/third of the audience of applicants at the TRF Job Fair on Saturday. It was 97 degrees, and 97% humidity.

As my bakery becomes more complex, & I bring in foods not familiar to the region, I’m making more demands of my employees. In my five-minute presentation, I specifically talked about Gluten Free, special diets, and organics. Consequently I got applicants who were on the same page with me … or at least willing to read the same book. I’m really looking forward to this fall season.
(As an aside … I flew back into NY to find I needed to hire 4 people for the following weekend, due to the slammingly awesome customer traffic there. My poor Texan employees think they’re being skipped over, and I’m just too busy putting out fires in NY to get the TX chores done.)
RhonniRocks

RhonniRocks

Rhonni is a blissciplined serial entrepreneur, who has crafted a life in which she is surrounded by people who do what they love. She curates http://festivalprose.com and blogs about her wacky and wonderful world at www.RhonniRocks.com.

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