On Friday 3rd August Paragon’s Head Of Events, Pamela Benitez, was asked to discuss the troubles surrounding event management recruitment as part of a panel of speakers at C&IT Magazines flagship event, ‘The Agency Forum’.
This year held at Barbican, Benitez was speaking on a panel of four, discussing the topic of recruitment within Agency life, which according to C&IT’s ‘State Of The Industry’ report 2018 was one of the top challenges for businesses. Benitez was alongside Rob Roffey; MD at Hampton Medical, Ben Cole; Head of Events at Inside Track and Tracy Lavin; CEO and Founder of Lavin Events.
How do Paragon attract candidates?
“Interns are key to Paragon’s event management recruitment model, especially within the Event Management Division of the business” Benitez explained. “We try to be fair with who gets to go to the big sports events we cover – if an intern has worked hard we take them to The Monaco Grand Prix.”
In Paragon’s case they have seen this bring in rewards over the long term. Benitez said,
“When you’re recruiting Interns on placement years from universities, word of mouth spreads across that campus… students hear that Paragon gives unique, once in a lifetime opportunities as part of our programme, hence we receive a huge amount of quality applications. It’s meant that our interns get to work on a huge range of products. In the last year, our interns have supported various Paragon events, such as The Phil Tufnell Lord’s Experience, Champagne & Gallops at a top Horse Racing yard and the Jean-Christophe Novelli Cooking Experience.
A high number of applicants creates problems in its own right though; if you receive high numbers of candidates how do you decipher which is the right one?
“As we work in the sports industry, we receive many candidates,” Benitez said. “Many have the idea that you’ll be hanging out with Sports Stars all day, sadly this isn’t the reality!
As many know, the interviewing process can be a gruelling one, but “asking the right questions goes a long way to making it easier. If you ask for examples of challenges the candidate has faced you get an idea of how they think, if they’ve learnt from past mistakes, whether they have the right mentality to be an events manager and ultimately if they’ll fit into your team.”
Retention is one of the biggest issues any employer faces. C&IT’s ‘State Of The Industry’ report concluded that progression is the best way to ensure that staff stay put.
On the topic, Benitez said “If you work hard at Paragon, then you will progress. If events are run successfully, then the chances of repeat business will grow and new accounts will come in.
If you are interested in Event Management for your company please contact us below for more information. If your would like to talk to us about our current roles or our internships and event management recruitment strategies, please see our careers page.