Hiring and retaining staff is one of the hottest topics in the event industry right now. If you don't keep your employees happy, they'll move somewhere else— leaving you with a lot more work and stress, as we all know that hiring new employees is more costly than retaining current ones. Do you know how much you should pay event delivery drivers? Industry veteran, Nick Muzzatti, of Snap! Entertainment, has decades of experience in the events world, and has shared his knowledge here. These strategies have worked to keep his employees happy— and they can work for you, too.
How do you pay your delivery drivers? Why?
We pay our drivers an hourly wage, just like our photo booth attendants. The only difference is that we generally pay our drivers a bit more than our attendants.
The reason for this pay difference is that while a lot of photo booth businesses have their attendants do setup, we don’t. Instead, we hire our drivers as “event techs”, and they handle setup for our photo booths and other equipment. Since they have so much responsibility, we pay them more.
When it comes to paying your drivers, are there any general industry standards? Do you follow them? Why or why not?
We probably don’t if there are any, ha ha. Usually delivery drivers are hired strictly as drivers, and not as setup crew, so that’s something different that we do.
In general, though, I don’t think there are industry standards for paying delivery drivers. It tends to differ from company to company based on their budget and their local market. Your rates need to be competitive with the other businesses around you that hire for the same positions.
Why does there seem to be a consensus that reliable delivery drivers are difficult to find, and even more difficult to keep? How do you manage to retain your drivers?
Well, right now there’s a staffing shortage in every industry. During the pandemic, we were competing with unemployment, which was really difficult. Even now we’re competing with Walmart and other retailers who have easier hours and jobs that pay a similar rate.
On top of that, the need for hours can be sporadic for event businesses depending on the season, so it can be tough to hang on to your best drivers during the slow season.
In my experience, the only way around that is to pay a fair rate, develop a good company culture, and to listen to and give your drivers what they need. If you treat them right, they’ll stick around for you.
How do you go about finding and hiring delivery drivers?
I’m not shy about it. The best way is to use referrals and reach out. Word of mouth can spread quickly if you get your employees involved.
Aside from that, I try my best to actively recruit people all the time. If I meet someone and I see something in them that would be perfect for one of our positions, I give them my card and tell them to give me a call.
You need to think outside the box, and be a little aggressive in your approach, which has worked out well for us so far.
Is there anything I didn’t touch on that you wish I had?
The only other thing that I think needs to be said is that there’s no one-size-fits all suggestion for hiring in the party rental industry. You really need to do what works for you and your business.
Don’t just copy and paste someone else’s strategy, because it won’t be molded around your strengths and limitations. It might take some time and experimentation, but it’ll be worth it to figure out what the best payment structure is for you and your employees.
We love that Nick makes sure delivery drivers are engaged in the event execution process beyond delivering inventory items by also helping to set them up! Do you have any other ideas on how to maintain good relationships with drivers, or how to hire more? Let us know on social media or by chatting with us right here on pro.goodshuffle.com!