Dance studios aren’t the typical type of business that front office people interview for so be cautious about which skills you can teach them and what traits need to be inherent in their personalities to make them a good fit for a dance studio. After all, they must deal with parents, children instructors, lots of data and sometimes chaos!
Needless to say, the search for good front office staff can be challenging. If you keep an eye on the DanceStudioOwner discussion forum, you can get some very valuable information for your studio – including where to find good office staff. This was, in fact, a recent question to which Suzanne Blake Gerety gave a great answer.
Read below as we reiterate her answer to “Where do I find good front office staff?”
Finding great office staff is so important and we’re not running “ordinary” businesses. Someone has to be good with people and be able to answer questions related to the studio.
You never know where you’ll find the right person.
I think Dance.net could be a possibility.
However, I have found amazing people in a few other places.
#1. Craigslist. I know people get so sketched out by it but you CAN find the right people by making your job application specific. For example, I always post ideally what we’re looking for, etc. and then I put a line in the application (especially if you’re looking for someone with an attention to detail!) tell me your high school mascot (random…but if they answer it you know they were really reading your post). Or I’ll ask, be sure to include why working at a dance studio is an ideal job for you. This will help you find people who know – or don’t know- about your business. This is how we found the MOST amazing woman who cleans our studio – and I’m talking every day for two hours she is there and she genuinely loves the place. It’s also how I’ve found freelancers and other people.
#2. Guru.com/Elance.com https://www.elance.com/ http://www.guru.com/
While you can find people virtually all over the world, you can also specificy that you need local based help. A great way to at least put the word out.
#3. Temp to hire. Simply start by telling people this is going to be a temp to hire position. Not only does this take the concern level down a notch but if you find someone you think is good…they can be on a ‘trial period’ before you say ‘yes’ OR no! I love this. During this time you could require them to ‘train themselves’. Have them login to this site – have them learn your software, put them through a rigorous training to see if they can do the work and are good. You may have to shadow/train for a while. This is how we hired our dance team manager. It was an agreed upon temp-to-hire role. Gave everyone the change to ‘prove’ themselves in a good way.
**you could put that type of role out to local colleges/universities. You never know what type of recent college grad who grew up dancing/has a day job but is tech savvy and wants to get experience. I know college kids get a bad rap sometimes but many are awesome. This is the same for some of the parents of current and former students. I’d drop an email out to some trusted parent friends who might know someone. I know some of you may cringe at the suggestion but almost every one of our faculty has or had kids come through our studio. The good ones are the biggest fans and love the studio as much as we do.
Good luck!! I know you will find someone who has what you’re looking for. They may not know everything out of the gate. But a positive attitude and the willingness to learn and learn quickly goes a long way. You can train anyone on skills but you cannot easily train a positive attitude, a warm personality, and a team player. I’ve learned that the hard way. I don’t care if someone is amazing at bookkeeping – if they turn off our customers we’re losing on so many levels. Try and find the right fit that way – and you’d be amazed at what they can learn and learn it quickly.
You can register for Suzanne’s forum at DanceStudioOwner.com so you can get alerts for all of the great questions and answers that are contributed and participate by sharing your experiences with others!
Suzanne Blake Gerety is the Vice President of Kathy Blake Dance Studios and director of DanceStudioOwner.com the leading online resource dedicated exclusively to help you start, run and grow your dance studio.