By Holly Perrier, WPICC, CWD of Perrier Planning Inc.
Hiring Assistants & Volunteers for Weddings: Avoid Making These Mistakes
In our industry it can often be a challenge to hire and keep good assistants on your team, as seasonal work doesn’t provide full-time hours, or consistent income for your employees. Job sharing or “assistant sharing” with other like-minded companies can be a great option, as it provides access to experienced and qualified assistants you can depend on. There are many ways to go about the hiring process, thus I am here to provide some insight after many years of experience. Don’t make the same mistakes I did when I first started out!
The Vetting Process
Keep close tabs on the WPIC Alumni Facebook page, as this is a great way to find assistants. Once you have someone interested in working for your company, set up a zoom or in person interview. Do not skip this step!! In my opinion it doesn’t seem very professional to meet your assistant for the first time at someone’s wedding. In the interview, make sure to ask the following:
What do you know about my company and our values?
If they didn’t do any research on my company beforehand, then I don’t hire them.
What previous experience do you have?
This doesn’t usually matter, but it’s good to know where they are at so you can provide direction based on experience.
Why do they want to work for you?
I want assistants with enthusiasm and passion, who are knowledgeable about eco conscious practices.
Signing A Contract
This is essential. An organized contract clearly outlines all your expectations.
Setting Clear Expectations
In your contract include the following:
- Date, time, location of the wedding or event
- Compensation. This could be monetary, a reference letter, another paid opportunity.
- Liability information (are you providing coverage?)
- A penalty for not showing up to the job as promised.
- Appropriate attire (what you expect employees to dress like)
- Expected items to have on the event day (emergency kit, printed timeline etc..)
- Photo + social media sharing expectations (will they have access to the professional photos, and can they share them on social media afterwards?)
This is your private decision; however, I will give an example of my company’s process.
When I have a new assistant interested in working for us, I ask them to volunteer for their first wedding. Once you have worked for Perrier Planning Inc, we pay assistants anywhere from $18-$25 an hour depending on the location. I compensate for gas and provide my assistants with accommodation if travel is necessary.
I always provide my team with meals at the wedding or event, but also suggest they bring snacks for long days.
When I hire another planner to lead a wedding for us, the process is different. Again, the pricing is different depending on the city we are working in. I formerly paid leads with exactly half of my month-of coordination package fee. This was a flat fee payment, and they did not get paid hourly. In the most recent years, I changed my process and decided to pay hourly for lead venue visits, meetings, rehearsals, and wedding day work. Our leads get compensated $30.00-$50.00 an hour, depending on the event and workload.
The day after wedding or events I ask my employees (hired as independent contractors), to invoice me their hours. Once I receive the invoice, I pay them by e-transfer or cash.
Holly is the owner of Perrier Planning Inc. – an eco-conscious wedding and event planning company – that has branch locations in Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary. Perrier Planning aims to make the most important events in their clients’ lives as memorable and enjoyable as possible while taking the time to drastically lower their event’s carbon footprint. Holly currently lives in Alberta with her fiancé and two dogs, and travels to Toronto and Vancouver several times a year.