Ask an Expert on Hiring
You have questions, we have answers. This month we spoke with Greta Wagner, the executive director at Chelsea Piers Connecticut, about hiring.
CS: How does Chelsea Piers ensure it is hiring top-quality staff?
GW: Each prospective hire is interviewed by at least two managers or directors so that we have a variety of opinions. There may be specific tests or hurdles related to their position, such as a writing sample or certifications. Clearly the candidate has to have the correct experience for the position. As a policy, Chelsea Piers tries to promote from within. Internal candidates have already proven their strengths and loyalty to the company. They understand the culture and commitment to customer service that is critical in every single position at Chelsea Piers.
CS: What’s one of your favorite questions to ask during an interview, and why?
GW: I am always curious to ask why they are interested in the position. While I am interviewing them, I like to see that the candidate has done research on the position, the facility and the role they will play. Every position here contributes in so many ways. The best employees are those that have a strong interest in being part of the team.
CS: What are some of the biggest challenges in hiring for an organization like Chelsea Piers?
GW: Many of the positions at Chelsea Piers require our employees to wear different hats, so it can be difficult sometimes to find the perfect person that sees that there is true opportunity in this dynamic. The best employee will embrace their specific job responsibilities, but also recognize the role they play in ensuring a positive customer experience for every person who steps foot on our property.
CS: How do you overcome those challenges?
GW: Within the first two months, every new employee attends a new employee orientation and customer service training. There are also several training programs that run year-round and pull from multiple venues. This gives employees with similar positions the opportunity to learn from one another and discuss best practices and challenges. To build on the cross-venue connection, we have a number of events throughout the year where employees from every venue can come together and interact with one another.