Peer Perspective: Daphne Tate, Party Out the Box
Owner, Party Out the Box
Before opening Party Out the Box, Daphne Tate spent 25 years in human resources for a banking corporation. She’s been on the interviewing side of more than a few job interviews. Tate’s advice to her fellow party retailers: Look for soft skills.
How large is your staff?
Currently, we have four. We’re hiring up for graduation. I had a larger staff at Halloween, when we have to more hands and more eyes. Additionally, I serve as another pair of hands.
What is your biggest struggle with staffing?
I think, just like everyone else in retail, is finding the right fit. Sometimes it takes awhile.
How do you go about drawing applicants?
We just try to cast a wide net when we’re hiring and really drill down until we find that right person. … For us, it’s the fact that we are in a relatively small community. When we moved to Georgia (from Washington D.C.), we became very connected with the schools very quickly, and we also have the opportunity to work with a lot of the local businesses. So the network was already there before we even opened (in 2015). We’ve also been somewhat lucky to have quite a few college students that have been able to work with us while they’re in school.
What do you look for in a potential employee?
In general, it’s the old-fashioned grassroots process. You almost have to hire for soft skills, rather than hard skills. Especially considering the fact that you’re looking for (customer) service. … You want someone you know that can carry your vision, that is passionate about what they do, treats your customers with respect, and you want them to be self-starters. In the party world, you may only have that person for one season, so you want to get a good person. … Just like any other industry, you’re not really certain until you start working with that employee.