InTents December 2021/January 2022 - 31

PLAYING DETECTIVE
PRO EM crew members are pictured here with a structure used for drive-through COVID-19
testing. The structure was installed at Honor Health in Phoenix, Ariz. Photo courtesy of PRO
EM National Event Services.
Event Rentals has also focused on longterm
rentals to private and public schools.
Richardson doesn't feel the enhanced
unemployment beneits, many of which
have ended, are why workers aren't
coming back. Rather, he blames the
" extremely physical " nature of the work,
the fact that much of this happens during
weekends and the long hours.
" It appears to me that people are
looking for a more personal and worklife
balance, " he says. " Today, due to
labor shortages across all industries, the
applicant can be much more selective
when it comes to picking a job. "
In response, Richardson says the
company is being " much more selective "
about the jobs it accepts, turning down
those it may have accepted two years
ago. Increasing its rental rates, achieving
greater eficiencies through the use
of equipment (which can also help
reduce fatigue and burnout, he says)
and " shedding " unproitable projects
has actually improved the company's
bottom line.
" This year we've also retained an
attorney who specializes in H-2B visas
and are in hopes we'll be able to use that
avenue to add an additional 15 employees
in 2022, " he says. " We've also had success
previously by using a service that
specializes in recruiting staff members
from Puerto Rico. "
Labor is the " number one issue " for
PRO EM National Event Services, says
Brady Castro, principal. Headquartered in
Phoenix, Ariz., with ofices in Los Angeles,
Calif., and Chicago, Ill., the full-service event
rental and production company provides
equipment to a variety of markets in 35
states. Acquiring the Los Angeles and
Chicago locations in 2017 has enabled
the company to keep employees working
year-round.
Pre-pandemic, PRO EM had nearly 240
full-time employees. That number has
dropped to 110. (There are also around
800 part-time employees. Comprised of
parking, security and guest services reps,
these are mainly in Arizona.)
" We're deinitely looking to hire to
get back to the 240 to 250 number, "
says Castro, adding that the worker
shortage is hitting all departments and all
locations. " Quite honestly, I've not talked
to one person in our industry who isn't
experiencing the same challenges. "
He attributes the shortfall in part
to a combination of people's concern
over COVID and the inancial assistance
provided during the pandemic, albeit
www.InTentsMag.com 31
nowing why your current
employees remain with you
can prove revealing and help
hone your retention and your
recruiting strategies, says Chad
Sorenson, president of Adaptive
HR Solutions in Jacksonville,
Fla. As such, he recommends
conducting " stay " interviews.
" Unlike a reactive exit interview
with a resigning employee, a
stay interview talks with current
employees about why they joined
the company and why they stay, "
he explains. " Is it the family
atmosphere, the boss, the benefi ts,
the hours or the fact they get to work
outdoors? Find out why employees
like to work for you and use that to
recruit new employees. "
Other tips he offers include
proactively engaging employees
since engaged employees tend to
remain on the job, recognizing their
hard work, and-very important-
trying not to burn them out.
" This is hard, particularly when
you're short-staffed, " he admits
of that latter suggestion. " But it
will help retain employees. Extra
pay isn't always the answer-it
doesn't get them home any earlier.
Sometimes it's a thank-you and
buying lunch for the team, or maybe
it's an extra PTO day. "
K
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InTents December 2021/January 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of InTents December 2021/January 2022

InTents December 2021/January 2022 - Cover1
InTents December 2021/January 2022 - Cover2
InTents December 2021/January 2022 - 1
InTents December 2021/January 2022 - 2
InTents December 2021/January 2022 - 3
InTents December 2021/January 2022 - 4
InTents December 2021/January 2022 - 5
InTents December 2021/January 2022 - 6
InTents December 2021/January 2022 - 7
InTents December 2021/January 2022 - 8
InTents December 2021/January 2022 - 9
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InTents December 2021/January 2022 - 11
InTents December 2021/January 2022 - 12
InTents December 2021/January 2022 - 13
InTents December 2021/January 2022 - 14
InTents December 2021/January 2022 - 15
InTents December 2021/January 2022 - 16
InTents December 2021/January 2022 - 17
InTents December 2021/January 2022 - 18
InTents December 2021/January 2022 - 19
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InTents December 2021/January 2022 - Cover3
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