GNN blogger Kevin Thistle has always emphasized service at the golf facilities that have employed him over the years. In order to make that philosophy work, he says he needs dedicated staff that go along with the program. That’s why it’s important for Thistle to make sure his staffing plans are in order before leaving for the holidays.
Before the holidays start, I try to get my staff in place for next year.
It’s so important to connect with some of the staff you were with last year and tell them the good, the bad and the ugly about the previous year and if there’s somebody you’re not asking back, now’s the time to tell that person.
With the golf season over and most courses shut down, now is the time when people will be looking if they’re planning to move.
You may not be able to make a complete deal, but if you’re meeting with people and they’re interested in coming to your golf course, like maybe a backshop manager or an assistant pro, they don’t want to wait until March to know where they’re going to work and I don’t want to wait until March to hire my staff.
Golf courses in most of this country close in November, so now is a good time to get your house in order. The majority of our staff will come back next year, but some will not because they’re looking at different opportunities to better themselves or for logistical reasons.
There’s always some turnover, either from the club’s standpoint or from the employee’s standpoint. There might be a great, young person you want back, but if you talk to that person, you may discover future plans do not or cannot include your facility, depending on each individual circumstance.
You’ve got to make sure you’re on top of it. I don’t want to wait until March and then have somebody say to me, `Oh, if you’d only gotten to me in December.’
I emphasize service. I recently talked to a marketing class for the golf management program at Toronto’s Humber College and that’s all I talked about, but you can talk all you want. The people who deliver that high level of service are the people you hire. It’s up to the staff to run with your philosophy.
That’s why you look at doing your hiring now. You get a person’s resume, check it, talk to the people, check their credentials.
I always hire people on personality. I feel that some of the best hires over the years have been people who didn’t have much golf experience. You can teach the golf business, but you can’t teach personality.
In the case of people working in food and beverage, for example, many of them come from fine corporate training programs.
By starting early and getting your staffing plans in order before the holidays, you can often find out which applicants are prime candidates that can take your service to a whole new level.