What to look out for when hiring hostesses?

July 16 2016 (updated September 9 2020)
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A perfectly selected promotional staff is a complex combination of age, availability, and experience. Professional hostesses are efficient in their tasks, and their appearance and outfit are only a bonus value to their competence. To recruit such hostesses, you need experience and knowledge of the industry. That’s why it’s important to use the services of a reliable hostess agency.

On beauty.

Large breasts, legs for days, shiny blonde hair and a flirtatious look in the eye – an ideal? For a model, maybe. Taking hostesses for fashion models is a fundamental mistake, made by many clients of hostess agencies. Without a genuine smile, an openness for meeting people, and flexibility in changing conditions, the looks alone are worth precious little. A good hostess puts competence before appearance, which lets her achieve the goals of her job – increase sales of a product, build brand awareness, make guests feel comfortable. None of these can be achieved if you only have your looks at your disposal. When selecting hostesses based on their appearance, keep in mind that your clients and guests may have wildly different tastes than you – particularly if they come from a foreign country. Skilfully picking staff with varied appearance might have a more beneficial effect.

On casting.

The idea of holding a casting for hostesses is borrowed from the process of recruiting models. Truth be told, unless it is for a job that requires a specific costume or knowledge of some choreography, it’s entirely unnecessary, superfluous or even disadvantageous. Experienced hostesses avoid such meetings – they know the value of their time, and they prefer to choose jobs that have no casting requirement (there’s no shortage of those). Casting means added expenses as well – it’s customary to cover the travel costs for a hostess coming from a different part of the country. That’s another reason to entrust selecting staff to a hostess agency. Knowing the capabilities of the staff, choosing people for the job accordingly and briefing them based on your training materials are the basic tasks of an agency.

On numbers.

Psychologists back in the 90s discovered a phenomenon (later nicknamed as “the cheerleader effect”), where an individual in a group is considered more attractive than on their own. Deploying a team of hostesses (or even a pair) raises not only their individual attractiveness, but also their visibility – which is particularly valuable for jobs in dense areas (e.g. leafleting in shopping centres). The effectiveness of leafleting/sampling, data gathering, or reception work relies heavily on the number (and therefore, visibility) of staff, but not exclusively – it’s important to know the specifics of the action area as well. An experienced hostess agency is aware of the profile and footfall of the main commercial arteries, can estimate the required number of POS materials, is able to pinpoint the rush hours and schedule the number of working staff accordingly.

On languages.

Are you browsing the market for a team for an international trade fair or to host a delegation from another country? Hostess interpreters or simply staff proficient in a foreign language can be of particular value to you. However, it’s common to make the mistake of requiring hostesses to speak several foreign languages, especially when it comes to staffing international trade fairs abroad. It’s a form of backup for when a guest doesn’t know the dominant language of the event.  It is not a crucial skill, however – you should allow hostesses of different language proficiencies to help each other. Using multiple foreign languages interchangeably can be very taxing for a single hostess. Finally, when looking for hostesses for international trade fairs, take moment to consider whether a third language is absolutely necessary – English is used almost universally, and knowing it is usually enough for these events.

On outfits.

When coming up with an idea for an outfit, make sure that it won’t be humiliating to a hostess wearing it. We have been witness to numerous stylistic abominations, such as a branded t-shirt thrown over an elegant dress, a tight, poorly measured costume or a face-covering mask (that was not part of a themed outfit). Don’t expect a hostess dressed like that to work efficiently – she’ll be more likely to revolt and refuse cooperation. No-one likes to be laughed at, and young girls are particularly sensitive about the way they look. That’s why you should consult your ideas with professionals – a hostess agency has a dedicated stylist, who is well-oriented in current fashion trends and will select an outfit appropriately for the hostess’s appearance and duties. A proper hostess agency also has a collection of clothes to lend (dresses, skirts, accessories). A piece of advice: if the job lasts more than 2-3 hours, let the hostesses swap their high heels for ballet flats – they will appreciate it 😉

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