How to hire for your Housing Department

You’ve studied the pros and cons and have decided to set up a housing department in your organization. The next step is to hire the right people. Housing is an often-overlooked component of events and ensuring that you have the right team supporting you will make all the difference.

What to look for in new hires:
The most successful housing department employees should bring a strong knowledge of the event industry to the role as well as a passion for event technology. They should have a deep understanding of the intricacies of hotel contracts and be fluent in the jargon of the events industry (e.g. RFPs, BATNAs, BEOs, etc.). Pre-existing relationships with local hoteliers and global hotel reps would also be a useful asset.

Where to find them:
Beyond recruiting candidates directly from other organizations’ housing departments, individuals with the right skill set and experience can be found in a variety of other positions.

One of the best places to look is local hotels. Sales Managers at hotels are responsible for contracting events at their properties and are therefore very familiar with all the details of hotel room block contracts. Convention Service Managers also possess the right mix of skills and experience as they take care of all event operations from start to finish and interact directly with clients. Other employees who have experience dealing with hotel contracts would also be worth considering.

Conference Managers – whether at hotels, convention centers or convention bureaus – would also be a good fit as they have experience with registration and events that require room blocks. Their exposure to a wide variety of conferences also means that they know what it takes to successfully organize an event.

Finally, Event Registration Managers also have the necessary knowledge and skills to be a useful addition to your housing department. They have experience working with event software and – like conference managers – have gained a deep understanding of how to successfully run events.

By looking for candidates with the right combination of skills and experience in the events industry and by directing your recruitment efforts towards the places where those people are most likely to be found, you can start building a team that will allow your newly created housing department to succeed.


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by Kelly Heesterman