Hiring for Nightclubs, Part 2 – Placing an Ad

I am often asked by Bar Managers and Owners, “How do I find the best bouncers?”

My answer is pretty straightforward: Word of mouth.

I’ve found that in the field of Security word of mouth is usually one of the best ways to find quality individuals who need little instruction or guidance (notice I said “little instruction” not “no instruction”). Bouncers work in a small segment of the Security world and they know a decent number of individuals who can readily fill positions when needed. That said, any Security Staffer you are thinking of hiring – found through word of mouth or not – still needs to be properly vetted, regardless of their background or referrals. But more on that at a later date.

What if you don’t want to rely on your Staff for suggestions or if – for whatever reason – you want to cut your Staff out of the decision making process? Most people’s main option is to place an ad, either in the paper (how 1990’s of you!) or online. I’ve taken the liberty of linking to three such advertisements.

1) We need a specific type, not necessarily a skill set

I found this ad to be the most amusing and honestly, the most direct. They want eye candy, period. At least they’re upfront about it. Whether or not they will be able to keep their Patrons safe is another matter altogether.

2) We are fairly realistic in our needs

This establishment has a pretty solid ad. They are looking for specific body types with specific skill sets, are willing to tell you about their clientele up front, and even ask for a resume. However, a quick read between the lines tells you a couple of things: their clientele is large and sometimes prone to violence. How do I know that? They ask for large Staffers to handle their large Patrons who don’t necessarily need to be restrained (“it doesn’t happen often”), but might have to be. And in the next sentence they add that some type of physical restraint experience is preferable. Hmmmmm….makes me wonder what’s really going on here.

3) We are serious about our hire and you shouldn’t apply unless you are serious

And we have a winner. At least in the sense that they are professional about their job search. Solid job description with requirements and skill set listed. And the positive indicator (at least from a liability standpoint) that certifications or licensing of some type are needed.

As you can see, there are different approaches to achieve the same(?) end. And while they will all get you prospective Staffers, I’m guessing that only one will get you quality Staffers. But hey, maybe all you want is the body.

So, What Should My Ad Look Like?

An ad looking for Security Staffers needs to contain at least these basics:

  • Who the individual reports to – Manager, Bar Manager, Head of Security. Who do they speak to about basic job issues and who do they listen to?
  • Detailed Job Description – “Checking ID’s” is not sufficient. Your description should list the duties and expectations of the position.
  • Qualifications – Be specific: Guard Card, previous nightclub experience, supervisory experience, etc.
  • Contact Info – How will your prospective hire get in touch with you?

This listing will let the prospective Staffer know that you are at least serious about your hiring. Now it is up to you to add the “flavor” to your ad! What kind of establishment do you run? Upscale, dive bar, lounge? Are you looking for a personable Doorman or a tough Bouncer? List who you are and what you are looking for. While the basics of the position are helpful, anyone looking for a job will want to know a little something about the venue.

Done with that? Good. Now go place your ad and get ready to do some interviewing!

Until next time…

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