Gorilla Events has an extensive portfolio of world-class live music festivals, prestigious sporting events, and high-profile exclusive parties for celebrities and private clients as an award-winning event production agency.
Gorilla Events successfully facilitates and manages boutique events up to some of the UK’s most prominent shows. With audiences of 100,000 people per day, Gorilla has a presence at world-famous venues such as the Glastonbury Festival and Wembley Stadium.
Since its inception in 2005, Gorilla has grown its extensive team of highly skilled event professionals, ranging from event managers, creative event designers, project managers, culinary chefs, bartenders, waiting staff and many more.
We spoke to Lisa Hundt-Baxter, Staffing and HR Director, Gorilla Events.
As an organisation that specialises in creating festive and energetic events while generating large crowds and audiences, Gorilla Events are also known in the industry for looking after its staff. The team at Gorilla value the importance of keeping workers, including contract and casual, happy and engaged while they cater to clients’ enjoyment and comfort. As such, advertising for roles and recruiting new team members had never been an issue.
However, Brexit and COVID-19 have forced Gorilla Events to change its processes. As the rest of the world begins to reopen, Gorilla faces the challenge of addressing sudden talent shortage and lack of staff availability. At the same time, the team needs to meet the urgent demands of the flourishing series of upcoming events in separate locations.
“We have to be more creative with the way that we operate, the way that we bring people on, and advertise for roles. And previous events have been very easy to staff, and now they have been more challenging because everything’s condensed. So whereas there’d usually be an overlap of maybe two festivals on the weekend, we’ve had six,” explained Lisa-Hundt Baxter, Staffing and HR Director of Gorilla Events.
While returning to a hectic events schedule, Gorilla has to urgently find replacements when staff are unavailable at the last minute due to COVID-19 related health issues. Under time-sensitive circumstances, Lisa’s responsibilities include ensuring the onboarding process meets HR compliance, confirming staff details are accurate and up to date.
In an employment climate that has transitioned to a worker’s market, Gorilla Events is committed to safeguarding its staff more than ever while experiencing job contentment.
With talent shortage as a general concern in the current employment climate, Gorilla is leveraging Humanforce employee engagement tools to create a unique distinction from other employers.
“The challenge for most companies now is that you’re competing against the competition to get people to commit to you, is so fierce. You have to engage with your employees differently,” said Lisa.
With capabilities to manage and monitor employees working on-site while keeping a record of every staff member’s details and fulfilling compliance, Humanforce has helped improve the efficiency of Gorilla’s HR processes. Furthermore, a complete and accurate employee database provides Lisa with a full overview of the specific requirements of each staff member.
Giving an example of how crucial it is for her to address staff members equally, Lisa said:
“For me, when I’m talking about the compliance, it’s all of the paperwork, all the information. It’s all the stuff that actually can be something little that becomes something big if you don’t have it. It can be something as small as this person has a peanut allergy, and then they turn up on-site at a festival, and you basically can’t feed them for the whole weekend.”
The ability to have unlimited and easy access to staff information has been key to keeping Gorilla’s team members safe, feeling valued and experiencing a sense of inclusion that other employers fail to provide.
The significant impact of Brexit and COVID-19 caused Gorilla Events to face great challenges and heavily rely on their automated HR processes for a smooth transition into recovery. Whatever the future holds, Gorilla Events is confident that Humanforce has, and continues to, help them achieve a winning comeback.
- Automated onboarding to efficiently meet talent demand during the sudden influx of events and functions post-COVID-19.
- Confidently managing the wide range of staffing and talent requirements for each event, promptly identifying and assigning appropriate staff members for specific job roles.
- Conveniently administer accurate and updated employee database, including passport and visa details, for a diverse workforce, confidently meeting HR compliance.
- Regularly applying reliable database information to improve employee engagement, reducing high turnover rate.
- Effectively overseeing a diverse workforce while maintaining safety, compliance, and best practices to reduce COVID-19 related health risks.
- Smooth onboarding processes to successfully retain top talent during a competitive job climate and shortage of talent supply.
- Fast and efficient rostering for large staff numbers catering across multiple events at the same time.