Fall in New England is known for its beautiful weather and the spectacular changing colors of the leaves. It’s also a popular time of year for weddings, and it coincides with when college students and others go back to school. For Monique Jeffrey, CSEP, vice president of operations for Willowdale Estate, this combination presents some tough staffing challenges for their thriving special events business.
Willowdale Estate is a private mansion located in a 720-acre state forest just north of Boston. With the capacity to host outdoor, tented weddings during the warm seasons and indoor, cozy celebrations during the colder months, it’s a coveted venue for local couples. The venue hosts 8 to 12 events each month, mainly weddings, and doesn’t experience a slow season. While they have dozens of year-round staff members, they need additional help in the summer and fall seasons when they can accommodate bigger events with their outdoor areas.
The company has an online system for posting available shifts. Once their regular staff members have responded, Monique often has 48 hours or less to fill the remaining ones. In the past, she would reach out to staffing agencies for help, but the tight turn-around times were difficult for them to meet.
“The old way of filling these positions was very anxiety-provoking for our team,” says Monique. “With Instawork, it’s so easy to enter jobs and get a fast response. It has freed up hours of time that I can spend on more strategic projects and client work.”
Willowdale Estate uses Instawork Gigs to fill server, bartender and other positions. She’s also able to easily identify people that have done work for them before and book them again. This is helpful because they’ve already gone through our training and know-how events run at Willowdale Estate.
“It’s nice that Instawork lets workers provide feedback on what it’s like to work for us. I always take the time to read it, and see if there is anything actionable for us to consider,” says Monique.