What to look for when hiring a casino host
If you’ve visited my Casino Host Player Development blog, you may have seen a post from several months ago entitled “Six Things to Look For in a Casino Host New Hire.” In it, I covered some basic attributes one would want to find in host candidates.
In this article, we’ll cover those again because they are important, but we’ll go a little deeper to help you determine which of your candidates is the best fit for your team.
A casino host should be a “people person” and have a positive attitude. To assess, ask questions about past customers the candidate remembers and why. The ideal candidate has to have a willingness to learn, so include questions about how the interviewee incorporated new knowledge in a past role. Due to the nature of the job, a host needs to be a go-getter, as managing a book of business and a gaggle of high-maintenance players is not for the lackadaisical. Find out how your potential host went above and beyond in his past jobs. Confidentiality is key, because there’s a lot of personal and proprietary information available to these important employees; much of it is only a mouse click away. Note in some of the questions above whether or not he/she “overshared.” And finally, hosts have to have a passion for the world around them. This is easy to discern once the potential team member starts talking with you about their past experiences: look for animation and listen for inflection as they tell their stories.
Those are great starting points, and once you’ve narrowed down the field, it’s time to choose the next host for your team. So how do you make a decision from among the candidates who have convinced you that they exemplify all of the above? Set a second interview with all of those potential hosts and take it to the next level.
During your follow-up interview, ask some in-depth questions related to job satisfaction in past roles. Find out what the candidate did and did not like about their last few jobs to assess their potential for longevity. Since you’ll be giving this host responsibility for some of your most worthy players if hired (and it’s a royal pain to reassign coded players once a host has moved on), you want to find someone who is likely to stick around. The answers to these questions will help you to learn more than you might by just looking at work history.
Then, provide real-life scenarios from your casino experience and ask how the interviewee would handle them. Everyone loves to tell war stories, and this gives the candidate an opportunity to share their successes with you. You will be able to compare the expected outcome from the interviewee’s solution to the actual results of the scenario you’ve presented. As a bonus, you may gain a “teaching moment” to share with your team.
Assign some of your best-performing hosts the task of talking with your candidates to get a feel for their understanding of the job. Provide them with a framework (questions to ask, attributes upon which to rate each interviewee) so they’ll assess everyone the same way. It makes sense to find out whether or not the candidate is a good fit with your existing team members. This is a particularly good idea for anyone who has never been a host before, and it has the added benefit of ensuring that applicants (even ones who have host experience) will know what is expected of them.
Finally, look for a candidate who is excited about the opportunity. Because you’ve already taken the time to screen for attitude and understanding, what you need to know now is how enthusiastic the host would be in their new role. A host needs to remain upbeat and positive even on the rough days and a love of the job is the best defense. You’ll know from the questions they ask you and the members of your team during this follow-up process.
The last word on the subject is this: Don’t hire someone because you like them, hire an individual because you believe your players will like them. Don’t hire someone because their personality reminds you of your best host; hire them because their personality complements that of your best host. There are lots of different kinds of people among your best and most profitable players. Make sure your host team is as varied as those players are so that everyone can be served by the best possible host.