Coopers Hall runs with a rapidly changing schedule. Poached Shifts help them connect with workers who can roll with the ebbs and flows.
A flexible staff has always been a vital component of Coopers Hall’s business model. While operating two beautiful event venues in Portland, Oregon, one of which also serves as a restaurant and taproom when not booked — their staffing needs have always been in constant flux. With large events back on the roster after two years of Covid-related public safety measures, Coopers Hall’s need for a flexible workforce came back fast.
Coopers Hall needed a more efficient and expedient way to ramp staff for their kitchen — so they turned to Poached Shifts.
The Struggle: Finding flexible staff in a competitive labor market
Running with a highly variable kitchen has always been the norm at Coopers Hall, but hiring for their unique schedule has never been easy.
“For us, hiring has always been pretty difficult because we need people who are down to roll with the changes and like a job that really changes day to day,” Keith Morris, Executive Chef at Coopers Hall, shared. “Week to week, we need a drastically different level of staffing. So if we don’t have many events and we’re just open for the restaurant, we don’t have a lot of work, but once you fold in 10-12 events in a week, we need a lot of cooks.”
During their busy weeks, Morris fills in his permanent team’s schedule with a roster of on-call staff typically hired through word of mouth. But, being limited to their own roster of on-call workers often leaves them figuring out schedules last minute, creating more stress than necessary when executing large events.
Additionally, Morris expressed that in hiring for their permanent positions, it can be difficult to tell if someone will work out long-term or not. Taking time to make sure someone is a good fit and understands the nature of their business is highly important but is a challenging task with traditional hiring methods.
The Solution: Quick access to a skilled and flexible workforce
Coopers Hall has been a long-time customer, so when Poached launched its newest Shifts App, they were quick to give it a try as a potential solution to organizing their rapidly changing staffing needs. They began filling shifts for kitchen staff to execute prep work for upcoming events.
“With Poached Shifts, I can get some of our shifts posted 10-14 days in advance, start booking them 10 to 7 days out, and really have a good idea of how many extra hands we’ll have in a day” Morris stated. “For us, that’s been really awesome.”
In addition to having more security and control to quickly staff up for larger events, Coopers Hall has been impressed with using Poached Shifts to fill their permanent hire needs.
“We often find that people like it here at Coopers, they like working with us and they’re always typically impressed by the end of the shift,” Morris explained. “This has led us to be able to hire people we would have never met if it hadn’t been for Poached Shifts.”
Using Poached Shifts to book workers over a series of shifts gives Morris the time he feels is necessary to really know if someone will work out. Similarly, by booking shifts, workers can get a feel for Coopers Hall’s unique work schedule and better decide if they’d like to work there full–time.
The Result: Peace of mind in staying fully staffed
Poached Shifts has served as a valuable supplemental tool for Coopers Hall’s ever-changing schedule. They can more confidently staff for upcoming events in advance and as a bonus, are more successful in hiring permanent employees using the service.
“Currently, I have two people on my team who are direct hires from Poached Shifts,” Morris explained. He’s gotten into the process of booking the same workers for a few shifts so that both parties can experience working together and ensure the fit is right. “For us, it’s like this instant stage or trial where we get to see if we like you and if you’d want to work full-time here.”.
With Poached Shifts, Coopers Hall has more peace of mind that they can fill in for upcoming events as needed, and have more success finding new hires that last.
If you’re short-staffed and hiring, or occasionally struggle to fill in your schedule — Poached Shifts is the best way to stay fully staffed and operational.
Click here to learn more about using Shifts and to get started!