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Shindigz 'hiring parties' bring Mardi Gras theme to South Whitley

Wednesday, February 8, 2012 - 1:32 pm

Shindigz, a South Whitley company that says it aims “to make life more fun,” takes a different approach on hiring, too. It stages twice-weekly Mardi Gras-themed “hiring parties.”

They aren't full-tilt Bourbon Street extravaganzas; people still need to take tests, and the company still needs to screen applicants. The party-supply company is working to add up to 175 seasonal workers leading into its busiest season, helping customers get ready for proms, graduations and weddings.

But at each hiring party, Shindigz staff work to give them a sense of company culture, said Kris Wurst, whose title “Head Coach and Cheerleader” would translate roughly as “human resources director” in most companies. “We're all about making life more fun,” Wurst said. The applicants tour the Shindigz building, participate in an order-filling and packing test that sends them home with Mardi Gras souvenirs, such as “gold” coins.

They interview with their prospective supervisors in “Party Central,” a kind of commons area in the business that includes an ice-cream machine, kitchen, big-screen TVs, Internet access, iPod docking stations, sofas and restaurant-style booths.

The company reinforces its party them for employees by offering free popcorn on Wednesdays, free coffee daily, a free fitness center, free Zumba, free personal trainers and holiday celebrations, among other perks.

Wurst said Shindigz employees consist of 120 full-time workers and staffs a total of 155-160 workers even in slower periods of the year. Coming into the spring and early-summer rush, the company wants to have about 275-300 people at work, she said.