The Wetfoot Blog

Monday, March 1, 2010

Refined Staff Recruitment

How does an organization get the best employees possible?

We start by retaining the best staff from last year and letting our excellent campers know that we want them to apply. In addition, here at Camp Manito-wish YMCA we have created a strong foundation to find and appeal to the best candidates available. We realized we cannot rely solely on what has worked in the past to propel us forward in our hiring goals. After reviewing what had been most fruitful, we kept some of our previous techniques and looked at where we could expand. Diversifying our connection points with applicants has been the key to our staff recruitment plan.

We will focus on three key components to our recruitment strategies taken from a recent recruitment trip to Northern Michigan University:

Partnering with Universities:
We have developed relationships with some instructors in the Recreation and Education departments. They have graciously allowed us to facilitate ice-breaking sequences, group cohesion sequences, and guest lecture in classrooms on wide range of topics including “The Importance of Fire,” “Trip Leading Basics” and “Careers in Recreation." In addition to working with instructors we have made some connections with student newspapers and invited reporters to observe our classroom visits. This has led to articles in student newspapers like this one from a University of Minnesota-Duluth visit.

(Balloon Build activity to emphasise the importance of group interaction at NMU)

(Forced Interaction activity at NMU to encourage students to communicate more with each other)

(Free) Online Job Postings:
Many universities have free online job postings located on their school websites. We targeted our postings to schools we have connections to, and universities that have a focus on outdoor skills or teaching. Here is our job posting located on the Northern Michigan University website.

(Well Supported) Job Fair Attendance:
Job fairs are attended only if they are supported by many other avenues that direct students to our display. By posting jobs online, partnering with instructors, and getting help from seasonal staff to spread the word about our campus visit, the time spent at a job fair is much more valuable. We research the traffic that comes through a job fair and what positions students are searching for. We also tailor our booth display to what positions we are seeking and try to be as creative as possible with the room and our resources.

(Targeted recruitment at UW-Stevens Point at their Summer Camp Job Fair)

So far we have had great success in not only the number of applicants but the quality of applicants desiring positions for the 2010 summer. We are currently looking for highly specialized applicants for the Riflry instructor, Naturalist and Sailing Master positions.

-Ben Creagh (Staff Recruitment Coordinator and 2010 Outpost Director)

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