3 Ways to Keep Your Summer Camp Staff Applicants from Ghosting

Ghosting is the digital age version of standing you up. We are sure you’ve read about ghosting in the staffing world. Everyone from Google and Amazon on down is currently fighting this phenomenon. Newspapers, network news and every online media outlet has reported about ghosting job interviews, internship offers and actual jobs.

The good news for camps, is that we’ve dealt with this for far longer than these other industries seem to have – noting how shocked they are when a hire doesn’t show up for the job. But what camp hasn’t had a no-show on the first day of staff training? Part of the reason CampStaff was built to fill these last minute drops.  Here’s a refresher for you vets and and a crash course for any newbies.


Simplify and speed up your hiring process

When you reach out to a potential applicant, be prepared to interview and hire on the spot. Before you say, it can’t be done…Why are camp directors comfortable committing to international staff on the spot at overseas job fairs but make American applicants jump through hoops?

You have an application in hand before your reach out. Whether it’s CampStaff’s universal application or the one the applicant filled out your own application at your website. If it’s worth calling them, texting them or emailing them, it’s worth an interview as soon as they are available.

Offer the job contingent on reference checks and submitted paperwork. You probably already have this wording in your contract. Assign someone to track down the reference checks.  We’ve seen camps use summer staff for this purpose.  Why not pay a few responsible staff to do this now? The bonus is it gives you the opportunity to strengthen relationships with key staff and improve their odds of sticking around a few more years.


Make a personal connection between the applicant and your camp

If your staffing team is good at this (and has time) then great. If not, remember you have an army of recruiters ready to sing the praises of your camp – current and former staff!  Use them. Find out how to turn your returning staff into recruiters.

Make sure the new hire is connected with your social media feeds.  Encourage your veteran staff to reach out to new staff online.

Stay organized and focus on top candidates or hard to fill positions first

This can be the most difficult part of the current hiring environment. We are all aware that staff hiring season is a slowly increasing trickle from September to January, then floods from Feb to April before slowly trickling off again until after summer. Because of the coming deluge of staff applicants over the next couple of months, camp directors tend to “grab” as many applicants as they can. The problem is that working 50 or so files at time means you probably aren’t working any the way you’d like. And in today’s job market, you’ll probably lose more then you end up hiring.

We suggest that you prioritize your needs and start with those. CampStaff searches can zero in on staff. Stay on top of them. The biggest complaint from camp directors this hiring season is “there are tons of applicants but they don’t respond to my email.” EMAIL, not plural. Ironically, some of these same camp directors will also tell us, “my email inbox is so filled than unless you write me a couple of times, I might not respond.” Hmmm…

Adam Grant, former keynote speaker at Tri-State Camp Conference wrote a great piece in the NY Times about responding to email.

We recently published a blog post written by our friend’s at Jotform chock full of their best recommendations for getting your camp organized.

When using CampStaff.com or CampStaffNurses.com, use the organizational tabs to help you

As a camp using a campstaff.com or campstaffnurses.com account, you have access to two tidy columns on top of your screen. The first, ‘recent applications’ shows you a list of all the job seekers who sent you an email directly through the CampStaff portal. The second, “seekers contacted” shows you a list of all the seekers you sent an email to through the CampStaff portal. These lists highlight the staff you want to follow up with, as you had originally marked them as someone worth considering for your camp.

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