Hiring Staff for Your Campground? Here’s Our Advice

Campsites are more than a weekend getaway. They are destinations for people to relax, enjoy quality family time and make lasting memories. Campground staff play a large role in guest experiences, so investing in quality customer service is vital. Continue reading for our top tips on hiring campground staff.

Common Jobs at a Campground

You need suitable staff to oversee your services and programs, so consider your campground amenities when hiring candidates. Hiring enthusiastic, outgoing, positive applicants passionate about the outdoors is also essential. Here are some common campground jobs to consider.

Campground Manager

A campground manager helps manage and run daily operations like handling guest reservations, organizing staff schedules, hiring new candidates, communicating with campers and overseeing maintenance. They may also supervise other campground staff.

Candidates with customer-facing and hands-on experience in hospitality are strong applicants for this role. Experience in managing staff or leading a team is also vital.

Maintenance Technician

Maintenance personnel maintain and repair campground facilities and infrastructure like sprinkler systems, pools, outdoor lighting fixtures, HVAC systems, landscaping and restrooms. Look for candidates with experience in landscaping, facilities maintenance and after-hours or on-call services.

Activities Director

An activities director helps plan and oversee campground activities like games and sports. They also customize activities for individuals of all abilities and lead and support visitors through activities. Candidates with excellent communication skills and teaching experience would fit this role.

Front Desk Staff

Desk or office staff manage online booking schedules, answer phones and perform other receptionist duties. Look for outgoing, organized, friendly candidates with excellent communication skills.

Campground Guest Services

Campground hosts help guests check in, answer questions and assist with other daily campsite duties. People who grew up camping or young people looking for a part-time job can be perfect for this role. It is also a great opportunity for retirees who have valuable knowledge and experience to share with campground guests.

Questions to Ask When Interviewing Potential Employees

Your interview questions must be well thought out and give you a better idea of the applicant’s character, experience, personality and skills. Check out some examples:

  • Can you give an example of a stressful work situation and how you handled it? Asking candidates how they deal with stress is an excellent way to identify how they might handle busy workdays and stressful situations.
  • What is your proudest achievement and why? Get to know what a candidate values and what motivates them to see if they have suitable qualities for your campground.
  • Can you give an example of how you have supported your team in the past? Asking applicants about their prior teamwork experience is an excellent way to see how they work in a group. 
  • Can you give an example of when you had to lead a team and what the outcome was? You can identify candidates’ leadership skills or if they have the skills to lead a group or oversee a team.

Situational questions are a great way to evaluate a candidate’s character and give them a better idea of the scenarios they might encounter on duty. Here are some scenarios to consider:

  • How would you approach or deal with a guest not having fun during activities?
  • How would you assist a guest who is having trouble sleeping?
  • What would you say to a guest who is unhappy with their experience at the campground?

Campground Hiring Tips

Hiring staff for a campground is a delicate process requiring research, thought, and time. Here are some campground hiring tips to help you get started:

1. Recruit From Your Community

Looking to your community is an excellent place to start when searching for suitable candidates. You may find people who are passionate about the outdoors or who have fond memories of camping in childhood.

2. Market Your Positions to the Right People

Here are some great places to market your job openings:

  • Universities and high schools: University students have excellent ambition and applicable skills for campground positions. High school students between 16 and 18 often look for ways to get work experience, improve their college resumes, and make extra money. Part-time campground positions can be an ideal opportunity for them to tick all the above boxes.
  • Job fairs: You can find many eager and ambitious candidates looking for full- or part-time positions at job fairs.
  • Employment websites: Make sure to list your open positions on hiring websites like Indeed so that people searching online can find them. You can also partner with your local chamber of commerce to receive benefits like HR support, job board postings, and networking events.

3. Follow Suitable Hiring Protocols

You need reliable and trustworthy campground staff, especially when families stay at your campground. Ensure you take the necessary precautions and follow appropriate hiring protocols:

  • Get references: Call the applicant’s previous employers, professors, or teachers to understand better the candidate’s character, work ethic, and personality. References can also help you decide if a candidate is trustworthy, respectful, honest, and reliable.
  • Background checks: Running a background check is crucial to ensure candidates are trustworthy.
  • Certifications and accreditations: Credentials in lifeguarding, first aid, and counseling can be beneficial qualities in applicants.

4. Retain Valuable Staff

Retaining good staff is essential for maintaining your campground quality and guest satisfaction. You can send out questionnaires to guests after their stay to evaluate your current staff performance. Guests offer valuable feedback that helps you identify and retain your best staff.

5. Digitize Your Hiring Process

Create an online application and hiring platform to help streamline the application process and keep track of your candidate interviews and information.

6. Invest in Staff Training

Staff training is one of the best ways to upskill candidates and familiarize them with your guidelines and rules. It also allows you to identify leadership qualities, engage with applicants, and provide them with valuable experience.

How to Make the Right Hiring Decisions

You must consider all the information you gather throughout the hiring process. Here are some protocols to follow when deciding on a candidate:

  • Review the interview notes: Revisit interview notes and recordings, and pay attention to answers candidates give during their interviews. Reevaluating interview answers can help you pick up information you may have missed. You can also get management staff to review or listen to candidate answers to get a second opinion.
  • Evaluate the background information and qualifications: Asses all the background and reference checks to ensure you have not missed any crucial details. Highlight information that stands out so that you can investigate it further.

Need Help Hiring Campground Staff? Become a KOA Franchise Today!

Increase your number of job applicants when you franchise with Kampgrounds of America, Inc. KOA is the largest collection of private campgrounds in the world, and our iconic yellow logo on a job application will appeal to any outdoor enthusiasts looking for a new position.

With over 60 years of experience, we at KOA understand the importance of providing reliable campground leadership and customer service. That’s why we offer training programs and technology for upskilling your staff. Our recruitment process and educational programs can help you develop your team and pick suitable candidates to represent your campground.

Become a KOA franchise today!