Today, I am going to talk with Workamper News Executive Director, Jody Anderson Duquette, about how employers can find the best Workampers for jobs they are looking to fill. This episode just isn’t for employers, Workampers themselves will learn more about the recruiting process.
As we start our discussion, Jody reminds employers what Workamping is and who Workampers are. They’re typically retired people looking for part-time work to stay active and help reduce travel expenses.
Many Workampers select a location where they want to visit and then look for jobs in that area, so it’s important for employers to describe the location and things people can do when they aren’t working.
Communication is supercritical for a successful experience for employers and Workampers alike. That means acknowledging applications and notifying Workampers about whether they got the job – and for Workampers to respond to messages from employers.
Interviewing people by phone or video chat can help employers determine if a Workamper will fit in well with the team and to discuss the nuances of the job and compensation package. Compensation should be fair for the work required. If Workampers receive a free campsite that others pay $400 a month to enjoy, then it’s not fair to expect someone to work 40 hours a week, four weeks a month for that site.
Once a hiring decision has been made, it’s really important for employers to prepare work agreements that cover things like starting and ending dates, the number of hours to work, expected days off, what is included in compensation, etc. Putting everything in writing helps to ensure there are no misunderstandings later in the season.
When recruiting Workampers, if employers start looking earlier, then they have access to a greater number of qualified candidates. So don’t wait until the end of March to try finding people to work in early June.
When it comes to compensation, employers should write out everything that will be included. It could be wages, a campsite, utilities, free uniforms, discounts on food, an entertainment pass, free use of boats or toys – basically everything that Workampers might overlook in analyzing their compensation. This helps Workampers understand the true value they will receive for performing the job.
Remember, as a general rule, Workampers are retired folks who get into the RV lifestyle to travel and see America. Many Workampers don’t need full-time jobs, but they do want to work to keep active and bring in some money to help reduce their travel expenses.
Above all, Workampers really want to have fun on the job and off. They like to work, but not all the time. Workampers want to explore and enjoy the areas they are visiting.
Communication is so important to a successful Workamping experience. It starts with identifying specific job duties Workampers are expected to perform, when they are to arrive, whether there are adequate cell phone signals in the area, whether there are restrictions on pets, kids or things people can have in their campsites, like a boat.
Just be honest and lay everything out to help Workampers make informed decisions before committing to a job. For example, if a business attracts a lot of children, then employers should be upfront about that because being around a lot of kids all day, every day can be rather stressful for some Workampers.
One thing many employers often fail to do is outline everything that is included in a compensation package, such as things people might not consider. For example, it’s one thing to say Workampers get a free campsite, but it’s another to describe it as a free 30×90-foot paved patio site with water, sewer, 50-amp power, free high-speed wireless and access to a lake in one of the most popular vacation destinations in the state.
Jody mentioned exit interviews as being something employers should do because it’s a great way to get honest advice about the operation and it’s an opportunity to end the season on a good note. Who knows, a great Workamper might be instrumental in referring others to an employers’ business, if not to work, then to support as customers.
Employers should start recruiting early to have the best opportunity to lock in Workampers for the next season. So double-check your job listings now to see if there is a way to be more descriptive about what the job entails and what is really attractive about the business and the local area.
The Workamper staff can help employers design the best ads to attract some great Workampers. Feel free to call them today at 800.446.5627.
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