Inclusive hiring practices for children’s activity businesses

As your children’s activity business grows, hiring is one of the most important steps towards success. Finding staff members that are responsible and qualified is one thing, but hiring diverse employees and creating inclusive and equitable environments in the workplace can really take your business to the next level.

At Sawyer, our goal is to help children’s activity providers spend less time on administrative work and more time doing what they love. When you use inclusive hiring practices to employ diverse staff members, your students and campers will have even better experiences during your activities.

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What is diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)?

When defining diversity, equity, and inclusion, most experts separate the pieces. The University of Washington Office of Research defines each term the following way.

  • “Diversity is the presence of differences that enrich our workplace. Some examples of diversity may include race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, language, (dis) ability, age, religious commitment, or political perspective in our workplace. There are many more.
  • Equity is ensuring that access, resources, and opportunities are provided for all to succeed and grow, especially for those who are underrepresented and have been historically disadvantaged.
  • Inclusion is a workplace culture that is welcoming to all people regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, age, abilities, and religion and everyone is valued, respected and able to reach their full potential.”

DEI is important in hiring, training, and leading employees as well as creating safe spaces for your campers and students. When you put diversity, equity, and inclusion practices and protocols into place for your business, you can create an environment where campers, students, and staff members can bring their whole selves and feel welcome.

Check out our full guide for more information on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at summer camp and in all children’s activity businesses.

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Importance of diversity recruitment protocols

Recruiting and hiring diverse candidates is important to your business’ success. When there are different perspectives in the room, you get better ideas. Diversity is especially important for children’s activity providers because studies show that children who interact with culturally responsive educational experiences and diverse educators have increased self-confidence, better awareness and appreciation of diverse beliefs and cultures, and even stronger success in the classroom later in life.

Diversity recruitment protocols ensure that, when you are sourcing and interviewing diverse candidates, they experience a safe, inclusive, and equitable process. These candidates are deciding whether or not to work for you. Therefore, when you show them that you understand diversity, equity, and inclusion and you are committed to making your business safe for everyone, they can feel comfortable making the decision to join your team.

Inclusive hiring practices

Now that you know the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion for your children’s activity business, it is time to start recruiting diverse candidates. Inclusive hiring practices are best practices and useful systems to put in place to ensure each step of the hiring process, from recruiting through extending an offer, is equitable. 

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How to recruit diverse candidates

Use these inclusive hiring practices and tips to recruit diverse candidates for your camp, after school program, and more.

  • Put your commitment to DEI in the forefront. When you write the job description (JD), include your organization’s commitment to hiring diverse candidates and creating inclusive and welcoming spaces for your staff, campers, and students in the JD. Use gender neutral language, avoid must-haves like degrees if they are not actually necessary, and be clear in your job titles and requirements.
  • Be transparent. Creating inclusive hiring practices and an equitable working environment requires being upfront and honest about salary, benefits, upward mobility, learning opportunities, and all of the important information from the beginning. 
  • Look in new places. If you are looking to find diverse candidates for your children’s activity business, try searching on different sites and in different places. Check out your local college campuses, coffee shops, and other locations in the neighborhood to get a new and different set of applicants. You can also look on hiring websites like Indeed and LinkedIn.
  • Analyze your hiring process for DEI. Work with a consultant or do research on your own to ensure that your hiring process is optimized for diversity, equity, and inclusion. When diverse candidates apply, you want to make sure that your interview process is equitable and inclusive so that they feel comfortable and supported from the beginning.
  • Ask for referrals from within. One of the best ways to recruit new staff members is to ask your existing staff for referrals. You can even include an internal referral bonus or other incentives to encourage your staff to reach out to their community and help find new team members.

Hiring for your business is not an easy feat. But, we know that when you take the time to utilize inclusive hiring practices and ensure your staff and students feel safe, comfortable, and welcomed, you will see the difference.

If you are looking for more support with hiring and running your business, like questions to ask during camp counselor interviews or how to retain employees, we’ve got you covered. And if you are ready to start a kids camp and run it successfully, the team at Sawyer is here to support you! We have the best camp registration and management software, which helps hundreds of camps across the country save time on admin so they can spend more time changing the lives of their campers. 

With our suite of tools, like custom forms to record allergies and t-shirt sizes, flexible payment options like gift cards and installment plans, and seamless scheduling and registration on any device, Sawyer saves business owners 28 hours per month. If you are ready to spend less time on admin and more time doing more of what you love, see how Sawyer can help with a free trial or demo.

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