In today’s job environment, competition for top pest control professionals can be steep. Many companies offer appealing compensation and benefits packages to attract and keep the best candidates. It’s a step in the right direction, but not necessarily enough. To build a strong team of exceptional professionals who will stay with your company for the long-term—instead of leaving within the first year or two, which is often the case in the pest control industry—companies will need to become more creative. Below are four less-obvious tips for recruiting and retaining the industry’s top talent.
1.Don’t make pest control experience a requirement
Many companies require that candidates for technical jobs have pest control experience. We have found that candidates with any kind of service experience—as well as excellent customer service skills and the ability to work independently, with minimal supervision—could be just as qualified. In fact, when hiring candidates without pest control experience, you have the opportunity to train new technicians with the techniques and procedures your company prefers. In some cases, experienced technicians may have developed bad habits or service shortcuts that will affect their job performance.
2. Foster flexibility to please millennials
With this younger generation focused on striking a work-life balance, pest control companies need to reconsider their approach to managing Millennials. Dictating they work from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. weekdays plus two Saturdays a month, for example, will not create an attractive work environment for this group. Taking a bottom-up approach that involves them in how they spend their time is critical.
Of course, pest control is a production-oriented business, and the work needs to get done. But instead of assigning rigid schedules, consider setting goals and deadlines, and then allow the employee to manage how he or she meets them. Where possible, employee involvement in company decisions that impact their personal lives will create a deeper sense of value for the employee, which creates stronger company loyalty.
By Karen Madden, Vice President of Human Resources, Environmental Pest Service