Customers are more likely to do business with a company they trust. Teams are more efficient when working with people they can trust. One of the ways that companies prove they are trustworthy to customers and employees alike is to earn credentials from a third-party organization. QualityPro sets the standards of excellence for professional pest management companies and their employees through education, training and certification, providing consumers protection and confidence when selecting a nationally accredited company.
Customers and trust
According to a Concerto Marketing Group and Research Now survey, when customers trust a brand, 83 percent will recommend a trusted company to others and 82 percent will continue to use that brand frequently.1 One of the ways a company can earn a customer’s trust is to utilize earned credentials in sales and marketing. QualityPro accredited companies meet industry standards that ensure employers check references, conduct criminal background checks, do drug screens and get a motor vehicle report for every new hire. In addition, every sales and service representative from the accredited company must pass a national exam that verifies the individual’s knowledge of pests, pest control techniques and customer service. QualityPro accredited companies have policies and procedures in place that ensure their teams are qualified for the job.
Employees and trust
For decades, Great Place to Work® has shown the immense impact that a high-trust culture has on employee experience across all generations. No matter their age, employees tend to be more productive and engaged when they feel pride in their work, experience camaraderie with teammates, and work in an environment defined by trusting relationships.2 Employers have the responsibility of using a hiring process that screens new employees carefully. Companies that follow the latest version of the QualityPro standards can rest assured that their hiring process is calibrated to the industry’s best practices.
The steps for hiring an employee are:
1. Have prospective employees complete an application.* (QualityPro Standard 1:1)
Reject incomplete applications. The person didn’t finish the first task they were asked to complete. Employers are to keep the application on-hand throughout the hiring process to ensure what the prospective employee wrote down matches their interview responses and the results of the reports obtained. This is an essential step for hiring a trustworthy employee.
This is also the time for the company to begin to gain the potential employee’s trust. Be transparent about the hiring process. Let applicants know that every employee goes through a hiring process that complies with the QualityPro accreditation standards. The process will include an interview, reference checks, drug testing, motor vehicle records and a criminal background check. In addition to building trust through transparency, this allows the candidate to self-select and withdraw their application early in the process, which saves everyone time and money.
2. Bring qualified applicants in for an interview.* (QualityPro Standard 1:2)
Their timeliness is a sign of professionalism and trustworthiness—two characteristics that customers will expect of their pest management professional.
3. Have the prospective employee sign a Reference Check Form* and then check the references that were listed on the application. (QualityPro Standard 1:3)
One of the 15 questions on the QualityPro Reference Check Form is “On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being most trustworthy, how would you rate this person in terms of trustworthiness?” Other questions ask about an individual’s professionalism and ability to work with managers, coworkers and customers. The anecdotes shared by past employers should increase confidence that the candidate would be a strong addition to the team.
4. Make a conditional job offer.
Conditions include the findings of reports on criminal history, motor vehicle records and drug tests.
5. Obtain a criminal history report from a Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)-compliant company, run a MVR search and do drug tests.
Based on results in the context of the job description, make an employment decision. (QualityPro Standards 1:4-6)
If the candidate is hired, he or she joins a team of professionals who went through the same rigorous hiring process—a trustworthy team.
Hiring trustworthy people is an essential part of building a culture of trust, but it is just one part. To earn and maintain QualityPro accreditation, a company must hire right, train right, take care of their customers and take care of employees. QualityPro audits 10 percent of accredited companies each year to ensure compliance. Less than 3 percent of pest control companies in the U.S. and Canada have earned this prestigious credential. QualityPro is a brand that companies can use to prove their professionalism to new talent, employees and customers alike.
Allison Allen is the executive director of QualityPro. View the QualityPro Accreditation standards and learn about certifications for your services at www.npmaqualitypro.org.