“Finding good employees” is at the top of almost every pest management professional’s list of most challenging aspects of running a business. As companies grow or as employees come and go, some owners and managers may have days when they believe that all they do is hire and train new employees.
Don’t expect things to dramatically improve in the next 10 years—in fact, be ready for an increased need to find new talent. With 10,000 Baby Boomers turning 65 each day—a trend that started in 2011 and will continue until 2030—the tidal wave of turnover that companies in all industries will experience has been called the “silver tsunami.”Display footnote number:1
“In the pest control industry, we expect employment to continue growing at a rate of 7%, compared to 5% growth in other industries, but we also expect about 50% of skilled trades employees to retire in the next 10 to 15 years,” says Justin McCauley, CEO, McCauley Services and NPMA President-Elect. “The growth, along with retirement of long-time employees, means that we will be competing with other industries, such as construction and HVAC, to attract and hire people who want a career as a skilled technician.”
The recently launched workforce website, PestControlJobs.com, is part of the National Pest Management Association’s national initiative to highlight pest control as a viable and desirable industry with many job opportunities and career paths. The potential-employee-facing site includes articles and information about the industry, descriptions of career opportunities and real-life success stories from pest control professionals.
“Our goal is to create a pipeline of talent for the entire industry by promoting pest management as an essential industry with professionals who are proud of the work we do,” says McCauley, whose company is part of the NPMA Founders Club, a group of companies that have pledged a five-year monetary donation to the NPMA Workforce Development Initiative. “We protect people, food and products—what we do is important to everyone.”
It is important to continue telling the industry’s story, says McCauley. “It’s like college football recruitment—coaches are constantly looking for upcoming talent and talking to those players to explain why their schools offer the most opportunity. We have to make sure our story reaches people looking for a long-lasting, rewarding career.”
A key component of the workforce initiative is a jobs’ board that provides a central, pest industry focused place for companies to list jobs and for applicants to submit applications. But the website is more than just a jobs board, points out AJ Treleven, director of operations at Sprague Pest Solutions. “The site gives us a place to tell our story as well and to show that our industry is similar to other trades in that we have to be licensed, trained and insured, and to have a mastery of craft,” he says. This mastery includes a thorough understanding of regulations governing the industry for residential and commercial customers, he adds.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
The best way to support NPMA’s Workforce Development Initiative is to regularly post jobs and accept applications on the job board at Careers.PestControlJobs.com.
“We can build momentum with more companies posting jobs because applicants will begin using the website for their job search if there is a wide range of jobs available in all areas,” says AJ Treleven, director of operations at Sprague Pest Solutions. “If someone comes to the site looking for a job in Florida, but there are only jobs listed in Oregon or another state, then they won’t come back to check for jobs in the future.” If, however, there are a lot of companies listing jobs in all states and multiple areas in a state, the potential applicant will see the NPMA site as a valuable resource, he adds.
All pest control companies located in the U.S. and Canada that are members of NPMA will receive one free 60-day job listing per year. Companies who pledge a monetary donation to join the Founders Club and Patrons Club receive exclusive access to hiring toolkits, recruitment resources, complimentary job postings and special recognition at NPMA events. Learn more about how you can get involved at NPMAWorkforce.com.
“Few children say that they want to grow up and become a pest management professional, so we need to demonstrate why this is a great industry for a career,” points out Trevelen. Even though he is the fourth generation in his family’s pest management company, he admits saying that he would never go into the family business when he was younger. “After college, I spent two years working at another organization in a different industry,” he says. “I had no idea what we had in our family business and the industry in terms of culture and opportunities until I had experience somewhere else.”
Sprague has pledged its support for the workforce initiative and is posting on the job board because he believes in the mission of the industry. Treleven says, “Supporting this effort will improve the image of the industry and the pipeline of future employees for everyone in the industry—a rising tide raises all ships.”
BY SHERYL S. JACKSON
As of 3/23/2021
ABC Home & Commercial Services of DFW
ABC Home & Commercial Services of Austin
Abell Pest Control Inc. (Canada)
Adam’s Pest Control
All-American Pest Control, Inc.
Arrow Exterminators Certus Pest, Inc.
Cook’s Pest Control
Edge Pest Control
Lloyd Pest & Termite Control
Pest Management Systems, Inc.
Plunkett’s Pest Control Rentokil NA Rollins, Inc.
Rose Pest Solutions (IL)
Rose Pest Solutions (MI)
Rottler Pest and Lawn Solutions
Sprague Pest Solutions
Terminix Service (SC)
Terminix Triad (NC)
1. Hirsch AS. 4 Ways for HR to Overcome Aging Workforce Issues. Society for Human Resource Management, October 11, 2017. https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/behavioral-competencies/global-and-cultural-effectiveness/pages/4-ways-for-hr-to-overcome-aging-workforce-issues.aspx