By Karl Kisner, VP Marketing, Environmental Sciences & Agriculture
Recruiting and retaining top talent is a struggle for the pest management industry as a whole. Pest management professionals share the pain in keeping their current employees happy and engaged, while expanding their business with new skilled talent.
It’s predicted by 2020 more than 50 percent of the workforce will comprise Millennials, also known as Gen Y. Transitioning into the largest working generation, Gen Y is drastically changing the ways our customers do business, most importantly recruiting and retaining top talent. Mastering the needs of this working generation will greatly influence your success.
As a service provider of pest control, your most important assets are your employees. Employees often provide the first representation of your brand. They have the potential to enhance it through great customer service and technical competency establishing credibility and long-lasting customer relationships. Across the board, the stakes for hiring and retaining talent from this younger generation couldn’t be higher.
I’ve worked alongside pest control companies across North America and can attest to the trends that are helping companies overcome these talent gaps:
Attraction to the Industry: As an industry, there’s the opportunity to better communicate the benefits of working in pest control and how to access the resources necessary to get started. Through social platforms including Facebook and LinkedIn, we can share insights and recruit talent that may be unaware of the industry’s opportunities and career paths. Spreading awareness is key to gaining attraction! Certainly as an industry we all share the responsibility to support organizations like NPMA who act as advocates on our behalf. What are things that can be done locally to attract and draw talent?
Collaborative Culture: Gen Y wants to work in a collaborative culture where they feel they are making a difference. Retain your current Millennials by inviting them to share new ideas for the business. By taking interest in their needs and valuing their opinions, it will allow your business to function in new ways and also allow your employees to thrive.
Plan for Success: Taking part in your employees’ success goes a long way. Whether it’s mapping out a career path or helping them develop new skills, Millennials alike want to know there is opportunity for growth. Many businesses implement monthly trainings like ProTraining online, to keep employees challenged and engaged.
Keep it in the family: Like many successful entrepreneurs, some pest control owners have the pride of being multi-generational. A stair-step process of slowly growing involvement and responsibility for new-to-the-workforce family members (even for a summer) teaches invaluable lessons, provides an appreciation for the work and can build an affinity for the industry.
Today’s Millennials are tomorrow’s next business owners, leaders, and entrepreneurs. Catering to the changes of this generation will enable your business to succeed in the long-run. Times are changing, and it’s our responsibility to keep up!