Pest control has always been a highly competitive industry when it comes to staffing, with different companies within the same region often looking to hire from an overlapping pool of qualified technicians. Staffing remains a crucial concern for pest control companies amid the ongoing labor shortage, with many PCOs considering hiring and retaining staff to be their top concern.

Many PCOs have encountered unique staffing challenges in the past couple of years as a result of different states taking different approaches to managing the pandemic. While most states recognized pest control as an essential industry, many instituted restrictions on issuing new licenses to technicians.

Many technicians also encountered issues in renewing their licenses due to an inability to meet in-person training hour requirements amidst restrictions governing whether group courses and other gatherings could be held. Even those who were able to fulfill the requirements were still faced with delays due to backlogs in processing applications and renewals due to staffing issues. The result was an even smaller pool of potential technicians to hire from, leading to fierce competition between pest control companies to attract and retain technicians.

With many PCOs, considering staffing to be among their biggest challenges due to the residual impact of the pandemic and the ongoing labor shortage, it stands to reason that improving team building is a top goal for many pest control businesses moving forward. In a recent survey of pest professionals, employee development and recruiting new employees were listed as top goals by 40% of respondents, painting a very clear picture when combined with the challenges PCOs are facing: they know that employee recruitment and development are stumbling blocks, and they want to take the right steps to improve how they build, train and strengthen their teams.

Building a Better Balance for Your Employees

When it comes to creating an environment that not only attracts quality technicians but also encourages them to stay on board, bringing traditional, straightforward ideas together with more innovative approaches can yield the desired results.

Getting new technicians in the door can be challenging in an industry that competes for quality employees, which means you should anticipate allowing for increases in new employee costs. Whether this takes the form of more competitive starting wages or signing bonuses, financial compensation will always land among the top ways to recruit new technicians. Paying your technicians more is far from the only way to bring on and retain new employees, however.

Aside from attractive compensation, consider the average workday of one of your technicians and how it can be improved. Investing in updating your equipment, from trucks and sprayers to software and electronic devices, can alleviate many of the common headaches your technicians encounter each day. As a result, your technicians will be happier at work and, in addition to being less likely to depart for greener pastures, may even find themselves spreading the word to other qualified technicians they know. You work hard to satisfy your customers so your business can earn better online reviews and more word-of-mouth referrals, and the same is true when it comes to your employees.

Training and opportunities for advancement matter for your technicians, as well. Familiarizing yourself with your employees’ strengths and goals can provide opportunities that are mutually beneficial, allowing you to steer the right employees into training opportunities or open positions that allow for a better fit. Providing technicians with opportunities to learn new skills shows them that they’re valued, allows them to grow, and can broaden the services you provide to your customers. The result is a situation that benefits your technicians, your customers, and your business overall by reducing employee turnover and customer churn simultaneously.

By taking a multi-faceted approach to finding and retaining quality technicians, from compensation and recognition to improving their everyday routines, modern pest control businesses can build stronger teams that operate efficiently, leave customers happy, and support future recurring revenue. To learn how PestPac can give your technicians everything they need to service your customers and have a smoother, more fulfilling workday, click here.

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Paula joined the Marketing team at WorkWave in April 2019. She is currently the Director Product Marketing - Pest, managing all aspects of the product marketing life cycle including campaign development, messaging, promotions, and market research for PestPac, Coalmarch and WorkWave Marketing products. She is dedicated to working closely with the Product, Sales, and other Marketing team members to ensure go-to-market plans and product adoption.