By: Brandon Grover (CEO & Founder of Sage Pest Control and Founder of Briostack
Everywhere I go in the pest control industry, people are talking about the tight labor market and how it’s become their biggest challenge. The “Great Resignation” was one of the top stories from 2021 as a record number of workers quit their jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, an average of 3.95 million people voluntarily quit their jobs every month in 2021. That number represented 3% of the work force quitting every month, meaning about one-third of the entire work force voluntarily quit in 2021.
Even more alarming, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported that the monthly quit rate for the service industries was 6.4% per month, meaning about two-thirds of the entire services work force voluntarily quit in 2021. Unfortunately, the pest control industry has always had historically high turnover, especially when it comes to technicians. Most pest control companies retain only about 40% of their technicians each year.
While COVID certainly had an impact on the “Great Resignation,” Bill Conerly, an economist who writes for Forbes, recently wrote about how the tight labor market has more to do with supply and demand. According to Census Bureau figures, the pool of incoming, new workers available is now growing at the slowest rate since the Civil War. Boomers are retiring and millennials are mostly of working age, and their generation was followed by a record number of low births. The underlying challenge is lots of people are aging out of the workforce with very few coming into the workforce.
In other words, today’s tight labor market is not a blip on the radar. If you’ve been thinking this storm will pass, you’re setting yourself and your company up for failure. These trends underscore the critical importance of making sure your company is very good at recruiting, hiring, and retaining good people.
So how do you get ahead of these challenges? Here are 10 helpful steps:
Aristotle said, “Pleasure in the Job puts perfection in the work.” Enjoyment or pleasure at work comes in large measure from feeling connected, having purpose, and realizing you are doing well. Hopefully, some of these ideas will lead to improvements in your business or spark other ideas that will be helpful. These types of initiatives take time. Be patient but be persistent. The Great Resignation and the constricting pool of incoming, new workers are leading to the tightest labor market we’ve ever seen, with no end in sight. Your efforts to improve your employee journey might well be the single most defining element of your company’s future success. Good luck and keep on keepin’ on.