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Tips on how to find the right workers and keep them on staff

By Kate Rabe

Crew of pool professionals maintaining a pool.
Employee retention is all the buzz these days in the pool and hot tub industry—and rightfully so.

Some professionals looking for employment in the pool and hot tub industry often contemplate taking training programs, but do not simply because he/she does not have the time. At the same rate, many employers in the industry find they are hiring for the same positions year after year, season after season. That said, there is a way to put an end to this viscous cycle. Employee retention is all the buzz these days in the pool and hot tub industry—and rightfully so. Today, many businesses are finding employee turnover averages around 20 per cent and, when the average cost of turnover is considered, the subject is worth its weight in gold.

In fact, according to U.S. Department of Labor, turnover can cost an organization 33 per cent of an employee’s total compensation (salary and benefits combined). According to a 2015 report by the Human Resources Institute of Alberta (HRIA), employee turnover costs can range from $13,000 to $20,000 per staff member, depending on the size of the organization.

Making smart hiring decisions

Where does an employer begin to be sure it does not become part of these statistics? It all starts in the hiring process; therefore, it is vital to have a process in place. Calling a potential candidate and hiring them because he/she sounds nice over the phone or meeting them in the parking lot on the way to a jobsite and hiring them just because the crew may be short that day is not exactly a ‘process.’ Interview procedures should be detailed and have a systematic approach to ensure it is thorough and consistent when hiring for any position in the company.

Classified ad in the newspaper.
Before an employer posts an opening in the newspaper or on an employment website, a job description should be written for the precise position.

Before an employer posts an opening in the newspaper or on an employment website, a job description should be written for the precise position. This will be extremely helpful when it comes to listing the job expectations. Include all general information (e.g. job title, the reporting relationship, hours to be expected, and the likelihood of overtime or weekend hours, etc.). The listing should also contain the summary objective of the job, what the general responsibilities are, key tasks, description of the key tasks, relationships with customers, co-workers, and others, as well as what results are expected from that position.

Also include the candidate’s necessary qualifications, such as education, training, technical skills, and any other experience required for the job. Finally, list the special demands or extraordinary conditions of the job (e.g. heavy lifting, temperature extremes, prolonged standing, travel, etc.).

After the above is outlined, employers can move on to the real fundamentals of the employment listing. This includes the job duties, tasks, and responsibilities for the position. Ninety to 95 per cent of the work (in order of importance) that needs to be accomplished on a regular basis should be listed, with emphasis placed on what jobs must be done rather than how they will be done (leave that to the training manual).

Once the job posting is complete and the employer is satisfied with the description, it can then be analyzed. Many employers in the pool and hot tub industry find themselves posting the opening and hoping for the best. To avoid this, it is a good idea to come up with a formula to make the posting more efficient and effective. This formula should be followed not only when looking to fill a ‘key position’ within the company, but also when hiring for any opening.

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