There is no doubt that it has been a challenging couple of years for the pool industry. Not only have we been dealing with an increased demand for our services, the likes of which not seen before, but we are also experiencing extreme product and chemical shortages.
While pool professionals have faced these complexities head-on, the human resource side of our business has not been front of mind or demanded as much attention as it does now.
This past year has seen the occurrence of the “Great Resignation.” More people have resigned from their jobs, flat out quit, not shown up or walked off the job mid-shift than ever before. These employee responses are big red flags that the workforce is changing.
All companies of various types, sizes and revenue levels have had to offer sign-on or retention bonuses and increase their base pay just to be able to attract and retain employees. We have even seen fast-food restaurants provide several thousand dollars in sign-on bonuses.
On the Pool Nation Podcast, my co-host Zac Nicklas from the Pool Boys, said, “We actually had two incidents where we had done interviews, made offers and began the onboarding process only to have them attempt to renegotiate the terms of their employment. When we stayed firm on our original offer, they stood up, said thank you for your time and walked out of the building. Finding candidates has been very difficult for us.”
With the great resignation, pool companies now compete with several industries to hire in a tough labor market. They quickly realize they must hire more people to compensate for high attrition rates. Further, they have learned how important the human resource side of their business is. Becoming an employer of choice is more critical and challenging than ever. Pool businesses have had to start educating themselves and sharpening their skills to compete in this area of their business.
Human resources have become one of the essential parts of any organization. Companies, owners and leaders must possess the skills to hire the right people. Your employees are your most important asset. It is where you invest the bulk of your time, money and resources. We all must understand the importance of recognition, motivation and engagement to stay relevant in today’s job market.