Luke Taylor of The Pest Company shares his insights into how to hire the best people for the job.

Even after 16 years in the industry Luke Taylor, a qualified termite and pest management technician from The Pest Company, believes he continues to need all the tools available to keep ahead of competition.

Mr Taylor has recently completed a Graduate Diploma in Management and is on his way to obtaining a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Although a firm believer in the value of formal training, Mr Taylor believes it is the combination of learnings and experience, along with strong leadership that drives a successful business.

“Although size of business should not in itself be a measure of whether a business is successful, if increasing the size of your business is one of your objectives, having a robust recruitment process and keeping employees happy is key to supporting a successful growing company,” said Mr Taylor.

Mr Taylor was keen to pass on some of his learnings, not only from his own experience but also having recently completed a course in strategic human resources.

“It is important that your recruitment process and selection policy is designed to engage the right people to fit your business culture, not anyone else’s. For us at The Pest Company, reliable and trusted are the key attributes we look for in employees. In addition, the correct attitude is a higher priority than experience, as with the right attitude people seem to align with our goals and exceed performance on most occasions.

“In the past, I have wasted many hours and lost many customers through employing too fast and not identifying the key criteria required to fulfil the position and this may not be the fault of the technician either. Calling references is a must, alongside ensuring at least two face to face interviews are carried out prior to selection. If in doubt engage a professional human resource specialist.

“Finding good quality technicians is certainly a challenge for the industry, which is why taking your time over recruitment is critical. I believe this industry deserves more recognition for the service it provides. This is not a labouring job – not only do we protect families from pests and disease but our inspections and advice can prevent serious financial issues, which can occur with a termite attack or buying a new property with timber pest issues.

“For me, it is important to have technicians who want to take responsibility for the job at hand, but it’s important that we train passionate people, to help lift the industry to a higher level. As we know, this industry attracts people from many walks of life. This shouldn’t be a barrier to success, the right attitude and willingness to learn goes a long way,” said Mr Taylor.

At present, Mr Taylor is very happy with the team he has pulled together, but he is very aware that to keep his team content, employee satisfaction is key.

“Employee satisfaction starts from the recruitment process. Your job advert should clearly state what you are looking for in terms of skill set and qualifications, but should also set the expectations of the attitude and behaviours required to meet the company culture. Getting this right up front, will help minimise your interviewing process, ensuring the selection process is a whole lot simpler. Setting performance targets from the recruitment stage, will help identify the right fit and manage expectations when they join.

“Once they join your company, you need to deliver on your side of the bargain – give them what you said you would offer, and no less. When an employee turns up for employment, they must know what the company stands for and what is expected of them. Only by getting this right from the start, will you provide a good base for employee satisfaction.

“As the employee develops in the business, providing opportunities for engaging in further education and training in a team environment, along with recognition of a job well done, will all enhance employee satisfaction.

“Ultimately a content, engaged employee is more likely to go the extra mile that leads to customer satisfaction, and a happy customer is good for business!”