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Total Pest Control Hiring Guide for Getting Techs

Published on December 13, 2023

In the midst of a labor shortage, pest control hiring can seem challenging but it’s still possible to find the best local techs using the right expert strategies.

Using this total pest control hiring guide, you’ll learn how to:

  • Know when it’s time to hire
  • Find the ideal traits in candidates
  • Leverage expert interview strategies
  • Use compelling ads to attract the right candidates
  • Offer attractive compensation and benefits to keep great techs

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Know When It’s Time to Start Pest Control Hiring

Wondering if it’s the right time to step up your pest control hiring efforts?

Ask yourself these questions: 

  1. Are you growing fast enough to need another full-time tech?
    • If your techs are constantly overworked, then it’s time to start hiring.
  2. Do you have enough resources to properly train a new technician?
    • Despite their experience level, ALL techs require some form of company training. Make sure that your business can handle the short-term profit loss that comes with training.
  3. Do you have a new pest control hiring process in place?
    • Pest control hiring procedures must be in place before hiring can happen - onboarding documentation, training schedule, and more!

Additionally, you’ll need to be prepared to:

Where to Find the Best Techs

When it comes to pest control hiring, finding the right tech can be the biggest obstacle.

However, in any service industry, you have to market your business to new employees by:

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Organic and Paid Social Media for Pest Control Hiring

While you can use organic social media posts to find new hires, you’re more likely to reach the right candidates using paid ads (e.g. Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, etc.). 

The quickest results will likely come from Facebook, and the latest estimates show there are nearly 3 billion active monthly users. 

Facebook's extensive reach is what makes this platform so lucrative for ads. Plus, you can directly target who you want to reach.

In addition, you have the option to pay on a CPC basis (i.e. Cost Per Click). 

In other words, even if your ads are reaching 10,000 people, you’ll only pay for the ones that actually click on your ad.

Here’s an example of a great Facebook Ad for Pest Control:

“Looking for a rewarding career to serve your community? We offer bonuses, paid vacations, and more at XYZ Pest Control.

Whether you are an experienced technician or just getting started, we’d love to get to know you! Fill out our contact form to learn more.”

Online Pest Control Hiring Ads

When it comes to online ads, you have several different options. Depending on your budget, you can place ads in newspapers, general websites, and/or job recruiter sites.

Here are a few platforms to check out for job postings and ad placements:

These job postings and ads are great because you’re reaching those who are actively job-seeking.

Due to a lower reach of people, the main negative is that online ads might potentially take a little longer. 

However, you're more likely to reach more qualified candidates.

Pest Control Hiring Tips for Finding the Right Technicians

After making some job postings and ads, you’ve seen some applications trickle in.

This means you’re ready to begin interviewing candidates!

Here’s how to filter out the most ideal candidates for the position:

1.  Pre-Screen Candidates

Start by doing a pre-screening phone interview before you schedule an in-person interview. 

Here are a few questions you can ask on the call:

  • “What jobs have you done in the past?”
  • “What kind of experience do you have?”
  • “Are you licensed to work in pest control?”
  • “Why do you think you’re a good fit for pest control?”
  • “What would you bring to our pest control business?”

When you call, pay attention to your gut. 

If your gut tells you something is off, it’s usually right.

If they pass the pre-screening, then schedule an onsite interview at your office.

2. Conduct an In-person, Onsite Interview

The in-person interview is where you can ask some more in-depth questions, like: 

  • “Why do you want to leave your current job?”
  • “What types of chemicals (or equipment) have you worked with, and for how long?”
  • “Tell me about a time you had a challenging pest issue - how did you solve it?”
  • “Why are you excited to work for my company?”
  • “What would you bring to our business?”
  • “Have you ever had a situation where a customer was wrong or upset at you? How did you handle it?”
  • “What makes you different from others applying for this position?”
  • “Can you drive a manual transmission?” (if your company has manual transmission trucks!) 
  • “Pitch me an upsell on a pest control service.”
  • “Are you legally allowed to work in the United States, or do you need a visa?”
  • “Could you give me some references?” (2 previous jobs, 2 personal)

Also, pay attention to the candidate’s behavior:

  • Are they punctual for the interview?
  • Do they have a professional, respectful attitude?
  • Do they have the experience you're looking for in pest control?
  • What is their body language?

In addition, look out for red flags when doing pest control hiring:

  • Are they looking to make a quick buck?
  • Are you hiring them because you feel bad for them (remember, you're running a business)?

Pay Your Technicians What They Deserve

Don’t get caught in the trap of hiring cheap labor, which only results in a lesser quality of work.

If you adequately compensate techs, they’re more likely to stay satisfied in your pest control business and you’ll have happier clients.

Ultimately that means you can charge premium prices for your services.

Here's how to pay your technicians what they're worth:

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How to Keep Top Local Talent

Every time you lose one of your star technicians to a competitor, you’re not just losing a prized employee, you’re also losing:

  • Team morale
  • Their experience
  • The time and resources spent training them
  • Your business plans and practices to the competition

Here’s how to get your best techs to stick around:

  • Build a reputation for high-quality pest control services
  • Reward your team's loyalty with annual promotions, pay raises, and bonuses
  • Offer compelling perks and unique benefits they can't get anywhere else
  • Cultivate a healthy company culture (e.g. company lunches, team-building events, company volunteering, team cookouts, etc.)
  • Give your team clear career paths with career goals and development opportunities for long-term advancement and success
  • Send routine anonymous employee surveys to get their feedback on your business and you as an employer 

Do Non-Compete Clauses Work?

In most cases, non-compete clauses don’t work, and they’re incredibly difficult to enforce.

Plus, non-compete clauses have been proven to decrease employee performance because they’re unhappy and feel trapped.

Instead, have your new hires sign non-disclosure agreements.

This agreement will protect your business’s intellectual property (e.g. processes, client lists, routes, etc.).

How to Hire an Office Assistant

Hiring an office assistant can feel risky because they’ll never produce billable work. 

However, it’s absolutely necessary to hire one if you want to grow your pest control business.

For example, if you’re doing all the office work, you could be paying someone else to do the work for $15 an hour (hypothetical number).

Whereas, your time could be better spent on higher-value tasks with higher ROI (i.e. return on investment) like sales, marketing, and operational efficiencies

An office assistant would free up your time to:

  • Sell more work
  • Grow your client base
  • Build processes for future growth

Since your time in your business is likely worth more than $15 an hour, it’s important to delegate these lower-value tasks to someone else and they can help with:

  • Answering calls
  • Scheduling jobs
  • Following up with client accounts
  • Managing tasks

These are the qualities you need to look for:

  • Punctual
  • Organized
  • Friendly and personable (especially on the phone)
  • Tech-savvy (must be able to operate your pest control software)

Also, get in the habit of having quick daily chats to ask them questions like:

  1. What did you get done today?
  2. What do you need help with?
  3. Did you have any challenges today?
  4. What do you need to get done tomorrow?

Having a mutual understanding between you and your office assistant ensures your daily office operations are smooth sailing.

Know When It’s Time to Fire a Technician

Think about your WORST technician.

These are the techs who:

  • Create issues with clients
  • Consistently render subpar services
  • Regularly call in sick or show up to the office (or jobs) late
  • Are rude or inconsiderate to others on the team

These types of techs are costing your pest control business money, and that’s a consequence your business can’t afford.

Do They Cost More Than They Make?

No matter the reason, when an employee does any of the following things, it’s time to let them go:

  • Bad-mouthing clients or coworkers
  • Causing issues with clients (sometimes causing them to fire you)
  • Continuously making mistakes on the job with zero signs of improvement

How to Handle This Sticky Situation

If your bad employee continues to trend from bad to worse, then it's time to take a few steps in handling this challenging situation:

  1. Talk to the employee in question to find out what's wrong. You might be able to save them.
  2. Find out if it's a training problem. Some of the worst employees can make a complete turnaround after retraining.
  3. Give them clear, achievable goals with deadlines. In turn, you'll have a mutual understanding of expectations.

Always make sure you track the employee’s performance—before, during, and after your initial meeting.

Remember, you’ll need detailed records as proof if you choose to terminate the employee.

Write down notes about conversations you have and keep a record of any customer complaints.

Finally, if you’ve tried to improve the situation and the employee’s actions just aren’t getting better, then it’s time to let them go.

As you fire them, be respectful but firm.

Always remember, even though firing someone is difficult, it’s often what’s best for your business and everyone in it in the long run.

What to Do if ALL of Your Techs Are Bad

You’ve been there. Done that. Tried it all. Nothing works. Even worse, it feels as though ALL of your employees are bad.

In this scenario, the previous steps won't work because firing all of your employees at once is going to cost your business too much money.

Additionally, if ALL of your employees are underperforming, then it’s likely something systematically wrong with your business itself.

In this instance, you’ll want to re-evaluate two systematic elements in your business:

  1. Hiring practices: Do you have the right expectations? Are you asking the right interview questions? Have you required the proper credentials?
  2. Training practices: Are you giving employees enough time for training? Have you been properly training them? Are you giving your team the right resources to become great team players?

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Use This Complete Pest Control Hiring Guide to Attract Top Local Talent

While hiring pest control techs can be tough, it doesn’t have to be.

When you start taking advantage of the top strategies in this ultimate pest control hiring guide, you can start finding the perfect employees… FAST.

In addition, as you become more skilled with interviewing and hiring, you’ll gradually get the hang of the pest control hiring process.

At last, you have everything you need to be a pro at pest control hiring. 

Use these top expert pest control hiring strategies to beat the competition and hire the leading top talent in your area now!


Related: 5 Emerging Pest Control Industry Trends in 2024


Originally published Sept 6, 2019, updated Aug 31, 2021 9:41 AM updated on Dec 13, 2023 at 2:02 PM

Alyssa Sanders

Alyssa is the Team Lead of Creative Marketing at Xplor Field Services. When she's not writing or creating content, you can find her watching a new sci-fi series or shoving her nose into a book.
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