Pool Hiring Guide: How to Hire the Best Techs

Published on April 9, 2024

As your business grows, inevitably you’ll need to hire more employees, and that’s why we’ve put together this pool hiring guide for you.

In this guide, you’ll find out everything you need to know about pool hiring, including:

  • When it’s time to hire
  • How to hire the right employees
  • The best ways to keep your best techs
  • When and how to fire your worst employees
  • How to hire the best office assistant for your business

By the end of this complete guide, you’ll have the power to become a pool hiring pro. Start finding and hiring the best pool service employees for your business today!

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Pool Service Hiring: When It’s Time to Hire

By far, the main key to pool hiring is knowing when it’s time to grow your team.

Use these pool hiring questions to help you determine when it’s the right time for you… 

1. Is your pool service business growing fast enough to sustain full-time employees?

When you feel like you’re consistently swamped, then it’s time to hire a full-time employee.

2. Do you have enough time and resources to properly train your new employees?

Before you consider hiring a new employee, you need to have enough time and resources to properly train them to be an amazing addition to your team.

3. Are your clients happy with your pool services?

If you don’t know how to make your pool cleaning clients happy, then you can’t properly train your new hires.

4. Can your pool service business manage a short-term profit loss?

Since new employees won’t start out with 100% efficiency, you’ll need to be able to handle a short-term profit loss until they can become an efficient worker.

5. Do you have a pool hiring process in place?

Before you can consider hiring new pool techs, you need a process in place for new hires. 

You’ll have to be ready to:

  • Manage a new employee
  • Put them on payroll
  • Fulfill federal and state legal requirements

If you’ve answered a resounding “YES” to these questions, then you know it’s time to hire a new pool service employee.

How to Find the Best Pool Techs

Now, you know it’s time to hire a new pool technician, so let’s talk about the best strategies you can use to find them.

1. Utilize the Best Pool Marketing Strategies

Just like you utilize marketing to find new clients, you’ll also use marketing to grow your team.

In order to find great pool techs, it’s important to exude the presence of a professional, trustworthy, reliable employer with strategies like:

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2. Take Advantage of Advertising Open Job Positions

By far, Google Ads and Meta Ads are one of the most effective ways to quickly and drastically increase the number of qualified candidates applying for the job.

However, it’s important you know what you’re doing before you take advantage of these effective tools.

3. Ask Your Vendors for Referrals

Generally, your vendors know everyone in your area with experience in the pool service industry.

In other words, your vendors are an excellent networking tool for finding skilled pool service technicians looking for jobs in your area.

Get to know your vendors and ask for referrals whenever you’re looking to fill a pool service technician position

4. Get Referrals from Your Best Employees, Friends, Family, and Social Media

Your best employees, friends, and family can be a reliable way to get trustworthy referrals. 

After all, these referrals are free, effective, and they can help you to find candidates in your local area.

Consider posting something on your personal social media that your employees, friends, and family can share.

For instance, you could post something as simple as, “My company, XYZ Pool Service Business, is hiring. Share this post if you know anyone who might be interested and qualified for this position. We take care of our employees, and we always pay on time.”

How to Hire Your First Employee

First off, when you know it’s time to hire your first employee, you’ll need to make sure you follow the proper legal proceedings.

If you’re in the United States, then you’ll need to acquire an Employee Identification Number (i.e. EIN) from the IRS.

However, if you’re in Canada, then you’ll need to acquire a Social Insurance Number (i.e. SIN).

Once you have the proper legal procedures out of the way, you’re ready to interview your candidates.

Take a look at this quick, three-step process for interviewing new candidates:

1. Pre-Screen Your Candidates by Phone

When you pre-screen your best candidates over the phone, you can quickly eliminate the ones who don’t have the right personality or pool industry experience.

Plus, a phone screening is a great way to get a good feel of your candidate’s raw, unscripted personality by tossing in one or two curveball questions.

These are a few pre-screening questions you can ask your candidates on the phone:

  • What kind of experience do you have?
  • Are you licensed or certified to work in the pool industry?
  • What types of jobs have you done in the past?
  • Why do you think you’re a good fit for the pool service industry?
  • What would you bring to our business?

As you’re talking with your candidates, don’t forget to listen to your gut feeling. When in doubt, if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

2. Interview the Candidate In-Person

Now, your candidate has passed their phone interview pre-screening, and you’re ready to interview them in person!

Sometimes, candidates will have inconsistencies if they lied to try to get the job in their phone screening. 

For this reason, it’s a good idea to ask some of the same questions in your in-person interview as you did in your previous phone screening (plus some new questions too).

Here are a few questions to ask candidates:

  • Why do you want to leave your current job position?
  • What types of chemicals (or equipment) have you worked with and for how long?
  • Why are you excited to work for us?
  • What would you bring to our business?
  • In the past, how have you handled a situation where a client was wrong or upset you?
  • What makes you different from the other technicians applying for this job?
  • Can you drive a manual transmission?
  • Pitch me an upsell on a pool cleaning job.
  • Are you legal to work in the United States, or do you have/need a Visa?
  • Give me four references (e.g. two personal and two professional).

Also, as you conduct your in-person interview, you should be paying attention to what your candidate is not saying as much as they’re saying.

For instance, take notes on non-verbal cues, such as… 

  • Punctuality
    • Even though calls disconnect and interviews need to be rescheduled, if your candidate can’t show up on time for their scheduled interview, then it’s a good indicator that they won’t be a reliable employee. Make sure they show up on time.
  • Professional attitude
    • Your employees are a direct reflection of your pool business. Since they’ll be in communication with you, your clients, and existing employees, it’s important they present themselves with a professional attitude.
  • Experience in the pool service industry
    • When you’re first getting started, you don’t have the adequate time and resources to train someone with zero experience. If you’re new to the industry, find someone with experience in pool service. 

If your candidate passes both the verbal and non-verbal aspects of the interview, then you’re ready to consider whether the candidate is right for you.

3. Decide Whether the Candidate Is Right for You

Even though a candidate might seem perfect in theory, they might not be a good fit for your business.

Before deciding if someone is the right fit for your business, make sure you’re able to fulfill each other’s needs… 

  • Alignment of views on company culture
  • Unified goals and values
  • Career pathing opportunities

These things are important because you want to hire someone that’s going to grow with your business. 

As you’re deciding whether the candidate is right for you, these are a few signs you shouldn’t hire someone:

  • The candidate is looking to make a quick buck
  • You feel sorry for the candidate—never hire someone out of pity
  • They’re a family member or friend—they tend to be too entitled and often expect nepotism

Always remember, that you’re running a business whose sole purpose is to earn sustainable profit for successful growth.

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How to Attract and Keep the Best Technicians

You’ve found the perfect candidate for your pool service business. Now, let’s talk about how to attract and keep the best tech. 

Should You Make Your Pool Service Employees Sign a Non-Compete Clause?

Before we get started, let’s talk about non-compete clauses.

You might have heard of some business owners requiring employees to sign a non-compete clause.

These clauses are tough to enforce, can hurt employee performance, and can turn away great employees.

Rather than forcing your pool technicians to give up on their dreams of starting a business, consider asking them to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

A non-disclosure agreement will protect all of your pool cleaning business’ intellectual property, such as:

  • Processes
  • Client lists
  • Routes and maps
  • Future plans and more

This way, you can protect your intellectual property without holding back great, ambitious techs.

5 Ways to Attract Great Talent

By far, one of the best ways to attract great pool service technicians is by properly compensating them.

Here are a few ways you can properly pay your pool technicians and attract great candidates:

  1. Properly price your pool services for the most profit
  2. Pay above the average local wage
  3. Your goal should be to have your overhead (including your salary) make up about 15-30% of your sales
  4. Offer bonuses and raises for their consecutive years worked
  5. Adhere to Overtime Laws

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8 Expert Tips for Employee Retention

Every time you lose your top talent, you lose their experience, overall employee morale drops, and your plans can leak out to the competition.

For these reasons, it’s important you keep your best technicians.

In order to keep your best pool service technicians from getting poached, you need to find ways to keep them happy.

Use these top expert tips to keep your star employees:

  1. Attract quality employees by building a reputation for quality pool services.
  2. Reward employee loyalty by giving them raises and bonuses for staying with you year after year.
  3. Provide perks that no other pool service business will (e.g. free snacks, free coolers, PTO, etc.).
  4. Gift employees with a stake in your growth.
  5. Pay attention to talent. Whenever you see a pool tech at another business doing great work, give them your business card.
  6. Strive to provide a healthy company culture.
  7. Show your techs they can have a successful career path at your business.
  8. Listen and watch for unhappy employees. Then, work as hard as you can to keep your best employees.

When It’s Time to Fire Your Worst Employee

Problem employees are one of the biggest pains of owning a pool service business.

While this can be a difficult decision to make, you can use numbers to help make the decision a little easier.

By the way, when you use a robust pool service software, like Service Autopilot, you can utilize the employee management tools to gather the hard data you need.

Here’s how to deal with your worst pool service employee…

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Do They Cost More Than Their Wage?

When an employee stops caring about their job, they can cost you more than their wage.

Your worst employee can damage your pool service business by:

  • Badmouthing clients and coworkers
  • Scaring away great clients or making them angry
  • Producing poor quality of work with zero signs of improvement

Since this is a touchy subject, it’s important you remove emotion from the decision and mostly focus on the number to back up your decision.

How to Handle Your Worst Pool Service Employee

Usually, it’s best to first try to give your employee a chance to fix their issues before you fire them.

Here are a few steps you can take to start that process:

  1. Find out what’s wrong by talking to them. You might be able to save them.
  2. Determine if there’s a training problem. Even the worst of employees can turn around after getting retrained.
  3. Give them goals and deadlines to reach those goals. After all, your employees can’t meet your expectations if they don’t know what they are.

If these efforts fail, then it’s time to consider firing them.

Sometimes, firing bad employees is the best decision you can make for the health of your pool service business.

What to Do if ALL of Your Employees Are Underperforming

If you want a fresh start, and you’re sick of dealing with bad employees, then it can be tempting to want to fire everyone and start over. 

However, this is an unrealistic option that can be detrimental to your business and can cost a lot of time and money.

Use these two strategies to help you fix all of your underperforming employees as well as hire better next time:

  1. Re-evaluate your pool hiring practices.
    • Are you setting the right expectations and asking the right questions?
  2. Re-evaluate your training practices.
    • Are you giving your new employees enough time to adapt to your work ethic and company culture? Are you giving them the resources they need to become a great employee?

Utilize This Pool Hiring Guide to Hire Star Talent Today!

Even though hiring might seem intimidating, it’s much easier when you know the right steps to take.

Use these best practices to find, hire, and keep the best pool service employees in the industry.

Now, you can take advantage of the advice and tools in this pool hiring guide, so you can start hiring like a pro today!


Related: How Much to Pay Your Pool Technicians


Originally published May 27, 2021 3:47 PM updated on April 9, 2024 at 1:54 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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