Staffing Solutions in our Industry
When water/wastewater operators move away or retire, city councils/managers spring into action, often with less time to react than they would like. The trouble is, these openings are getting harder to fill as they require a certain level of experience, licensure and willingness to do what it takes. This is why we offer three tips to thinking ahead when it comes to staffing for your plants.
- Look ahead. What do your water/wastewater plans and staffing look like when it comes to supporting the overall five and 10-year goals for your community? Is renovation in order? Will new processes like reverse osmosis be called for? You may have the staff you need now for the job today, but will they be able to fulfill the needs of the future?
- Do the math. Once you have a clear picture of how your water/wastewater systems will need to support your community’s growth plan, it’s pretty simple to calculate the anticipated longevity of the employees you have operating them. What’s the pension plan driving? What’s the average length of stay in the role? We can’t predict all the moves our employees make, but we can try.
- Know your options. Once you’ve built in some time into your staffing plan, you’ll have time to consider all the options. This means replacing one-for-one who you anticipate leaving. If there is open dialogue with an operator who has told you his plans to retire in two years, run ads for a replacement to see what the search yields. At the same time, interview services like PeopleService to just see what replacing one with the depth of many looks like, costs, etc. With all the options on the table, with a known, imminent staff departure or not, you won’t be left holding the bag when it happens.