Feature articles

17 November 2017

Recruit a pest controller: From posting a job to hiring a new employee

Your business feature | PPC89 November 2017

Looking at bringing a new pest management technician on board but don’t know where to start? We’ll go through the whole process and tell you all about the tools we offer to help you find your perfect new colleague. 

Recruit a Pest Controller

You’ve been on your own for a while. Your new business is a lean, mean pest-controlling machine – but now you’re overstretched, and fed up of wearing every hat yourself.

Now is the time to spread the workload and get a helping hand to pick up all the extra work you’re currently having to turn down.

New people in the sector

Deciding what you want

To keep things simple, we’ll say there are three types of employee you’d be looking to taking on:

  • An experienced pest control technician (PCT)
  • A trainee pest technician 
  • A specialist (field biologist, technical inspector, etc.)

Each has its pros and cons, and you should consider carefully what would be the most beneficial employee to add to the roster.

 Experienced PCTTraineeSpecialist
Price Medium salary Lower salary Higher salary

Experienced professionals have most likely encountered, and overcome, many common challenges in the pest management world, and will be able to share that experience with you and your customers.

You’ll be able to split up and cover more ground.

They’ll still need checking in on from time-to-time to make sure they’re working to the standards you expect.

You should be supervising a trainee during the control or eradication of any pests.

Once they’ve passed their Level 2 they’ll be able to do unsupervised work, and you’ll be confident that they’re working to the standard you expect.

People new to the sector bring with them their fresh perspective, which might be an invaluable asset to your company.

Yes, they might have a higher price tag, but hopefully, they’ll be adding something unique to your business enabling you to offer services you weren’t able to provide before.

Assuming the right qualifications and references come back clean – you can be confident that your specialist will be able to deal with anything that comes their way.

Training and

They might be stuck in their ways, or you may have to ‘unteach’ any bad habits they’ve picked up elsewhere.

You’ll still need to give them some time for their CPD, and perhaps some specialised training to help them progress and let your business grow.

You get to train someone ‘from fresh’ to your specification and with the latest Codes of Best Practice in mind.

You will at some point need to help them through their Level 2 Award in Pest Management which is sometimes paid for by employers.

You’ll have to give them plenty of time to study for their exams.

You’ll have someone who can do more complicated work across a variety of different sites. However, it’s no good hiring a field biologist if what you really need is someone to help you with wasps’ nests in the summer.

Always check the candidate has the qualifications to support their claims.

Writing a job advert

Having the number one job site for the pest management sector means that we’ve seen A LOT of job adverts. Some of them are excellent and help candidates get excited about your position.

We’ve also seen a couple of awful ones, with spelling mistakes and bad formatting.

Always proofread your job adverts. Remember, there are loads of pest management jobs out there. Job hunters need to choose you before you get to choose them.

Pictured to the right is a good example of a job advert we helped a member write a few weeks ago. It’s a good starting point – but before you copy it into your job listing think about adding the personal touch.

Tell us a bit about your team, or let us know it’s a family run business. What are the chances of progressing? What personal qualities do you and your company value? You can even spend a little time telling us the story of your company – where you’ve come from and where you’re going.

All these things help a prospective employee start imagining themselves working with you. You won’t get a nasty surprise when someone with an incompatible mindset turns up at the job interview.

Don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd – you can always re-list the job with a different description if it’s not working.

Join our committed, professional and highly-motivated pest management team as a pest control technician.

You should be able to carry out routine pest inspections and deliver one-off jobs daily, in a professional manner and be able to write clear, concise inspection reports. You’ll be responsible for the service of our commercial and residential customers in XXXX areas.
For this role you will need to:
 • Be qualified to BPCA/RSPH Level 2 Award in Pest Management
 • Have at least two years’ field experience
 • Have a full clean driving licence
 • Be friendly, with a flexible, can do attitude
 • Enjoy being part of a team, yet able to operate on your own initiative
 • Have good communication skills, both verbal and written.

What we can give you:
Basic salary in region of £XX,XXX - £XX,XXX depending on experience, plus commission Company vehicle Mobile phone 20 days holiday, plus 8 bank holidays Ongoing training If you’re interested in being challenged every day with a variety of jobs forward your CV and covering letter to XXXX.
Application closes XX/XX/XX.

Do not be afraid to stand out

Posting your job

The benefit of posting to a specialist job board is that you’re already targeting the sort of people you’re looking for - people interested in the pest management sector.

By posting to a specialist job site like bpca.org.uk/jobs you’re instantly cutting out some of the time wasters who haven’t given the field a second thought until now. You might be okay with people applying that don’t know their IPM from EFKs, but we think it’s worth all your applicants being aware of what pest management entails before they hit apply.

How to post a job on the BPCA job site

If you’re a member then it’s good news – posting a job is free for you. Here's how you do it.

  1. Go to bpca.org.uk/member-area
  2. Log in with your organisation ID and password
  3. Then go to bpca.org.uk/post-a-job
  4. Fill in the form with all the info from your job advert
    1. Include a unique reference and note it
    2. Format your job nicely
    3. Add a salary range otherwise your job will show as being paid £0-£0 a year!
    4. Put an application deadline and email address you check regularly otherwise you won’t receive any applications!
  5. Click “create vacancy”, and your job will be sent to the BPCA staff team. They’ll review the advert and post it (usually within 24 hours)
  6. You’ll receive copies of all the applications to the email address you chose. Check nothing’s ending up in your spam folder. 

If you’re not a member, then you need to contact marketing@bpca.org.uk to post a job and you will be charged for it. 


There’s an extra box at the bottom that has space for information about your company. We suggest you fill this out in detail. This is the sort of information a job hunter is looking for when deciding what to apply for.

Feedback from a member

I am very happy to inform you I have a PCO starting on Monday 11 September, who is experienced and has been working for a county council. This has only been possible through your good efforts, the BPCA Jobs Board and the guidance and help you have given me. One CV I received was from someone working in Saudi Arabia. Just shows you the BPCA is on the world stage. Thanks again and keep up the good work.

Iain Urquhart, Advanced Pest Management

Shortlisting and inviting to interviews

Hopefully, after a few weeks of your advert being out and about, you’ll have a nice pile of applications.

Now it’s time to sift through the applications and choose between three and six people to invite to interview (any more and you’ll start forgetting who’s who like a bad murder mystery).

Having never employed a pest control technician I asked Kevin, our Membership Manager and ex-pest management business owner, for some ideas for questions and test in an interview situation:

  • Check they can use satnav or a map
  • Get them to complete a pest
  • control report
  • Ask them to give advice on some specific pest problems
  • Ask them to organise a day’s work schedule
  • Test their legal knowledge on health and safety duties and responsibilities
  • Get them to look over a pest control van and see what they can tell you about transport, storage, transporting weapons, safety data sheets.
  • Give them a score from 1 to 5 for each of the above tasks. While you’re talking you should also get an impression about their:
  • Appearance, manner, self-confidence and speech
  • Qualifications and experience
  • Intelligence: ability to think things out, problem-solving, ability to absorb new information and training
  • Aptitudes: practical, intellectual, social, physically active (check hobbies and interests); relevance to job
  • Level of initiative, drive, persistence in overcoming problems, ability to plan, organise and achieve
  • Personal aspirations
  • Ability to get on and work with others: as a team member, customers and clients
  • Ability to cope with change, stress and frustration
  • Ability to carry responsibility
  • Maturity: realism of outlook and aims
  • Reliability: conscientiousness, integrity.

Always make sure you only ask questions relevant to the job.

For example, you cannot ask “are you from the UK?”, or “is English your first language?” Nor can you ask if a person is married, their age, questions about sick days taken, or even if they have a criminal record (nobody needs to disclose their spent convictions, and a DBS check should be done before interviews, if required).

These questions can all be considered as discriminatory.

If they volunteer information themselves, that’s fine – but don’t go fishing for answers to personal questions.

Also, it’s worth mentioning that there seems to be a bit of craze where employers ask weird interview questions – as if the purpose of an interview was to take a person by surprise completely.

“Who is your favourite Disney princess?” is not an appropriate interview question.

By the end of the interview, you’ll have scores from 1 to 5 for each of your criteria. This should help you decide who your best candidates are.

Make notes as you’re going and then flesh them out as soon as the candidate leaves. An employment tribunal may insist that an employer disclose interview documents, and so it is important that there are no disparaging remarks or discriminatory comments on any of your notes.

Remember, job interviews can be horrible. Make sure that everyone who leaves the interview thinks well of you and your company. If they don’t get the job, they should feel sorry, not resentful. Try and make every interview a good experience. There’s no need to burn a bridge.

Always get back to unsuccessful candidates as soon as possible – it’s only fair. Be prepared to give constructive feedback if you’re asked.

Next steps

Once your shortlist is down to one, you’re ready to offer them the job. We won’t go into too much detail about what you have to do when employing someone here.

Instead, if you want to know more about your responsibilities after you’ve made the offer of employment (and you’re a BPCA member) head to the BPCA BusinessShield. It’s got pages and templates on recruitment, job descriptions, staff application forms, the interview process, references and the induction process.

More information

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Scott-Johnstone-Staff-bubbleScott Johnstone
Content and Communications Officer
16 November 2017  |  PPC89


Source: PPC89