Canadian Rental Service

Features Business Intelligence
Editorial: August 2010

Good people are the lifeblood of any business. I strongly suspect that many rental operators are having trouble finding those good people, no matter how hard they look.


July 19, 2010
By Mike Davey

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Good people are the lifeblood of any business. I strongly suspect that many rental operators are having trouble finding those good people, no matter how hard they look.

I’m basing this suspicion on scant evidence, but to me it seems rather compelling. One of the functions of our website, www.canadianrentalservice.com, is to serve as a job board for the industry. Anyone can post a job and receive replies from applicants. It’s a fairly popular feature.

The ads can stay up as long as the poster wants, but periodically I like to make a few phone calls and see if the company has hired for that position. The last time I did this, only one job had been filled, and the company asked if I would please leave the advertisement up, as they’re always looking for good people.

This might be a sign that the recession is over, and that’s good. But I can’t help but feel a little worried that rental operators and associated businesses can’t fill the positions they have. The part that I find disturbing is how long those jobs have remained on the board, unfilled. Most have been up for months.

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According to some of the people I spoke with, there have definitely been applicants. However, none of them were a perfect fit. The most common reason given for why the applicant didn’t get the job was a lack of rental or related experience.

Of course, very few people in the labour market have any experience with the rental business. Most of the experienced people already have positions in which they are happy and fulfilled. Since there isn’t a large base of experienced help, the question we have to face is how to increase that talent pool.

One way is to grow your own. I’ve been to rental events all over the country, and spoken with some of the most successful people in the business. While they were all very different from each other, one theme began to emerge. Almost without exception, they had learned from a mentor in the rental business. In most cases, this was a family member (usually Dad), but not always. Some of them had just been taken under the wing of a more experienced member of the industry.

Consider taking someone under your wing. By mentoring them, you will help to grow the employees you need. It’s been said that you can’t buy or train attitude. If you can find the kids just getting out of school that do have the right attitude, you can teach them everything else.

Consider speaking at your local high school’s career day. Don’t just get up on stage and reel out the reasons kids should consider the rental industry. Show your passion for your business and your industry. Don’t say what you like about the business. Shout out about what you love. The passion will come through, and it just might reach the ears of the next great rental operator.