Tactical Solutions For Successful Lifeguard Recruitment & Retention
Military tactics and methods for effective lifeguard recruitment is spot on, but there is also other very important critical aspects of solving the lifeguard shortage problem.
In the military, recruitment takes care of itself when the prospects see that military life is an adventure, full of activity, risk, reward, and protecting life which can sometimes mean risking your own. All of this is “sellable” to the prospective recruit, provided the motive for protecting is genuine. And this adventure and dignity is what is advertised effectively by the military and always has been all the way back to WWI and WWII.
Lifeguarding, especially pool guarding, does NOT offer much if any adventure, nor much activity with the same risk & reward. Nor does it pay as well as the military. Lifeguarding has been devaluated in many places, and by evidence of its all too common “minimum wage pay rate”. Lets face it, many cities station lifeguards because the are required to, not because it is valued by city administration. If it was valued highly, the job description would be more demanding and so would the pay. Teens and young adults do not want the responsibility and liability of lifeguarding at minimum wage if they can get a more interesting, more active and interactive, less risky job doing something else at a better rate of pay.
We need to ask “WHY” there is a lifeguard shortage, and then reimagine, re-equip and retitle aquatic staff with activity, purpose, and rewarding duties that better retain and advance careers that offer dynamic, dignified, and valued positions evident by proportionate and attractive compensation. The position of “Lifeguard” today is far too often thought of as a “security guard”, but yet required to at times be a “super hero”. We need to recruit therefore and advertise and train “superheroes”, and allow for regular superhero type activities to maintain a level of value and dignity to the position.
The Aquatic Industry needs to simply up their “game”. By educating and offering to the public a better reason to learn to swim and excel in aquatics, both beach front and pool use will flourish, and so will the staff. The industry needs a whole new plan. So much more needs to be addressed!
TELL ME WHY IS THERE A LIFEGUARD SHORTAGE, and be honest about it, and then we will build an honest solution.
One such proactive solution to the challenges facing aquatics is aquatic game play. Aquatic game play can help future proof aquatics. An example of an exciting aquatic game play activity for the masses that utilizes forgotten and underutilized aquatics centers and facilities and brings communities together thus preparing, training, and recruiting the lifeguards of the future is SKWIM. SKWIM is a solid solution that provides what patrons are looking for in aquatic activities and therefore can reimagine an aquatic “patron protection plan” once and for all.
Written by Kevin
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this opinion article are solely that of its writer and may not reflect that of Lifeguard TV or it’s staff.
For more information about SKWIM click here.