Employees in a Boom Town

I was checking to see how many owners out there are in an Oil Boom Town. I am looking at opening a shop that is located in a boom town.

Forget everything right now except employees. What is your retention like? How much are you paying?

Just to give you an idea McD’s had a sign that said “starting at $8-9 an hour” “$12 an hour maitenance” both no experience required.
A sandwich place had a sign for a manager that started $30k no experience. Just for the benefit of people that don’t live in or near the patch if you go to work in the oil field with a high school education you can very easily start out driving a truck or working on the rig at $22 an hour.

I am interested in seeing how you retain people. How and who you hire; how many manager you have trained. How you work your schedules in case of walk outs; and any other great tid bits of advice you might throw out.

I sent out an email to pizzaguy and Daddio, both are in boom towns. Daddio called me on the phone and we spoke for 1.5 hours. It looks bleak, but thought that I would poll others to see what it was like in there neck of the woods.

As you would appreciate from many of my previous posts we have been in a boom economy for some time now.

Retaining staff is a major problem and now with unemployment in our area down to 2% it is near on impossible to get drivers and managers. We have no trouble getting young females for customer service and kitchen help but other than that forget it.

We have a mining boom in the far north of Western Australia and average annual incomes range from $90K per year for a cleaner to $180K for skilled workers. They are mostly on 2 weeks on 1 week off, fly in fly out basis.

I recently lost a 19 year old driver with absolute no skills and minimal education to the boom. He is working as a trades assistant getting $6600 for his 2 weeks doing 12 hour shifts. All meals and lodgings are paid for.

What Daddio told you is probably similar to what we are expeiencing. It’s difficult, and costly to hire the staff, and even harder to retain them.

Good luck, because you will be needing it. I feel for you and what you will be facing.


Just to highlight our conversation for the rest of the gang.

You suggested absenty ownership which means you would need to have staff that you could be confident with. This is a big concern in a boom town.

When people in a boom town get a better job offer they usually will (if you are lucky) call and say, “I got a higher paying job I won’t be in for my shift today, when can I pick up my check?”

If you are not lucky they just don’t show up.

When you are hiring you can offer the job and have them accept it and then not show for the first shift cause something better came along sometime between them saying yes and the start of their shift.

I had a girl accept a job on Monday to start on Tuesday. Tuesday at 1:00 she called and ask if she started at 4 or 5 then didn’t show at all.

:smiley: :smiley: Thanks wa dave, and Daddio I was putting out feelers. I was already aware of the job market, but just thought that I would try and generate some discussion on it. wa dave we have an active mining and oil boom to the south of here. The pay scale down there is off the charts, but the oil boom is what is killing us here.

When I spoke with Daddio I told him that I could see both the potential profits from the store and the potential problems with staffing. I do want to be partially absentee, I already have a full time job and would like to retain it. I would like to work part-time in the store and have a manager handle the day to day stuff. After talking to Daddio I said that I knew going into this that staffing was going to be an issue but I just needed to hear it.

I appreciate the input that you guys have brought to the discussion.

Keep keepin’ on! :shock: