Bigger maintenance budgets aren’t helping superintendents solve labor woes. An improving United States economy makes filling open positions a frustrating task for many superintendents, with 73 percent indicating that filling open positions with qualified candidates is tougher now than it was three years ago. Only 3 percent of survey respondents are having an easier time filling positions with qualified candidates.
The toughest positions to fill are the ones comprising the largest percentage of the golf course maintenance labor force: general labor spots. Seventy-three percent of superintendents list those positions as being difficult to fill with qualified candidates. A mechanic is the second most difficult position to fill, with 32 percent of superintendents indicating they have experienced finding help in their respective shops.
Conversely, when superintendents have been forced to trim crew sizes in the last three years, general labor spots are the positions most likely to be eliminated. Fifty-three percent of respondents have been forced to eliminate at least one crew position in the last three years.