The 2023 season will be upon us soon enough and in anticipation of yet another busy year, we are once again aggressively recruiting lifeguard candidates to fill our roster. The 2023 season will see recruiting heading a different direction as we will be seeking older candidates between the ages of 30 to 40 years old and candidates that already work as EMT’s, paramedics and even nurses. The company has traditionally sought to hire 21 to 25 year old lifeguards however going forward we see that things have to change if we are to survive and to fulfill the heavy load of service inquiries. We will be hiring lifeguards for multiple roles such as pool parties, beaches, yacht charters and even production set water safety all across the Southern California region from Orange County to Santa Barbara County.
The pandemic has created a huge problem with younger adults in their twenties in regards to their attitudes toward working and having a job in general. We don’t know if going forward that this shift can be remedied which has created a crisis for many employers including our operation. We hear of new trends such as “Quiet Quitting” which are being pushed around on many social media outlets. We also have Tik Tok and social media influencers such as Gary Vaynerchuk who is teaching young adults to “F**K jobs” and to “Screw Bosses” but instead to choose things that make them feel good basically shunning responsibility as well as accountability. It would seem that with this age group the cards are stacked against us as well as many other employers. We will say that from time to time there are exceptions to the rule and we will get a young candidate who is passionate about the role of lifesaver with a high degree of determination to succeed. It is these particular candidates we strive to keep on our roster and take care of.
Another issue that we observed as a result of the pandemic was the lockdowns closed down pool facilities which meant that lifeguards had to find another line of work to survive or to collect PUA benefits. When pools were closed that also meant lifeguard training classes and recertification classes had to go dark as well. Many lifeguards that needed to recertify or those who wanted to become lifeguards were not able to do so creating this hole we are now dealing with. This is unfortunate and it may take years to reverse this and undo the damage the pandemic lockdowns created.
So why are we seeking older lifeguard candidates? Many older candidates are more mature, more responsible and want to work to make a difference in the lives they come into contact with. Many older candidates will often have children of their own and knowing that drowning is a leading cause of death among one to four year olds; becomes relatable to them. In essence, the job of lifeguard gets personal. Many older candidates take the job more seriously and do not see the job as merely another paycheck. They have shown to go above and beyond which is a trait that is being erased from the DNA of younger adults. The 30 to 40 year olds need to understand that they are not dead yet and are a valuable commodity in today’s job market!!
If one does the research they will find that many lifeguard agencies and companies are in fact seeking older candidates to ease the shortage. You might say that this is a trending solution to the lifeguard shortage. We are hoping that older candidates hear the call and respond. For some this will give them new purpose in life and focus.