This is the last blog message within a series of six on the subject of multi-course contract companies.
As we know, the GCSAA Code Of Ethics prohibits a member from applying for a job when there is a superintendent in place and when the employer has not announced that the job is open for applications.
The unintended consequence of this necessary policy is that it significantly impedes superintendents’ opportunity to seek and apply for new jobs because:
(i) they either have to wait to be notified of new job openings and, consequently, compete against an overwhelming number of applicants; or (ii) endeavor to establish their own (generally ineffective) job-seeking network to find the “hidden” job openings that are not announced. Either way . . .
. . . the traditional process to finding job openings effectively denies superintendents the opportunity of taking a “pro-active” approach when looking for a new job.
As a result, many job opportunities pass unseen in the night and careers stagnate unnecessarily.
There Is Only One Exception
Multi-course contract companies present the one true opportunity for golf course superintendents to apply for a job without consideration as to whether a job might be open – because in this instance – applicants do not apply for a specific job; rather, they are applying to be put on a company “waiting list” for future job openings.
Of course, a superintendent can reject a company job offer at any time when it does not match career goals.
FYI: Present information indicates that there are approximately 3,000 superintendents now working for multi-course contract companies. This number may well double in the coming five-plus years. Therefore, while attractive, job opportunities with multi-course companies are somewhat limited. Act accordingly.
Of course, like when applying for any other job, a superintendent’s (or assistant’s) application to be put on one or more company job waiting lists must qualify on merit. (See my June 9th blog message that details an appropriate due diligent approach to follow when applying for a multi-course company job.)
When feeling job insecurity pressures . . .
. . . multi-course contract companies can be that ‘shining light on a hill’ opportunity that every golf course superintendent needs to help survive a bad economy and to flourish career-wise thereafter.
Irrefutable Career Truth #32E: Multi-Course Contract Company Employment Should Always Be A Career Option
This is the fifth blog message within a series of six on the subject of multi-course contract companies.
Because I believe that the economy is not about to recover any time soon, but will likely get more severe because the current over-regulation of the oil, coal and natural gas industries will drive the cost of energy (i.e., electricity and fuels) “sky high” as promised – significant added pressure is about to directly impact golf course operating budgets and superintendents’ compensation packages like never before.
Accordingly, superintendents should anticipate this circumstance and promptly confirm/adopt the following job securing measures:
- As previously suggested, voluntarily tie salaries to annual course revenue projections.
- Expand family “rainy day” financial reserves.
- Establish a job search network to stay abreast traditional job opportunities as they arise.
- Begin to develop criteria for possible work outside golf.
- Do the due diligence necessary (see below) to ensure they will be comfortable working within the multi-course contract environment.
Failing to include a multi-course job option within a job application wish list in this era is the equivalent of manufacturing a pressure cooker without a safety valve release.
Because superintendents are not familiar with the practice of applying for or inquiring about jobs within the multi-course environment, I offer the following:
Observation: About one-third of the contract companies are well established; one-third are growing into maturity; and one-third are too young/small to judge. For further insight, Google “America’s Top 20 Largest Golf Management Companies.”
Fact: With so few contract companies operating, jobs are scarce; i.e., +/- 15% of the superintendent-work force. This percentage will grow in the coming years.
Fact: There are two types of multi-course contract companies: (i) contract “maintenance” companies that solely manage golf course acreages (20%); and (ii) contract “management” companies that manage everything within the property – including all clubhouse operations (80%). When available, superintendent jobs are worth pursuing within both
categories of companies.
Due Diligence Search Guidelines:
First – Make sure the contract company you may have an interest in operates in a region of the country where you are willing to work.
Second – due diligently look into the history of the contract company: years in business; the number of client courses; the financial worth of the company; the correlation of client course budget funding and superintendents’ compensation packages to the private sector; and the quality and timeliness of company support to client club/course operations and employees.
Third – Apply for a job with a contract company in the same manner as for a routine job – with solid personal web site preparation, etc. Look to get on a contract company’s candidate wait list early on.
Once superintendents (and assistants) begin to respect multi-course contract employment, they will be more effective and comfortable as they continue to manage their careers.