Top Workplaces 2022: In a tight labor market Connecticut Water uses designation to recruit workers

·2 min read

Connecticut Water uses Top Workplaces as a marketing tool to attract workers in a competitive labor market.

“We’re at a very unusual time from an economy and labor perspective,” said Kristen Johnson, senior vice president of administration and chief administrative officer of SJW Group, parent company of Connecticut Water. “Almost every single employer is struggling to attract the level of talent and amount of talent we need.”

Connecticut Water, which is No. 16 in Top Workplaces among midsized companies, uses the designation to market itself as an employer of choice, she said.

With more than 200 employees in Connecticut, Clinton-based Connecticut Water is recruiting for certified water operations and wastewater operations jobs, construction and customer service, Johnson said.

Connecticut Water and other employers are grappling with extremely low unemployment and fewer people seeking full-time work, she said.

As a regulated utility, Connecticut Water does not have direct competitors. but looks to expand with smaller acquisitions, she said. “It’s how Connecticut Water has grown over the years,” she said.

Connecticut Water serves 105,000 customers, or 350,000 people, in 60 towns.

Connecticut Water surveys employees twice a year to gauge their satisfaction and engagement, Johnson said. The company asks employees for suggestions on how to address comments and concerns, she said.

One area that employees cited was the tools they worked with: They wanted to be involved in the procurement of tools, Johnson said.

Comments by employees nominating Connecticut Water as a Top Workplace include the work-life balance and enjoying working outdoors.

“I am respected for my knowledge and am heard. This is especially validating, as a woman in a male-dominated profession,” one employee said.

Connecticut Water was purchased by SJW Group of San Jose, California, in 2019 for $1.1 billion. SJW Group at the time called it a “transformative combination” that will lead to increased scale to enable growth, sustainable shareholder value and investment in systems and equipment.

Stephen Singer can be reached at ssinger@courant.com.