Spring is around the corner, and you need to get your crews hired to service your commercial landscaping customers.
Hiring in the green industry has been a challenge between Covid-19, changing H-2B rules, and the lack of quality candidates willing to work long hours in all kinds of weather.
The Importance of Hiring the Right Employees
It’s time-consuming to screen out applicants and coordinate schedules to interview potential candidates. So, you must improve your hiring process before you sit down with your first applicant.
You also want to find the right people willing to start at entry-level and, hopefully, grow with your company. And, you want the right personalities for the job.
A crew leader may easily diagnose lawn care diseases or quickly fix a broken spray head on an irrigation system. But if they have zero emotional intelligence, they won’t manage their teams well, and customer service will suffer.
Plus, the right candidates for the job will not apply if your landscape maintenance company has a reputation for a toxic work environment.
Selecting the Right Candidate for Landscaping Jobs
You may need to change your hiring process before you start recruiting for your seasonal hires. Here’s a checklist for hiring employees for your commercial landscaping company:
- Design a hiring process that’s efficient as well as able to attract high-quality candidates with the goal of them sticking with the job all season long.
- Use technology (online job boards, digital want ads, social media, and your website) to find new hires
- Make sure job descriptions are accurate and honest. You don’t want to add or completely change the job description during the interviewing process. Instead, you want to list what the job entails on the job board.
- You can teach job skills, such as mowing lawns, raking leaves, and cleaning up flowerbeds. However, you can’t change a person’s work ethic or attitude toward other people. Instead of only looking for job skills, pay attention to the candidate’s ability to be coached, their emotional intelligence (especially if they’ll be dealing with the public), temperament, and motivation.
- Study potential hires’ resumes, cover letters, and applications. While many folks who love to work outside may not give details on their applications, you can use their answers as starting points to delve more in-depth during the interview.
- Screen applicants over the phone. If you have a Human Resource department, they should be calling applicants with general questions before bringing the recruits in for an interview.
- Consider using video-conferencing with your team to interview potential hires, especially if they’ll work under a different manager and crew leader. Both the manager and the crew leader will add a perspective that will help you hire the right candidates.
- Call references and do a background check. Also, you want to check out the applicant’s social media—while you can’t use social media as a reference tool—you can still use it to see how your recruits act outside of the interviewing process.
- Keep moving forward with the hiring process. Most good candidates are snatched up within 10 days after a job posting.
- Reword your job description with the benefits of working for your landscape company. Studies have shown that qualified applicants want to see what your company can do for them (think salary and benefits) rather than what you expect of them right off the bat.
Landscape Workers Needed
Tony Bass of Tony Bass Consulting provides specific steps for hiring new employees for your green industry business. He’s a hiring specialist since he once owned a landscaping contract company and needed to bring on seasonal talent.
Here are Tony’s suggestions:
- Add lettering or a vehicle wrap to your trucks saying, “We’re hiring.” Don’t forget to add a phone number and a website address to the lettering.
- Keep paper applications in your vehicles to hand out.
- On the back of your business cards, add career opportunities. You can have the backside of your cards pre-printed or add printed labels if necessary.
- Since many green industry companies are hiring in the spring, consider running your job ad in the community paper and on job boards during Thanksgiving when college kids are home.
- Keep reminding people that you’re hiring all year round. While you may not need any more folks to mow commercial properties in July, you never know when someone will quit mid-season. You can also hang onto those applications for the following spring.
- Attend job fairs, visit your local high school, community colleges, and 4-year universities. Technical and vocational schools are other great sources to find motivated applicants.
Save Time and Money When You Get Your Landscape Equipment Parts from MowMore
Late winter is a perfect time to shop for replacement parts for your lawn and landscaping business. Get your equipment parts and other tools now before the spring rush.
Go to MowMore.com to find everything you need to run your green industry company efficiently. If you have any questions about your landscape equipment and replacement parts, call our customer service today at 1-800-866-9667 or fill out our contact form.
BusinessNewsDaily.com, “7 Ways to Improve Your Hiring Process.”
Entrepreneur.com, “5 Best Strategies for Hiring Entry-Level Employees.”
TonyBassConsulting.com, “Cost-Effective Recruiting Strategies for Lawn and Landscape Contractors.”