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Effective Hiring Tips For Landscapers, By Landscapers

| Topic:

Business Advice

If you’re struggling to find qualified workers, you’re not alone. Hiring challenges continue to plague the landscaping industry, making it tough for landscapers to find, hire and keep manpower.

With the busy season right around the corner, you stand to lose out on lucrative business if you can’t secure the talent you need to do the work. There’s no time to waste, so we’ve compiled a list of helpful tips from other landscapers to help you recruit and hire qualified talent to see you through the busy season and beyond.

Here are 7 tried-and-true tips for hiring and retaining landscapers:

Be strategic with your job ads – Stand out from competitors’ ads and retain new hires long past the busy season by targeting candidates who are looking for more than a temporary job. How? Advertise a career opportunity, rather than a job, by escalating the job title from “laborer” to “apprentice” and offering a wage range instead of a fixed hourly rate. Applicants will see that there’s a potential to climb the ranks and know that you are invested in their growth.

Broaden your advertising reach – Regardless of how much you spend to advertise job opportunities, your efforts can easily fall flat and you can miss out on capturing the attention of worthy applicants if you don’t carefully consider your options. Choose a mix of traditional advertising outlets like newspaper ads and fliers and online job boards and social media channels, targeting lawn care professionals as well as people currently working in similar fields, such as construction. Your current crew is also a valuable source of referrals that can lead to qualified, reliable candidates to join their crew.

Offer interview incentives – Having a hard-earned candidate not show up to an interview is frustrating and a waste of precious time. Incentivize jobseekers to follow through by offering to cover their transportation costs to and from the interview or consider providing a free lunch. Some landscapers suggest also incentivizing employees who refer hireable candidates, offering a finder’s fee or other token of thanks.

Bump up your pay rate – There’s no denying that money is a powerful hiring and retention tool. With today’s higher costs of doing business you may think you can’t afford to pay a higher hourly rate, but you can if you plan for it and include the costs in your pricing structure. Think of all the new jobs you can take on when you have the crews to do the work, and of the costs you’ll save by avoiding accidents and delays caused by unqualified hires.

Be creative with your benefits package – The tight labor market means there are plenty of landscaping job opportunities ripe for the taking. To stand out from the crowd, sweeten employment offers with attractive benefits. Health insurance, PTO and retirement plans are top choice benefits, but also consider adding extras such as use of a company vehicle, discounts on tools, and access to equipment for home use. Benefits go a long way in illustrating that you value your employees, which helps to attract new hires and keep existing employees happy.

Pre-screen candidates – A disappointing interview can be as frustrating as an interview no-show. Save time and finetune your focus by asking applicants to fill out a pre-interview questionnaire about their experience, expectations and character. It will help you get to know them and weed out applicants that are under qualified or have bad attitudes.

Provide new hires with proper onboarding and training – Protect your hiring investment by making new hires feel welcome and a valuable component of your business. Instead of leaving newbies on their own to figure out the ins and outs of the job (or having a senior lead take time away from customers to supervise the first few days), provide a seamless onboarding experience and kickstart their training before they step foot on a job site. Leveraging training software makes it easy to give each new employee consistent, thorough safety and job training and provide continual training throughout their employment to ensure their ongoing safety and development.

Unfortunately, the labor shortage doesn’t appear to be disappearing anytime soon, but these tips that have worked for other landscapers will help you make the most of your recruiting efforts, beef up your crews and hang onto your staff. By carefully selecting employees and investing in their ongoing development and careers, they’re likely to spread the word that your company is an attractive place to work!

For more tips on hiring and a closer look at hiring and retention statistics trends in the landscaping industry, download our latest ebook.

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