Hiring Series for Landscapers: I’m a Landscape Business Owner and Can’t Find Awesome Talent. Here’s Why.

| Topic:

Business Advice

Landscape business owners looking to hire, now is the time. You know the early signs of spring are starting in the landscape business, and the busy season is hiding just around the corner, ready to jump out and tackle you.

If you attended one of the LMN webinars back in December on building your 2020 one-page strategic plan, then hopefully you’ve set some ambitious goals for the year. And if you’re going to hit them, it’s time to start stacking your roster because it will be seemingly impossible to do so during busy times if you don’t have the right knowledge and tools available.

landscape workers on the street

If your problem is that you think it’s hard to find excellent people to join your team, then you’re going to want to pay attention because we’re teaming up with Breakthrough Academy again and are going to show you just how easy it is to find great employees, even during your busy season. And don’t fool yourself – you will need good, results-driven people to help you carry out your vision for your company if you plan on having a profitable and efficient business that runs itself. Many landscaping contractors are fighting this same battle – in our experience, this is perhaps one of the most common challenges in a service business like landscaping. Finding good people to provide predictable results will make your life so much easier. But first, you need to understand why you’ve been having such a hard time finding amazing talent in the first place before you can correct your problem.

Many landscaping contractors are fighting this same battle – in our experience, this is perhaps one of the most common challenges in a service business like landscaping. Finding good people to provide predictable results will make your life so much easier. But first, you need to understand why you’ve been having such a hard time finding amazing talent in the first place before you can correct your problem.

The Problem Isn’t The Job Market — It’s You

We hear a lot about how “the labor market is just tight right now.”, or “There’s a shortage of qualified labor.”, or even, “Workers are expecting more than I can offer…” Maybe those things are true, but at the risk of providing an unpopular opinion, maybe those are also excuses. It’s not to say that finding good people isn’t hard… It is. But at the end of the day, we’ve learned a thing or two about hiring good people, and here’s a simple fact that we’ve found to be true: The total number of good people doesn’t change based on how good or bad the labor market is.

Biggest Challenges

The biggest challenge for most contractors is just taking the time to sit down and create their budget. Your first budget will be a learning experience – but once you understand how they are built and, more importantly, how they help you set profitable goals and metrics, you’ll wonder how you ever ran your business without one.

At certain times, more good people are employed, and at other times, fewer good people are employed. But the really good people – the people you want – well, they are typically already employed. And that’s because they are always in demand. You’re probably wondering what’s the point we’re making?

BTA Team

Breakthrough Academy’s Rockstar team. 50+ hours go into recruiting and vetting candidates for each role. A lot of effort, but as one of the fastest growing companies in Canada, the work pays off in dividends.

There are Two Main Reasons You Can’t Find Top Talent

When it comes to effectively landing top talent, we see a consistent restrainer across the board in landscaping and other trades. But there are two primary restrainers we see consistently. Are you guilty of these? Below is the first one.

Contractors do not invest enough time and money into recruiting.

If you haven’t choked on your coffee and quit reading, congrats, because we’re about to drop a valuable truth bomb. Take a look at your spending last year. What did you spend on marketing? How about recruiting and hiring? It’s highly likely that you spend a heck of a lot more money looking for customers than you do for employees. Yet the search for good staff is remarkably similar to the search for customer:

  • You have to know exactly who you’re looking for.
  • You need to know where they are and how to advertise your offer to them.
  • You need to connect with them and show them what your company is about.
  • They will have many options and will need to be sold on why working for you is their best option.
  • And lastly, you need to assess whether or not you can work together before making a final commitment.

Landscapers (and just businesses in general) with amazing teams, regardless of size, aren’t shy about allocating an appropriately sized budget towards their search for top talent, just like they do when finding clients to serve.

Next, pull out your calendar. How much time did you spend marketing, estimating, selling, managing production? Now, in comparison, how much time and money did you spend actively recruiting? If you’re like most contractors, it’s like comparing an elephant to a peanut.

The quality of our hiring choices has the ability to make or break our success.

The most successful landscaping contractors we work with invest a significant amount of time into building candidate profiles, designing strong job ads, tinkering job descriptions, diligently reviewing resumes and calling candidates to schedule interviews, and having several rounds of face-to-face interviewing.

Sound like a big investment? It is. But it’s an up-front investment that will save you compounds down the road because your team is critical to accomplishing the goals you have outlined for your business. And that leads us to our second most common restrainer.

Most contractors do not approach recruiting with the same proactive planning that they do in other areas.

Think about the extensive budget you’ve built for your business. If you’re an LMN user, then you probably already know the value of planning ahead for revenue, cost of goods sold, overhead, and equipment purchases. By building a thorough budget and a clear estimating process, you can set yourself up for pricing your business profitably all year long, so you can hit the revenue and profit goals you have set for your company.

A lot of entrepreneur’s approach marketing with the same rigor. They analyze marketing spends and the cost of lead acquisition. They plot home shows, flyer campaigns, and client networking strategies to ensure there is consistent lead flow. These are great practices, and the same mentality can and should be applied to how you recruit.

Most landscapers have annual recruiting needs that become urgent every year in the spring. But this challenge can be addressed way in advance, with a little strategic planning. If you have a good sense of the hires you’ll need, start by listing them out on a sheet of paper or in a Word doc. For each hire, you should definitely put together a proper job description, a candidate profile, and a job advertisement, before you’re even ready to start your recruiting efforts.

Once you’ve launched those efforts, you’ll need time to let the resumes roll in, and then more time to call them, interview them, and finally onboard them before your team is ready to rock. To do all this properly, you’ll want to map out your plan, and then plan out the time you’re going to spend executing each step of that plan, so that you’re primed to tackle landscaping jobs by the time the weather perks up.

We’re Going to Help You Hire Your Dream Landscaping Team

In case we haven’t been clear enough: hiring amazing people is the key to making your company more efficient, which means you will become more profitable and have both the time and money to do the things you really love to do. But you might be feeling like this is easier said than done, or maybe you have already tried this and failed.

That’s why, next week we’ll be dropping part 2 of 3 of our hiring series: The 3 Keys for Attracting Top Talent. We will share three concrete steps you can take to not only find the right people for your team but also attract them to your business. But more importantly, make sure you register for our free live webinar right now, so you get access to the tools Breakthrough Academy uses to help hundreds of its own members recruit effectively.

Register for the webinar on Thursday, March 26th from 12 – 1:30 pm EST, where we will give you our defined system for hiring top talent, complete with the templates, resources, and documents you need to use this system in your business, right away.

If you’re serious about putting the right team together for an incredible 2020 year and beyond, make sure you’re approaching your hiring and recruiting with a level of respect and diligence that match your ambitions. With the right plan, tools, budget, and time carved out, we will show you how you can hire top talent for your landscaping business and see a return worthy of your investment!

Did you build your one-page strategic plan yet for 2020?

If you didn’t get a chance to do so yet, we strongly suggest you watch our live webinar on How to build a One Page Strategic Plan for 2020. You will get free tools that will help you set and meet goals, and ultimately learn how to build a predictably profitable business.

Learn more about BTA and how their team can help your business, watch the video below!

You’re just one step away from better

Start Your Free Trial

30-day free trial. No credit card needed.