How do you do employees?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mtdman, Dec 17, 2003.

  1. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,137

    I am thinking about hiring a part timer next year. I think I can handle more work with a helper, and might be able to make a bit more $$. The question I have is, how do you guys that hire help do it? I am mostly interested in those that are solo guys and have 1 or 2 people help part time. I'm thinking 2 days a week for help to start with. How do you pay, how do you schedule, how do you handle guys that quit on you suddenly, etc. How do you find good help? What do you do with them at season's end? Do you offer incentives to get 'em to stay the whole year? What about during slow times, do you cut hours, etc? There have been drought years in the past where I barely have had enough work for myself, can't imagine trying to keep an employee through it. I mean everything you can think of, tell me. I've never hired anyone, never done it, don't know how to do it. I certainly don't want to screw things up or get over my head.

    Any other advice I'd welcome as well.

    Thanks

    :D
     
  2. KenH

    KenH LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Posts: 1,622

    Wow, alot of questions. I will try to hit them all.

    First off, pay on the books. I pay hourly. Ask around, friends, family, etc. and see if anyone is interested in working. Part timers probably will come form students or 3rd shifters. If you find good help, you have to pay them well, based on your market. In the winter, I lay them off andthey collect, as long as they have no other income. You should really try to get enough work for the employee, as he/she will be depending on you for income. The best case scenario would be if you could find someone who had a similar business, and you could help him, and he could help you. This could carry you both through the slow times.
     
  3. Premium Services

    Premium Services LawnSite Member
    Posts: 44

    I found that the best way for someone in your place to get ok help is to ask your friends if they know someone that might have been laied off and collecting unemployment and needs some small pocket change here and there $50 a day cash isn't bad pay you might have to pick them up most of the it they don't have a ride.
     
  4. Premium Services

    Premium Services LawnSite Member
    Posts: 44

    p.s. you write it off as a contracted work
     
  5. KenH

    KenH LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Posts: 1,622

    Be careful, in CT, if you pay someone while still collecting, you pay some pretty hefty fines.
     
  6. proenterprises

    proenterprises LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,297

    Well...in ths situation that you are describing=i am the employee in this case not the employer.

    the guy I work for it a client of my fathers (dad is lawyer). The guy I work for builds spec houses and does grass. I started out 2 years ago and tried it out to see how I like it.

    Past summer-I was put on 3 days a week (mon, tues, wed.) Thankfully, I worked all of my scheduled days this year (no drought) However, the year before that I remember him calling 3 weeks in a row and saying dont bother, not much to cut.

    Before you go out and get a helper, make sure you have the work for him. If I am hired, I expect to be working. As far as the weather goes-out of out control and cant really blams boss for weather layoff. BUT-having a choppy schedule because routes not planned, or lack of preparation and not working 2 days because of this-NO EXCUSE.

    Pay-you need to pay them a competitive wage or he will be OUTA THEIR after 1 week. As a helper (I assume he will mostlY trim/blow)....you need to start at LEAST 8.00/9.00/hr if you expect him to stay.

    Off season-Not sure how it works, I just go back to school at the end of the summer.

    Sry for long post-Basically, just make sure you have enough work to keep him on a solid and regular schedule, pay him so he will stay, dont over work him to the point of quitting, and throw in a free lunch every now and then.

    Good luck!
     
  7. leeslawncare

    leeslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 649

    I do the same as you . when i pay them i do it as , contract labor at the notes part of the check.I think it is if you don't pay them more than 600.00 oer yr . you don't hafta send them a tax form.get a GOOD accountant an he cann help you .i've never paid any one over that amout -because it's so hard to get steady help part time .I gett about 8 helps per yr .
     
  8. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,332


    You don't need a 1099 under 600.00, and if you get called by the IRS on an unfiled amount over 600.00, the fine is only $ 50.00. Also , for help, try the local colleges / trade schools.In the past we have hired 2nd & third yr LA majors to fill in in the summer.They are eager for experience and money!
     
  9. AztlanLC

    AztlanLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,046

    Another reason I switched to yearly contracts is because of this, first it was hard to find good help then after I found it, they want a steady income, the season usually last about 9 months to beging with and on top of that, taking couple weeks out of the year due to drought then they're screw.

    I mostly keep my good employees year around, I pay'em 2 weeks vacation at the end of the year, plus they have 3 sick days and 2 personal, if they don't use'em they get another week pay + a bonus, so in the end I only have to worry for 2 months in wich they fix and clean up all the equipment on the shop + plow snow.
     
  10. Rustic Goat

    Rustic Goat LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,194

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