I need employees! Classifieds?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Matts Lawns, Feb 8, 2006.

  1. Matts Lawns

    Matts Lawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    I need to assemble a crew of two or three guys with experience to run the weekly lawn service this season. Is an ad in the classifieds going to do the trick? I so, any ideas on what exactly to post would be greatly appreciated. If not, what do I do?
  2. Evergreenpros

    Evergreenpros LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,155

    This is exactly why people say that if you have 2-4 employees you might as well have 10-12 because it's going to be just as much work.

    I would say there is a 0.01% chance you can run 1 ad in the help wanted and get the people you need and for those employees to stay the entire year.

    When you are in a labor intensive business you need to spend a large amount of your time finding, training, sifting through people to get some good ones. Imagine the needle in a haystack analogy.

    You have to remember it's one thing to "get" an employee, it's yet another animal to "keep" said employee. We run ads evey week whether we need them or not, 52 weeks out of the year, rain or shine. We just haven't found any other way to get it done and to find the people we want and to keep the staffing levels we need. If you need to keep 4 employees here are some numbers you'll need to remember:

    1. It will take 5-7 people to get one good one who will stick around.
    2. It will take 4-5 applications for each person you hire. Most won't take the job, can't get a hold of them, can only work tue-wed 10am-12:30 pm but not the 1st or 3rd weeks of the month, you get the picture.
    3. It will take 8-10 phone calls for each application.

    So now the fun part, let's do a little math:

    8 phone calls per application, you need 4 apps per 1 person and you need 6 people for each good one: 8 x 4 x 6 = 192 phone calls for each good person (that's a really really conservative number)

    Ok people are 1/3 of that, but you get the picture of how many phone calls you need to fill 4 slots. I can't imagine anything less than weekly for 8 weeks minimum, maybe 2x a week for 4 weeks and 1/wk throughout the season. You need a constant flow of applications that you can draw from because your people will quit in droves, 3/4 at a time etc. It's never 1 person giving 2 weeks notice.

    We spend right at about $5,500 a year to fill 12-15 slots so about $370 a year per slot for help wanted ads.
  3. Matts Lawns

    Matts Lawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    Thanks EvergreenPros,

    All that's good to know. I guess I have to work my butt off to find the guys. Do you have any other solutions to finding good workers? The problem is, is that I'm facing selling off all of my equipment because I can't find anyone to run the biz.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    Back in 86 I ran a factory in Bridgeview, making steel doors and also outside labor installing them for our home improvment company. We ran an ad and about 500 people showed up. Found 2 guys that we would even consider. 1st was gone in a week. The other lasted about 1 month.
    Employees are the most fun part of this business:dizzy:

    And even than it is hard to keep everything going if you are not with them a lot
  5. mak2

    mak2 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 380

    I ran resturaunts for years, I often recruited employees from the competition or other industries. I am not big enough to worry about hiring employees yet, but why dont you guys recruit from fast food and retail? You can tell if the employee works and attitude when they help you, and mowing is more fun than flippin burgers

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    I had an ex Micky D guy this year. :dizzy: :dizzy: :dizzy:

    I am surprised at the level of caring some people have
  7. gardenkeeper88

    gardenkeeper88 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 347

    Good luck!!!! Our unemployment is really low this year which means our chance of finding GOOD people has just gotten smaller. And I need 4 more.
  8. Evergreenpros

    Evergreenpros LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,155

    You also have to remember that you are liable for the company whether you are there or not. You might consider finding 1 or more people to subcontract your accounts to. Maybe split them up and have 2 lco's take them and give you a cut? You're in a tough spot.
  9. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210

    I liked my college student part time helper that attempted to shovel mulch with one hand and talk on the cell with the other.

    Lots of luck...

    Oh ya, pay peanuts, get monkeys...keep it in mind

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