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Desperately need help with hiring, input anyone?

Discussion in 'Employment' started by Ijustwantausername, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. Ijustwantausername

    Ijustwantausername LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,711

    I have been in business about 5 years now doing a solo operation. This past year, 2011, I have taken off rapidly, churches, businesses, etc.. I was able to have my brother help, but he's going off to college next year and I will be royally in trouble if I don't hire someone in 2012.

    So my questions are.

    1. I have 1M insurance coverage, do I need a workers comp policy added to hire help (in NC)? If I don't know what I will be paying the help exactly, how does the worker's comp policy actually work? The quote I got was a minimum required payroll of $5200 annually which would cost me $1000 for the year. Basically I'd be paying the person roughly $100/week for a year.

    2. Since word of mouth isn't working should I use Craigslist?

    3. What do you require from workers? (background check, valid drivers license, drug test, transportation etc?) And how do you get these?

    I recently had to pass up on roughly a $2500/month lawn contract with a school because I don't have a crew and this is ABSOLUTELY killing my chances of expanding my business.

  2. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,657

    I got my comp through the Hartford through my payroll service and I love them since there is no audit there is no upfront anything. They are paid every week an employee makes money simple as that if its winter and they are off they don't get paid. If its spring and they work 50 hours they get their 4% of his check if its slow period and he works 10 hours they get there 4% of that check so the amount differs each week based on the income of the employee. And your going to want to know lawn cutting and basic maintenance is significantly cheaper rate wise then landscaping or god forbid tree work.

    As far as Craigslist for employment you will get tons of calls every one is out of work so you will then need to screen through them and pick what sounds good and interview them. Iv run ads a single time and gotten 30-40 calls some 4 weeks latter. As for selling old equipment if its very cheap they come out of the woodwork if its reasonable you wont get many bites only the scum seem to frequent that site. Same with getting new work don't even bother there the low ballers own it with free everything.

    As for what to require why not see what calls first before you get to carried away hell id love non smokers but 90% of landscapers do.
  3. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,523

    In NC if you have less than 3 employee's (including you) you are not required to carry WCI. (i think) That doesn't mean that you won't have a claim against you. If a administrative judge say's that a injury is work related - you pay. WCI is insurance against that. Landscaping is injury prone so this is something to think about. The NCDOL will give you the straight scoop on this.
  4. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 26,606

    Talk with family , friends even customers and see if they know anyone looking for work. Craigslist is a loser magnet.
  5. hackitdown

    hackitdown LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,611

    I use Craigslist, but you get all kinds. Lots of maggots. I just hired a really good one a couple of weeks ago through Craigslist.

    You can do a background check for a small fee, there are loads of services online. But the applicant has to give you permission. I have them grant permission when they sign the employment application (it is written right in the app). I don't do a drug test.

    I'd get comp regardless. What if your employee chops a toe off? Or gets a "back injury"? I also use Hartford Ins which I purchase through Quickbooks Payroll. It works great, no audits. No upfront cost...pay as you go.
  6. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    I would talk to your insurance agent about background checks and drug testing. I actually get a discount on my general liability for this. Insurance looks at a guy with a clean background as less of a liability as well as clean drug tests. My insurance allso requires a drug test for the driver of any of my vehicles involved in an accident aswell as any employee filing a WC claim, I had to fire two guys this fall for this reason.

    What I did when I first started needing help on jobs was to use LaborReady, you pay them a flat rate for the laborer and they cover all the taxes and WC. I did this untill I had enough work that I new I could use someone fulltime. Even with employees now I still use them when I'm doing a big job and need to bring on extra unskilled labor.
  7. Ijustwantausername

    Ijustwantausername LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,711

    Thanks for all the great information everyone, I will look into the Hartford for sure.

    One more question, how do you tell a part-timer what their schedule is? Do you call a day or two in advance? It seems a little hard for a set schedule with the weather. What do you do when it does rain and they are scheduled to work? Thanks
  8. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 37,804

    First of all, disregarding all the info on employment adds and how to find the right guy...

    When you hire somebody, you need to keep open communication. These are my expectations, this is what you can expect from me, etc.

    If it rains when they're scheduled to work, then work. What are you gonna say, sorry, it's raining so I won't let you pay your bills? I understand most people don't solely survive on part time jobs, but when he's under your employment, it's your duty to keep him working.
  9. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    Alot of smaller companies doing maintenance don't work in the rain and tell the guys not to come in. Some pay their guys a portion of their daily pay , some don't pay at all. Larger companies can usually find work in the rain, can have the maintenance crews work on equipment or help install crews, pruning etc...
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. Pietro

    Pietro LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 855

    If he will be working with you all the time just pay him cash. Then you can keep an eye on him, and save $ thru workers comp. If youre sending a crew out alone, different story.

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