Employee Criteria


LawnSite Member
SE Kansas
I am considering taking on my first employee. For those of you who manage crews what demograghic does most of your best employees fall under. Younger, middle aged, older, single, married. The reason why is I am looking at two prospects. One is an 18 year old who is a great worker an is a personal friend. He is very interested in the industry and could be with the company for a long time and grow with us. He has the potental of being a good asset to the company. But has some marrital proplems at home and can't manage monwy very well. The other is a 40+ man who has worked for another company for about 6 years and knows the ropes but his sight is a little bad and I'm not sure if he would want to stay with the company for more than a few years.
IMO you are going to be better off in the long run with the young guy and my sense of your post is that this is what you would really prefer.

The marital problems are probably directly the result of this young man's inability to manage money.

Would you be willing to buy some financial counseling for this guy and make your offer of employment to him contingent on his attendance?

This could be a win-win-win-win all around for him, his marriage, your friendship and your business if you are able and willing to make this investment up front.


LawnSite Senior Member
The young guy

Strike one= he's a friend
Strike two= he's got marital prblems
Strike three=money problems
He's outta there!

Sounds very familiar to a friend i hired.

The old guy=Experienced. Might even teach you a thing or 2!

I would personally go with the older man, the younger workers tend to have a very bad work ethic, i.e. - not coming to work every day, wanting to leave early, not wanting to do a good job, not wanting to have to auctually work for their money. The older guy might be a much larger asset for the company he might be able to be a crew leader and I am sure that he is proably more dependable, he might work a little bit slower but I bet he would do a quality job and make sure that he takes pride in his work. And the only bad thing about the other younger guy that you are talking about is that he is friend that is not a good idea to mix friendship and also be his employer that is just a problem waiting to happen, I am sure that we have all been there and done that. This is just my two cents


LawnSite Fanatic
Flint, Michigan
SLC's right. Rule #1; Leave your friends at home. Also because he's a friend, you'll find this to be the CAUSE of reasons 1 - 4 at the top of his post.


LawnSite Bronze Member
Southern, Maine

Run an add in local paper that way you can interview them.
You can then judge best employee for you.
Look for---
1, Woman, they work very well and seem to pay more attention to detail and dont beat your equipment up like young kids might, also woman are very sociable to your customers and can comunicate with them easy.
2,Someone that will work Saturdays if needed.
3,Has there own tranportation.
4,Simply someone who has intrest in this field.
5,Many more.

Stay away from---
1, friends
2, employees with no licence
3, Goof off workers
4, Real young people
5, Friends agian stay away!!

If it was a choice between the 2 you listed I would go with the older man for he has experience and like Toddppm said he may teach you something. But if you have money for a add in paper I would go that route!!!


LawnSite Silver Member
Central CT
I wonder how dependable an 18 year old with "marital problems" would be?


Stafford Va.
they are only your friend until they work for you then you are slim of th earth if you like you friend then dont hire him.
The older guy would be a good bet, if he stays 1 or 2 yrs then he will have taught you something to look for in the future.
Also women are great at this work, they seem to take more pride in there work


Former Moderator

Being the female partner in our business, I can
relate to hiring women.

I do believe that women are more detailed oriented, MUCH
easier on the equipment, and I know in our case, our customers enjoy chatting with me for a few minutes while
I collect the bill and Matt's loading up the truck.

To answer your question though, if those are your only two potential guys available, I definitely would hire the
older guy. Maturity is a big plus!



LawnSite Fanatic
Beaverton, OR
I would not hire either one of these guys. I am sorry. I wouldn't hire the young guy for all of the reasons listed above. Primarily because of the friend issue. But the money management problem will be a real challenge for you as well.

I wouldn't hire the older guy simply because I am confident I could find someone more suited for the job. Detail is important and his sight could be an issue. I wouldn't want to find out.

My advice is to place an ad in the paper and interview a lot more people. See my other post in the "Going Solo" thread for tips on that.