Finding skilled lead employees

Discussion in 'Employment' started by emg35, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. emg35

    emg35 LawnSite Member
    from CA
    Messages: 28

    I am located on central coast in California and always have trouble finding skilled labor and lead positions. Craigslist for the most part gets me unskilled applicants and honestly most won't even make it to a scheduled job interview. Currently I'm trying to find Site Superintendents and project managers for our construction division. So my question is how do you find new lead positions. Currently I have no one qualified to promote and that is where I generally try to start. Any good job boards or?
  2. Tara Ann

    Tara Ann LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 590

    Top 3 (in my opinion):

    Less Preferred (in my opinion):
    hort101 likes this.
  3. OP

    emg35 LawnSite Member
    from CA
    Messages: 28

    Have you had luck finding field leads with Indeed, Linkedin and ZipRecruiter?

  4. Idlewild

    Idlewild LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20
    StripeLife likes this.
  5. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,917

    so... first question....
    Do you have defined roles for the jobs?
    second...what do you pay the position?

    Lets do project manager for example.

    What does that PM do? whats he responsible for? What skills do you require? What do you expect of him?
    All that needs to be in the advertisement....
    Not simply "wanted landscape project managers.... to do 'landscapy stuff'...must have 5 years DOE"

    this will attract people who drove by a landscape project a few times every summer for 5 years and wants to tell people what to do.

    Also... dont make the job sound too intimidating either

    "10 years experience...responsible for profitability or you will forfeit your first born!- pay is dependent on you being worth a damn!"

    Describe the job... tell them what you are willing to pay, you will get applicants based on what you put into your advertising for them.

    Be sure you are either offering more than the average wage for the position you are hiring for or, you have appropriate comparable bennies to offset pay.
    Mdirrigation and hort101 like this.
  6. OP

    emg35 LawnSite Member
    from CA
    Messages: 28

    I have a very well thought out job description and competitive benefit package. My job description closely follow the CLCA description with modification that follow how we run our company. The biggest problem is simply finding qualified people. This has been a problem in Ca. for 4 or 5 yrs. The last few qualified people that have applied have been from out of state that wanted to move here. The last hire was from Texas and didn't work out. I recently hired a guy from Washington that had great references from northern ca. and a great resume that after a month of time waiting for him to move here never showed up and refused to answer emails or phone calls. I currently have our service department closed down and the service manager running one of the construction crews but I need to get him back where he belongs and the department back up. My hope is to find different avenues to recruit new employees without wasting money. I'm now looking fondly at the days you posted an ad on Criagslist and you had 20 replies in twenty minutes.
    hort101 likes this.
  7. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,917

    I don’t think you were ever hiring qualified project managers off or craigslist
    Maybe the field staff
    I’ve also never seen anyone put serious effort into a Craigslist ad
    Yes to other websites but not Craigslist

    Several of your neighboring states use landscape
    You can advertise in different states there.

    I don’t know if you are familiar with h2b,
    But in that system the employer carries the brunt of relocation costs.

    You might consider offering a relocation package for a PM as an incentive for the right candidate.

    Years ago Tuefel Landscaping Relocated me from Colorado to Idaho.
    I didn’t want to go... turned down the job offer three times.
    Eventually they said they’d pay to move me and give me house to stay in while I got situated.
    When you really need someone, you really need someone.

    Sharpen your vetting process, so you’re not relocating ten guys before you find the right one and offer to pony up.

    You should find the right guy.

    Your problem is you local cost of living I think....
    Moving there must be similar to moving to New York City...
    That and the political climate, you’re probably looking for a liberal who works outdoors and doesn’t think cutting grass and trees is murdering sentient life.
    That probably IS hard to find.

    Your draw is the good weather... which is why most people are there to begin with and the fact you guys have a long season

    What do you offer for paid vacation?

    Maybe if you offer four weeks of taken during the correct time of year... that could also entice the right candidate.

    New York and Connecticut have similar political stances and costs of living... but way worse weather... you might look to advertise in those states for the position?
    Mdirrigation likes this.
  8. Mudly

    Mudly LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 326

    Why dont you use your California gateway?
  9. BreezeTO

    BreezeTO LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    We have the same problem here in Canada.
    We pay thousands and thousands of dollars to Indeed and still can't find lead hands. It is just going to get worse too because the lead hands are getting older and the millenials are not interested in doing hard labour!
    hort101 likes this.
  10. Tara Ann

    Tara Ann LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 590

    We have primarily focused on Indeed and Facebook for job advertisements. The best leads we have received have come through unsponsored (non-paid) ads on Indeed. We have yet to hire, and retain, anyone from Facebook. We have posted a couple of ads on Craigslist, but we are rural and didn't receive any hits from that.

    ZipRecruiter is great because it cross-posts your job advertisement to different job boards. The company I am currently working with does not use ZipRecruiter. However, in my previous line of work, we used LinkedIn and ZipRecruiter (as well as Cragislist, Monster, and CareerBuilder). The candidates we received from LinkedIn were top of the line, super sharp candidates. The candidates we received from Craigslist were bottom of the barrel, little to no communication, no-show for interview, not trainable, type of candidates.

    All of this is based solely on my personal opinion and experience. This is only my 3rd year in the green industry, and I have never recruited in California. As Breeze (quoted below) mentioned millennials - it's important to be appealing to them as well. Flexible schedules, PTO, room for advancement, travel and education opportunities, and foooood to name a few perks that attract the millennial generation.

    What is your social media presence like? What does your website look like? What information do you have in your job advertisements?

    The millennial generation isn't necessarily unwilling to work hard labor positions. It is more that they feel undervalued, unappreciated, and underpaid. It is hard to attract millennials, let alone train and retain them. Just my opinion.
    hort101 likes this.

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