Fired another helper today…they only get worse..

SS Lawn Care

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Broken Arrow, OK
Here in the Tulsa area, the same is going on. Seems like lawn mowing calls are falling on my lap without even trying. Same story, "The last guy I hired showed up once or never at all, so I'm looking for someone reliable." I have the same problem, good trained help, is elusive. I hate to give up lawn customers too, due to receiving other landscape work from them. Besides, it is an awful feeling to give up customers you have worked so hard to cultivate and maintain. Been there, done that, not doing that again. Someone nailed it earlier, choose the best lawns, in the best locations, and price them well. Hold out for the locations that offer you better density, and up your price to make sure the very serious customers choose you. It is also your opportunity to demand weekly cuts and not bi-monthly, plus demand the payment method that works best for you. It does slow growth a bit, which isn't always a bad thing.
 

sagesove

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
on this rock
The help is out there. One must find them yourselves. Relying on agencies and ads and interwebs for this type of work is becoming futile so it seems from all the posts in the last 17 months. The old way of "hiring" is a tired concept. Be different. Meet the perspective help/labor/talent in person somewhere outside a business setting. "Shoot the ****", find common likes, converse with them as a friend and fellow human. Do not put up a fake facade as a slave employer. Be real. Kick a little ***! Have fun with it.

Every single one of my hired help came from me being out in the public, at stores, the library and functions/entertainment venues. Peruse the local gig joints. Go meet peolple at the many leagues most cities have(dart, pool, softball, baseball, soccer, biking etc). Many festivals to check out. Farmers markets. City functions. Fairs. Park and rec facilities. Hell one of the gals on our crew I met at the local recreation center while ice skating at an open slate time slot. All my help/friends/crew, they are all still here within the venture we have set up going on 7 years later.

Easily a quarter of working aged adults in my city are out of work. (Kind of nice that traffic has been conceivably almost halfed). Another 3rd, probably more of the remaining 3/4's are working from home now.

Feel out and change yourself going forward. It will lead to a change in the structure of your business. Time to throw away the "old way of doing things". Letting the city/state/fed control your business/labor isn't getting hard laborers anywhere. Getting the 900 pound "gorillas" off your backs will lead to a happier healthier you. Effect will come from that in your endeavors.
 

Gus McGee

LawnSite Senior Member
I'm networking the heck out of my friend base which is a lot of Hispanic. Either they are getting $ from the gov, already have a job, or they want an astronomical amount per hour. Word is out that they are in need. I've had a few tell me $20 or $25 and hour cash... Yeah but nope. I'm desperate but not stupid. Both wanted under the table cash. Again nope.
This year we have had to raise wages substantially to get and retain good laborers. Our experienced Hispanic laborers with clean driver's licenses are making more than 20 an hour. Wages have gone through the roof. I've raised most of my prices about 20% this year, excluding mowing.

Mowing has always been a difficult, low profit part of the business. Now it has become even more difficult. Profit margins are razor thin, to the point I contemplate subbing it out or dropping all mowing only accounts. Next year I probably will raise mowing prices up considerably, which may make us less competitive, but it has to be done.

Though I am in the northeast, where the cost of living and wages are through the roof.
 
Last edited:

hort101

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
S.E. New England
Will things change when the expanded unemployment ends???
Were things different before the expanded unemployment started?
 

Toro44

LawnSite Senior Member
A good contractor in this market can also write their own check in my area, just not sure how long that will last. If ultra high competitive wages and prices are here to stay and that will be the going rate. I’m starting guys where 2nd and 3rd year guys were a couple years ago. When I started them lower I gave them a lot of leeway to learn, but if I’m shelling out top dollar I’ll just have to give the quick hook and cycle through prospects. Not really how I like to hire.
 
OP
JLSLLC

JLSLLC

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
The Garden State
The help is out there. One must find them yourselves. Relying on agencies and ads and interwebs for this type of work is becoming futile so it seems from all the posts in the last 17 months. The old way of "hiring" is a tired concept. Be different. Meet the perspective help/labor/talent in person somewhere outside a business setting. "Shoot the ****", find common likes, converse with them as a friend and fellow human. Do not put up a fake facade as a slave employer. Be real. Kick a little ***! Have fun with it.

Every single one of my hired help came from me being out in the public, at stores, the library and functions/entertainment venues. Peruse the local gig joints. Go meet peolple at the many leagues most cities have(dart, pool, softball, baseball, soccer, biking etc). Many festivals to check out. Farmers markets. City functions. Fairs. Park and rec facilities. Hell one of the gals on our crew I met at the local recreation center while ice skating at an open slate time slot. All my help/friends/crew, they are all still here within the venture we have set up going on 7 years later.

Easily a quarter of working aged adults in my city are out of work. (Kind of nice that traffic has been conceivably almost halfed). Another 3rd, probably more of the remaining 3/4's are working from home now.

Feel out and change yourself going forward. It will lead to a change in the structure of your business. Time to throw away the "old way of doing things". Letting the city/state/fed control your business/labor isn't getting hard laborers anywhere. Getting the 900 pound "gorillas" off your backs will lead to a happier healthier you. Effect will come from that in your endeavors.
Was already mentioned here, advertising In multiple ways. All good candidates, but not able to follow directions, and not listening to directions are huge with me.

yes they were all good friendly people etc
 

Top Forums



Top