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Hiring as a newer company

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by jkeifer, Apr 22, 2020.

  1. jkeifer

    jkeifer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    My husband is in his second year and there are a TON of companies in our area. He has plenty of work however, hiring qualified employees without additional perks that larger companies offer (a take home vehicle, 401k, etc). How have you all done this (or how did you do this) as a newer company.
     
  2. Jeff@diyokc

    Jeff@diyokc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 357

    Finding and retaining good employees is one of the bigger challenges he’ll face! After all, he’s selecting from the same pool that the other companies are, and unfortunately, that pool isn’t always brimming with quality applicants!

    you could search on here as this has/will be discussed frequently, but I don’t think there is a clear answer for finding reliable help. And you will see that word come up just as frequently! @Tara Ann had an interesting take on how her company has done it, maybe some of those things would work! Another fellow @snomaha runs a large business and may have some helpful advice!

    I had a crew of 12 people, and frankly I think it was a bit of luck when I ran my ad and got the people who stayed more than a season! You’ll go they A LOT of folks to find them! As you both know, this isn’t easy work and the pay for most employees is fairly low! Those two things alone are a hurdle, just as any other expanding company faces!
     
  3. Jeff@diyokc

    Jeff@diyokc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 357

    I had also used a temp employment agency for a short time, but they were more of a “screening tool” for me, but they weren’t really able to source any better candidates for us ether! ironically, some that applied and then never showed up to interview, would, a few weeks later, be referred to me from this agency as “ a perfect fit”! Uh no!

    With other companies around you, you can only offer so much based on the revenue your generating! In this industry, folks leave for.50 more an hour! You may end up with a lot of short term employees until your business revenue can sustain comparable wages to your competition!
     
  4. Toro44

    Toro44 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Focus on what you do offer

    Is your husband good at different aspect of the business? Sometimes guys like to learn new things and they are stuck as mower guy in a big company.

    A new company has the upside of growth and the right guy will be a crew leader. Sell them on it without making false promises.

    Once you find a food guy you can trust do do quality work while you have your back turned. Pay him like you want to keep him. You’ll know when you find them.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    jkeifer

    jkeifer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Yes, we have a guy with years of golf turf experience that needed a change and he’s been fantastic. I guess I want to know specifically- where do you post openings, where have you found the greatest success?
     
  6. OP
    OP
    jkeifer

    jkeifer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    That was our plan at the beginning of the season however, COVID left us wondering. My husband used to do sales and a guy he knows now works with a temp agency so I’ll remind him to check in there again. Perhaps since he knows the guy, he’ll be more honest and upfront... at least we hope!
     
  7. Jeff@diyokc

    Jeff@diyokc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 357

    I have always thought a good fisherman has lots of hooks in the water! That being said, glance over Employment sites like indeed to see how their ads are written, then benchmark off them! A newspaper add will probably bring a variety of questionable applicants,as will a craigslist ad! But at least these venues will give you a snapshot who’s out actively/passively looking!
     
    Green Industry Pro likes this.
  8. OP
    OP
    jkeifer

    jkeifer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7


    Thanks so much! I’ll reach out to the other members. Where did you run your ad?
     
  9. Jeff@diyokc

    Jeff@diyokc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 357

    I used indeed, at the time monster, and I also built a relationship with the counselors at a community college that offered a hort program! Did a craigslist ad just to see what that was like, wasn’t any different from print news ad as far as who came by!

    one of the more interesting ones was the electronic billboards, that actually got some folks that were more than qualified for me! But we were expanding into a couple other businesses and were able to staff them!

    I’m not sure any one method in particular was great individually, but collectively we did get responses! Just be prepared the majority of them won’t be qualified or would self eliminate due to a back ground check! As a one time federal law enforcement guy, drug stuff or violent offenses were an automatic no! My thoughts were that we serviced single/divorced women or single parent families, just wanted to avoid any potential problems! Just my opinion!
     
  10. EmeraldCut

    EmeraldCut LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    Jkiefer,

    Jeff is providing some great counsel and experience.

    Also, please, please, please remember that as the company seeks a long-term loyal employee, the company must actively engender that loyalty. The most inexpensive way to engender that loyalty is by being a good supervisor: communicate, applaud a job well done, coach when behavior needs to be modified. Seems parochial? Perhaps, but it is free and can differentiate you as an employer. (It may make Mom and Dad proud too!) Thumbs Up
     

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