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Hiring employees

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by maple city, May 23, 2002.

  1. maple city

    maple city LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 305

    We are a 3 year-old company. My husband and I do all the mowing. He's a full-time firefighter, so we schedule our mows around his work schedule. It has worked pretty well so far, but we are growing and we are on the brink of needing to hire another person. It will be someone to do the mowing while I trim and blow.

    I am nervous to hire people becuase we have worked very hard to get our equipmet and get a good business going.

    I just wanted to get thoughts of people who have been in this position. I'm going to be able to offer 8.00/hour. Can I get a quality person for this? What experiences have you had, and what do you look for when hiring?

    I'm trying to stay away from hiring family or teenagers. And I will not (tyring to be politically correct here) hire people who are not American citizens.

  2. Brickman

    Brickman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,249

    Good luck!!!! After 3 or 4 seasons of only being able to find losers I am working solo this year. And turning tons of work down.
    I can tell you that at $10 an hour you won't find good help either. So it wasn't because I was paying too little. Good help is very few and far between.
    The ones I have had did their best to piss off the customers, destroy my equipment, be late for work, talk all day on the cell phone and when they ran out of ideas for the above activities they would half azz what little work they did do.
    A lot of my customers only stayed with Brickman Lawn Care because I always worked on the job to make certain things looked as good as I could rectify after being screwed up, and that I was there and they didn't have to deal with the loser. I have good equipment and a bunch of good customers (not all of them, but most of them are), and decided that I didn't need to be losing either with out a fight.
    Again I say good luck to you.
  3. Jason Pallas

    Jason Pallas LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,335

    Right now is a great time to hire in. $8 an hour should get you lots of response. I've been doing this for 20+ years and have 9 fulltime employees. This year is the best I can remember for employees - because of the economy, good employees area a dime a dozen. It certainly hasn't always been that way though.
    I've got guys with lots of experience - calling nightly to beg to work - and my employees know it (it keeps them in line!).
    Just the other day I fired a guy for missing 2 days (no call/no show). I made one phone call and within 10 minutes I had another guy pulling into the lot ready to replace him and thanking me for the chance at a job. Needless to say the other employees quickly realized that they'd be fools to screw up and loose their jobs here - there's too many people waiting to take 'em.
    You'll have no problem finding some responsible guy that has lost his job and has bills to pay and will be happy to have a job and work hard for you in this economy. Good luck.
  4. mikeupstNY

    mikeupstNY LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    GOOD LUCK, I know I need some. If I could hire the right people my days would be full of joy and Money. I have some good people but we work up scale residential and most employees seem sloopy. Nice guys but not detail oriented, wage seems unimportant I have offered $12 TO KEEP TRAINED PEOPLE. most would prefer to do light duty for a lighter wage or only work less hour. That aside its been a great May.
  5. wolfpacklawn

    wolfpacklawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 120

    I know you said you wanted only American citizens but I have found that legal immigrants from south of the border work very hard, are happy to work for $8, and have been some of my best workers. I have two this year and both are reliable and do a good job. Notice I said "legal immigrants."
  6. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 738

    Having employees work for you is a decision that you have to embrace if you decide to take that step. It means changing things in the company to focus on their development. You need to have an employee manual that at a minimum sets some standards to make your life easier. Even if you only have one employee... it answers all the questions. As well, be careful about talking business while out doing the work. This will drive you nuts. If they want to talk about their pay, their hours, their needs, etc., tell them they'll have to schedule an appointment with you after working hours so you can give them your full attention. You have to be an enforcer... but at the same time, you'll constantly be picking and choosing the battles you have to fight. You can't fight them all. And rarely will you find an employee who does the job as you would.

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