Hiring new employees

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Brother1, Feb 25, 2003.

  1. Brother1

    Brother1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 37

    We are in the process of setting up some interviews to hire one or two new employees. This is our first time doing this since only other employee is family. I tried to do a search but for some reason link won't work so figured I'd ask around. What do you usually ask the guys during the interview process?? And does anyone in NY know if and how we can run their licenses to make sure they are real and to check their driving records?? Any info is greatly appreciated.
  2. grshppr

    grshppr LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 301

    I don't think you can check their driving record, they have to get a copy and provide it to you. I usually ask these questions to potential employees:
    1) own transportation?
    2) why they left previous job
    3) experience that is related to lawn maintenance
    4) what their long term plans are for work
    5) what they expect as wage
    6) how they deal with customers
    7) licenced for pesticide application/score they got
    8) what they hope to get out of the job

    I try to get a feel for how the person will work with others, and if they generally seem like a good reliable hard worker.
  3. SR Landscaping

    SR Landscaping LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 49

    Past Job History and experience are important. But I always go out of my way to "Break the ice" with a potential employee. I'll ask some off the wall questions about him or her, like where they went to school or hobbies. Then you can get a feel about what their like. I don't get overly impressed if they have prior experience in the biz. Then they generaly think they know it all, and it could take months just to break their bad habits they learned elsewhere.
    Good Luck, I hate this aspect of the biz! It's always hit or miss, its a plus if they answer you in English!!! Steve
    Oh, I hired a Young Lady once who was working her way through college. She was GOOD! But too picky which made her kind of slow. She looked a lot better than my other employees!!!!!!
    ;) Stevoo
  4. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712

    You can run lic. We use Agency Records, Newington CT. 1-800-777-6655. There is a fee but it is worth it to get rid of the BS artists. Guys with lots of tickets or suspended lic don't make real good empoyees either. I think you pay $$$'s in advance and then draw svc as you need. You can get quick turnaround by fax. Different prices for different speeds of svc.
  5. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,366

    Yes there are services that will run licenses for you, for a fee. I have a friend that does it for me. As far as questions, if it is just for a laborer, I pretty much just ask about experience. I am not big on questions, I am big on performance. I am firm and tell the person what is expected of them, how much we pay, and how "we" do business. If someone does not want to adhere to our rules or standards, most of the time I'll get a "ok, thanks anyway". If the person is clean cut, willing to work, and willing to abide by our standards, I will try them out. If I see they are not going to cut it, or if they are late... etc. I will tell them not to come back.
  6. kickin sum grass

    kickin sum grass LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 628

    my 2 cents -
    I have found in my hiring days that look for attitude first. I have the best employees who have had zip experience but a good attitude. You also want to find someone who can think. do not be afraid to ask them what they would do if this or that happens (during the interview).
    I have had a lot of trouble with experienced people because they think they know it all. They learned one way and beleive it is right. even thought they may talk good in the interview they have failed to perfrom to my standards which are very high.
    I also ask interviewies about there hobbies, interest, past time activities. If they are active it is a + if they are couch potatoes????

    hope it will help....

    also about the driving record. Here in ohio I can go to their county clerk of courts web site and find out any info on them. tickets, dui, reck op. and even if they have been sued etc.

    Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged

    02-25-2003 09:32 PM
  7. John from OH

    John from OH LawnSite Member
    Messages: 144

    My understanding is that you can't check driving records without consent from the prospective employee. We interivew and offer a position based on an acceptable driving record. The employee then signs a release giving permission to access this information. A fax to our insurance agent will get an MVR and approval or denial of coverage on our policy thru our insurance company, usually the same day. Whatever you do, document and keep your procedures that same for every applicant.
  8. MWM

    MWM LawnSite Member
    Messages: 102

    I was surfing and found this post interesting. I am from Ohio and we have all applicants fill out an application and a drivers disclosure form. It in essence gives our insurance company permission to run a MVR. A motor vehicle report. Its done free by our insurance company. If needed we can get it back in less than half an hour.
    Quite frequently we will find an applicant has a valid license but is not insurable on our policy. This is another post which I will start.
    It is another useful tool to be used along with checking references and calling former employers.

    Our interview in the peak season consists of chewing gum and a stick of chalk.
    If they can chew gum - laborer
    If they can chew gum and walk the chalk line - foreman
    If they can draw the line, chew the gum and walk the line- supervisor.

    Not really but I get frustrated at times and think this may work as well as really trying.

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