Hiring Question

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Jeremiah Dyke, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. Jeremiah Dyke

    Jeremiah Dyke LawnSite Member
    Messages: 69

    I have a pretty healthy supply of college workers where I live whom I typically hire out of my classroom (once I get to know their work ethic )for some of the projects I'm involved in as well as my lawn business. College students are typically hard workers but have odd schedules that can be unreliable. With this is mind, let me pitch an idea to you in hopes for some feedback. About ½ of my accounts over the past summer were small yards, ¼ of an acre or less. My idea is to purchase two sets of self-propelled mowers, weedeaters and blowers and pay students by the hour plus milage for using their own truck to haul the equipment to and from sites.

    I've already thought of some potential flaws but maybe you can help me think of some more.

    Problem 1) Students joy ride on my time and milage:
    Potential Solution: Map out the routes for them and only pay them for milage to and from the sites.

    Problem 2) Students working too slow or goofing off on their cell phones:
    Potential Solution: Have students text me when they arrive at the site and when the leave a site.

    Problem 3) Stealing Customers
    Potential Solution: Have students sign a no compete contract

    Problem 4) Equipment Storage:
    PS: Have students store equipment at designated area
  2. dahammer

    dahammer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 227

    From reading through your problems & solutions, it sounds to me like you don't trust them. If that is the case, then don't hire them. All you should have to do is let them know that you'll be checking up on them from time to time, by actually checking up on them from time to time, and that should keep them honest. If it doesn't, then look for someone else.

    Messages: 1,343

    Hauling your equipment with their vehicle wouldn't sit well with me as far as lettering and representation
    Although I have to say there are allot of kids running around out there with nicer trucks than mine!
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. JimmyTheGlove

    JimmyTheGlove LawnSite Member
    Messages: 84

    You could run into problems if a kid gets into an accident or gets pulled over. I guess since their vehicle wouldn't necessarily be considered a work truck, I'm not sure how it would play out.
    Restaurants that offer delivery (like Dominos) do exactly what you are suggesting. It seems to work out just fine for them. If I were you, I'd give it a shot. What's the worst that could happen?
  5. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,558

    If you can find these guys why not just consider them subs and pay them a fixed amount for cutting each yard. Rent the equipment to them if they don't have their own. A few companies are doing that around our area.
  6. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    Sounds like a bad plan to have them working unsupervised with their own vehicles.
  7. NussoTextiles

    NussoTextiles LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    I run a pillow factory in toronto and find the only way to ensure staff is working reliably is to have someone you trust present at all times. Its worth it to pay that guy more to police the other guys.
  8. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,372

    Your source for employment should not revolve around your helps schedule. You are the boss and they work for you on your schedule only. Going over your Four problems in order:
    1. Students Joy riding on my time and mileage?, Solution: Allow your help the chance to do the job right in the first place. First infraction, your FIRED!
    2. Students working to slow or goofing off on their cell phones?, Solution If your help has a cell phone they would not be able to use it during working hours.
    3. Stealing customers?, If you are that insecure about managing your accounts do them all yourself.
    4. Equipment Storage?, Your help would as a matter of fact store all equipment in a designated area in the first place. I would also suggest that you refer to your "students" as help or employees, The term students leads one to believe that you are a teacher or prof, which you may be but the term "students" is less than professional.
    Remember your employees or help only work for you and once this has been established by both parties thing will go much easier.
    PS, Never let your employees use their own transport with your equipment, You will have very big problems and possible be out of business very fast or worse.
    easy-lift guy
  9. justanotherlawnguy

    justanotherlawnguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,282

    This is the stupidest business idea ever!!! College kids running your lawn biz out of their cars.

    You obviously have zero lawn biz experience, much less any idea how to run a lawn biz.

    Go do it all yourself!!
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,510

    That also seems kinda effed up to hire your students. Conflict of interest? Favorites? Grade bias? I dunno...........

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