Interviewing Potential Employees...?

Discussion in 'Employment' started by SLC LLC, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. Brad

    Brad LawnSite Member
    Messages: 97

    I used to do a lot of hiring at my job before they decided to downsize. Probably hired 200-300 people, all told, in the 26 years on the job. Towards the end, it was decided that the person should not even come to the office for an interview, but should fill out an on-line application. I didn't care for this at all. I could tell more about an applicant from the time they walked in the door until they got to the window. Here's a scenario: Applicant A and Applicant B.

    A is dressed in a dirty shirt, cut offs, flip-flops, hasn't had a bath or shaved in a week. Shuffles up to the window. "Ya'll harin?"

    Give applicant A an application. "Ya'll got a pencil?"

    Give him a pencil. "How much ya'll payin?"

    Ask him how much experience he has. "20 yars".

    By this time you can't wait to get him out of your office.

    B is dressed in clean clothes. Walks up to the window. "Good morning. I was wondering if I could speak to someone about applying for a job?"

    Give him an application and ask if he needs a pencil. "No, I knew I was going to be applying for a job so I did bring a couple with me." You notice he also has notes on past employment, references, actually brought his drivers license. Ask him how much experience he has. "Not a lot, but I am a quick learner." When he's finished, he hands in the application, which is legible, along with a resume, and thanks you for your time.

    Now, if you don't interview, you don't have a clue as to how they present themselves. When you turn applicant A loose with your truck and equipment, that isn't applicant A anymore. That is YOU, as far as your customer is concerned.

    Here is another thought that may go along with the initial question. Why a young guy that's got 5 years of experience working for 10 different operators? How about a fellow that's put in 30 years in the work force, decided that the rat race isn't all that it's cracked up to be, and just wants a job to supplement his retirement. He isn't going to show up with a hangover, he isn't going to forget to show up for work on Friday. He is going to take care of your equipment and put forth a positive image to your customers. And best of all, he's more than likely going to show up for work 20 minutes early instead of 20 minutes late, well groomed and properly dressed. Treat him right and he'll treat you right. No job hopping, has no desire to steal your customers and start his own business. Just might have some good ideas and experiences that he has gained from his years on the job.
  2. bobkatbilly

    bobkatbilly LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Put together a simple math test - since the applicant will be mixing gas and oil for equipment and needs to understand that 5 minutes of wasted time at 12 jobs equals 60 minutes or one hour of waste in a day. Put together a simple industry vocabulary test - since the applicant will need to understand the industry. Put together a simple diagram of a home/office you have on your account and ask ALL applicants to draw the maintenance process(different color highlighters for mowing, trimming, edging, and blowing). Tell them to show where they will park and where they will begin and where they will end. The guys with no experience will not know where or how to start, which is fine. However, this test is designed for those who have experience. Experienced guys will be able to explain the reasons for starting and ending near the trailer/truck. This will give you a great idea about their efficiencies. Have them explain best employer and why? Have them explain best teacher in school and why? What time of day do they believe they are most productive? If they are a night person, mowing is not for them. When you are unprepared for an interview - great employees have no reason to accept the job. Do your homework.
  3. Sweet Tater

    Sweet Tater LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,123

    you'll never believe how that solved itself, the I hired the first guy, then te first cleanup he is a no show no call, hired the second and he is doing fine.

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