So I bought 100 lawn accounts this year bringing me up to about 160. Obviously I was in need of a couple more employees. I had no idea what I was in store for. Be prepared for a rant. The last two months have been a complete nightmare. First, one of the two employees from the the guy I bought the accounts off quit the day he told them he was selling the business. He wanted all cash and found a job with someone else making $13.50/hr cash. I don't really want to pay cash. His brother, who drove the truck, stayed on with me after practically pulling his teeth to come work for me. I was offering him more money and more hours ($17/hr as a helper) but he too wanted all cash. I worked out an arrangement with him to pay $10 on the books and $7/hr in cash. Great worker, but he's a pain in the a$$. He can't ever work late on tuesdays and can never work any saturdays because he's a bus boy at a restaurant. Apparently that job is more important to him cause he never tells them he can't work but has no problem doing it to me. I've gone through about 6 other guys since the beginning of May. EVERY time I go through all the applicants I always ask them how many years experience they have and then after they tell me "oh yea I have like 6-8 years exp" we get out on the route and it takes them 5 minutes just to edge 10 ft of a curb. Just as I'm typing this somebody called me and after talking with them they said they've never landscaped before. IT SAYS IN MY AD 3-5 YEARS EXPERIENCE REQUIRED!!!! I found an amazing helper a few weeks ago and everything was starting to look on the up and up. NOPE! He disappeared on me last weekend when he was suppose to work and now I come to find out he's in jail for having sex with a 14 y/o girl. I get a contact from this guys brother in law saying he can landscape so I give him a call. He was suppose to work tuesday. Texts me saying sorry something came up can't work today. Wednesday comes. Same text. Talk to him later that days and he says he can definitely work thursday and fridays. Guess what??? No call, no show. In addition to the other 6 guys that clearly looked like they never held a weed whacker before in their life, I've had 4 other guys not show up on their first day of work. This weekend I found somebody who wasn't happy with the hours he was being given by his current employer. He was only getting 40 I offered him 50-60 and same pay ($14/hr). We're out on the job yesterday and as I come back with another load of topsoil my one helper says..."he has to go home". It's 12pm. His wife is in labor supposedly. Ok I drop him off at the bus station and says he'll be back to work today. Guess what happened this morning? I'm literally falling apart. The only guy I can ever actually count on that I have I'm constantly going back over his trimming work. He's probably the worst employee I have in terms of quality work and always being 10 minutes late every morning, but I can't find anybody else for the life of me. Oh yea and he gets $17/hr as a weed whacker also. He basically demanded it after he found out I was paying the other guy $17. Not only am I paying outrageous prices for these two helpers I have, but I can't count on them.. ever. I'm at a loss and I really can't understand why it's this hard. Is this really how it is? Is it really this hard to find employees?