no more dopeheads

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by greenacres2010, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. greenacres2010

    greenacres2010 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    Can you find good employs that aren't dopeheads? How do you guys find decent help?Every year the only guys i can find to help and we work 50-60 hrs a week is freaking pill heads and if I have to put up with the drama and crap this year I'll down size and go solo again any advice?
  2. dwlah

    dwlah LawnSite Senior Member
    from Argo Al
    Messages: 558

    You can find them BUT what happens with me is they find another job.
    Im with you about downsizing and going back solo
  3. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    Look at the wages that most employees in this industry make. The wages really aren't going to attract highly educated people nor outstanding citizens in your community. Yes, you can get some great "diamond in the rough" employees but it really depends on the wages and benefits you offer.
  4. elitefox

    elitefox LawnSite Member
    Messages: 74

    Isn't drugs what makes lawncare workers :laugh::laugh:

    Ever thought of a drug test?? Might help...
  5. aroddy

    aroddy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 396

    You say drug test and they just turn around and walk out lol
  6. Chilehead

    Chilehead LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Stockbridge, GA
    Messages: 1,968

    In the "Employment" section of my website, I clearly state that you must download and complete a job application, submit a resume, submit a cover letter, and submit to a background check. Since doing this, the number of applicants has dropped to near zero although my analytical charts show that we are still getting many people viewing the job postings. I figure if someone can't complete basic business fundamentals, it will save me the headache and time from bothering with them. The best employee for the solo guy is a new, highly -efficient machine. For instance, I use a 48" walk-behind as my main mower. I could upgrade to a 52" stand-on unit and replace my 21" with a 36" for small gates. Here's another one: I land a $5000.00 landscape job that includes 20 15-gal. trees and a retaining wall. So I buy a "crew". My "crew" is a Boxer 427 compact utility loader with auger bits, trencher , and bucket. Now I AM a 3-man crew.
  7. Goetso

    Goetso LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    I have been tempted to hire employees this year, but with all the problems I hear you talking about, maybe my solo opp. isnt such a bad idea. But when you really break it down, the odds are never in favor of a seasonal occupation.

    Think about it. If the guy is anything half way reliable/responsible he will either have a job already or not want to get dirty and sweaty doing this. Not to say that an owner cant come across a good collage student, but even if you do, he ends up leaving you for school before winter comes and than you have to train a burnt our meth addict for 2 months of baby sitting. I dont know, it seems to me like a guy should invest the wages of a bad employee into bigger and better equipment to cut the time down even more.
  8. BrunoT

    BrunoT LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 741

    I guess those crazy Americans don't find the prospect of no advancement potential, meager if any benefits, no status, probable forced retirement due to health by age 50, sometimes brutal work conditions, hard physical labor, irregular work hours, little job security, and most of all, the prospect of a whopping $12/hour if they're lucky, all that appealing.

    Your sniggering illegal-hiring buddies did this to you. They drove wages down to mid 80's levels so that no decent person would even consider the industry anymore. Anyone who can drive a forklift in a warehouse, answer a phone, pick parts off a shelf, cook food, run a cash register, work on a factory line, or even speak English at all even considers it anymore unless they have some issue (such as drugs) and can't get a better job.

    People are unemployed and need jobs now. But 25 years of telling them this is work suitable only for immigrants and that doing it will mean they lose status in the eyes of their family and peers means they don't even think of it as an alternative. Also, do you really want to hire on an accountant who made $80,000 but needs the temporary work? He'll be gone the day he finds a better job.

    My wife tells me of people she observes at work who shuffle papers but can't tell you what 8x8 is (literally) or who simply answer the phones who make $35,000 plus about $5000 of corporate benefits. That's $20/hour. Why would someone smart and willing to work hard work for anything less?

    But, perhaps things are changing
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011
  9. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 27,061

    Ive had people work for me for 30+ yrs. Trust me, ya need to go thru 10 to find 1 to keep.
  10. BrunoT

    BrunoT LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 741

    Very good point. What happens when you have easy cheap labor in a market is that capital (machines) is neglected in favor of the cheap labor. I see way too many lawns out there being mowed by old 36" gear drive pistol grip POS mowers, 21" Murrays, etc, at glacial paces. I've also witnesses a line of Latino workers (someone stopped by the street corner labor pool!) with shovels walking shovelfulls of earth from a pile to a place they were putting it. A loader could have done that in 1 minute. I've seen guys with sledgehammers trying to break up a concrete driveway. Or employees with a small rototiller trying to renovate a large lawn. All because someone didn't want to make the investment of capital in equipment.

    The same applies to the fruit harvesting industry. There are machines that will do much of it, but the owners say the labor is cheaper than investing in the machine and one operator. When wages rise suffciently, that will change. It already is I'm told.

    For decades now it's been easier to just shove lots of bodies out there with mediocre/poor equipment.

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