Question about hiring a Spray tech

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Ric, Mar 28, 2004.

  1. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969

    I looking to another hire a spray tech. Now if I hire one who has been spraying then he will bring his own bad habits. If I hire one who has never been near the business. I have a large learning curve to deal with.

    Therefore my thinking is to find someone who has been in the green industry but not Spraying. Of course sober and reliable with good attitude are import. The desire to one day pass the test and be certified is also a very desirable to me. Someone working under my licenses for the required time can sit for 3 different tests 1. Pesticide 2. Irrigation 3. Commercial Landscape. I feel I have a lot to offer someone with the desire to get ahead, but don't want to spin my wheels with a jerk.

    Now my question is how do I advertise to find such a person. We work year round and we don't have the advantage of plowing snow. But our summer can be very hot and humid. Sometimes we must spray in the early morning and late afternoon taking the middle of the day off. However it is not as physical demanding as lawn mowing or other type labor. No spreaders to push I have power walk behinds and Walker Mowers set up as spreader-sprayers. Of course here in the Bug Capital we will always have to drag hose. However I use 3/8 hose instead of 1/2 and the weight is a lot lighter.
  2. TSM

    TSM LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 707

    and thats the $64,000 question!
    I agree, not hiring anyone with experience with another company. All you'll here is 'thats not the way we used to do it"

    hiring someone with no experience at all is good because you get to 'mold' them to be basicly an extension of you. But, you need extreme patience (something I lack) and you got to hope that they take the know-how that you teach them and put it to work in your company...not take it to someother company for .10 more per hour.

    hiring someone with green, but not spray, experience sounds like the best way to go. With the experience in green industry they must be aware of dealing with the weather, which is a plus. Someone who has worked outdoors yet wants to learn something new is also a plus. Of course you'll still need the patience of training, but at least you wont have to be a cheerleader (you know, you wont half to be especially possitive all the time, like 'hey, i know its hot, but come-on lets be a team, we can take a dip in the pool this afternoon, blah blah blah')

    but your question is how to advertise for such a person? and that , my friend, is the $64,000 question!

    I would suggest you place 2 or even 3 adds (i assume you'll place adds in local newspaper? newspapers seem to be the quickest way, but you'll have to do a lot of screening of undesirables. trade magazines just take to long, but maybe you're not in a hurry?) Assuming newspapers..2 or 3 adds in one paper, each worded completely different from eachother. one ad advertising for someone who actually has a brain and enjoys using it learning new stuff. Another ad focusing on working outdoors or something familiar to a green industry type of person. then a third ad totaly off the wall, making no referance to 'green industry' but being real creative to attract those who are not afraid of the unknown.

    As far as how to word these ads.....I aint got a clue. I've sat in on seminars, have read books, have talked with owners of some very large as well as very small companies..and it is still a mystery to me.

    anyway, good luck. Let us know what/how you advertise and what your results are.
  3. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    Talking with one of the big boys the other day. Yes he goes through 50 application to get one possible. 1 in 10 stay long term. So yes it is the $ 64,000 Question. Most people can not see the trees for the Forest because this is a golden opportunity for the right person.
  4. TSM

    TSM LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 707

    I agree, you are offering a very good opportunity. I'm not all that familiar with the regulations in Florida, but I know they are tough.

    Hopefully someone will see the tree through the forest, unfortunately, many will cut down the whole forest except one tree and STILL not see it.

    Another delemma in hiring is age. The twenty-somethings want it all over nite. The thitry-somethings expect to be hired as management. The forty-somethings, well by this time they ussually have figured out what they are and stay where they are.

    I wish you luck.
  5. greenerpastures

    greenerpastures LawnSite Member
    Messages: 160


    Good question ---- and it usually does come down to money. Would you plan to start a person @ base+incentive, % sales, or something different?
    My accounts who are former TG/CL accounts all site high tech turnover for their dissatisfaction with their work --- "always a new guy who doesn't seem to know what he's doing". What are they doing wrong as an employer---that you (and I) would hope to avoid?
  6. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969

    A lot of good commends on this question and I agree with everything that has been said.

    Now the bottom line is. It takes a minim of Three seasons to see and learn enough to be average. It takes Three life times to become an expert. Now who you work with can make all the difference in your education on the job. For the most part the big boys really only care about the bottom line. However most companies recognize that employee training is necessary. I would like to think the right person would get my full attention in the training area. Of course you only get out of anything what you put in to it.

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