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Re-evaluating Hiring Process

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by CLS_Birmingham, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. CLS_Birmingham

    CLS_Birmingham LawnSite Member
    Messages: 128

    So I'm in the process of re-evaluating my hiring process. In the past, we have simply hired based on references from friends and family. This method was worked for seasonal workers, but I need employees that can stay on full time and long term. So far I've developed a set of pre-interview questions and a set of in person interview questions. Beyond the basics, what are some good questions that everyone's had good results from asking??

    Also, I know a lot of people do a field evaluation as part of the process. Problem is, its winter. Nothing is growing. What can I get them to to show they're abilities right now?? I'm trying to hire someone right now that we can train while things are slow so once business picks up they can transition without a problem.
  2. seabee24

    seabee24 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    I could use alot of help in this area as well. Tons of problems with employees
  3. Landrus2

    Landrus2 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,021

    These days all the good employees seem to be taken on my opinion the right pay is the only thing that will keep them coming back:weightlifter:
  4. CLS_Birmingham

    CLS_Birmingham LawnSite Member
    Messages: 128

    Yeah but how do you determine the winners from the losers when your hiring??
  5. Shane100

    Shane100 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 65

    I posted this on CL and had the best response yet. I was fed up with a couple of guys who were let go just before posting it.

    I only got about 4-5 calls and could of honestly hired anyone of them.
    I hired 2 guys and they are truly my hardest working and most professional guys. I was not interested in training anyone or putting up with anymore lazy hungover drug users. Whats funny is I wasn't really expecting anyone to call because of the tone of the listing. But like I said it worked out great.

    It's simple yet weeds out undesirables at the same time.

    "We are looking for an experienced lawn maintenance professional. Experience must include a minimum of at least one season with a professional lawn maintenance company.
    Must have experience with commercial lawn equipment including string trimmers, stick edgers, hedge trimmers, leaf blowers, and Honda commercial 21" mowers.
    Crew members must have own transportation and be able to work flexible hours.
    Applicant must be able to consistently work 8-10hr days in the summer heat.
    We work Mon-Thurs weather permitting and do Make-up days as needed.
    We have Zero tolerance for tardiness, drug or alcohol abuse and No shows.

    If interested reply with Contact information and relevant work experience. Must be able to start on Monday July 2. We will not work the 4th but will make it up this Friday.

    Compensation: $9+/hr depending on experience and performance."

    This was the first time I hired anyone without some kind of reference, personal connection,or friend of a friend type thing. It's funny how many people will tell you they know how to do something yet obviously don't.

    There are still good people out there. One of the guys I hired was employed at another LCO and he was fed up with constant conversations about drugs. He is straight edge, doesn't drink, smoke, or do drugs and just couldn't stand to be around those guys anymore. So my ad directly appealed to him. He is now my number one guy.

    Good luck and have a great season.
  6. Shane100

    Shane100 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 65

    I guess my point is don't attract them in the first place!
  7. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,597

    I love this topic....

    Hiring people in this industry has become an art form. It's been discussed on this site many times - its unfortunate really - people just do not want to work anymore, or at least work hard. Maybe its a generation thing - who knows.

    But there are still plenty of hard working people out there looking for a job that has the potential to become a career.

    First of all, a great source of referrals is from right inside your business. If you have some hard working, reliable, professional employees, turn to them. Tell them you are looking for more people like them and ask if they can recommend anyone. Assuming this person values their job and the impression you have of them, they are not going to suggest you hire any of their moron/alcoholic/pot-smoking buddies.

    If they know of someone who will not embarass them, they will tell you.

    Then, there is good old craigslist - a great source actually for our industry if the ads are written correctly.

    Every business owner has their own preference - personally, I prefer people with the right traits and qualities any day over experience.
  8. CLS_Birmingham

    CLS_Birmingham LawnSite Member
    Messages: 128

    Shane, FYI I'm fixing to pretty much plagiarize your CL ad (If you don't mind of course, lol). I think you hit the nail on the head with what you posted. In the past, I've been too vague with my postings and being very direct up front with what I want might save me alot of hassle. With the guys you hired, did you just simply do an interview then give them an "on the job" trial period??

    Sean, I also think your dead on with your post. The problem is, we have yet to obtain any workers worth keeping around. I recently restructured my company and basically let go of all my employees because I had no one on staff that I felt comfortable leaving alone to complete a job.
  9. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,597

    Read any industry poll or any studies performed on this industry and you will see that the biggest issue/problem in this industry has to do with labor.

    Something that works really, really, really well for my company has been a signing bonus with a twist...
  10. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,478

    So you pay what McDonalds pays, but you cant compete because mcducks is air conditioned.

    Say you get a real good employee who like the business, whats to keep him from buying a mower and taking your customers???

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