1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Catch up on the conversation about fertilization strategies for success with the experts at Koch Turf & Ornamental in the Fertilizer Application forum.

    Dismiss Notice

Recruiting employees

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by grass-scapes, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. grass-scapes

    grass-scapes LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,552

    Has anyone else had a difficult time this season getting employees? I am not even talking about qualified employees, just ANY employee in general. Usually, I will place an ad on craigslist, and within a few hours, will have 20 people to look at.
    I placed an ad 3 weeks ago and got 2, and neither had any experience at all. Of course, it probably didn't help given the fact that I advertised for someone with 2 years of VERIFIABLE experience, Valid Drivers license, NO felony convictions, and reliable transportation.

    My wife has been warning me for years to get back down to a size that I can reasonably handle by myself.

    I hate using newspaper advertising, as that doesn't allow me to screen before they get my phone number, although I use a disposable phone or magicjack number for the reply. If I didn't (based on experience) I would get calls all the time from the same ones asking about the status of their applications, or the ones practically begging me for work, even though they aren't qualified. Lets not mention the fact that its almost 200 bucks for a week in the paper and I usually don't get anyone who is remotely qualified.

    Last two new hires were bad calls on my part. One would stop at every convienence store and restaurant on the route and yell and flirt with women out the window. Then told his landlord that his employer didn't pay him so he couldn't pay the rent. (got a call from the landlord on that one....LOL) He didn't work for me for long, needless to say.

    I hired one Wednesday. He claimed to have 3 years experience. I started him without completing the entire background check. OOps.

    He lost his last job due to the fact he went to prison for b and e, larceny, drugs, and a couple of other things. Got back the background check.

    Needless to say, he won't be back either. he wasn't worth what he was making anyway.

    What do you guys use to recruit? What are you paying? Ive found that whether I pay someone 8 or 12, I get the same caliber of employee.....

    THEGOLDPRO LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,222

    Its hit or miss man, I put an add in the local paper here, stating they needed a minimum of 3 years experience running commercial mowing equipment, got about 10 calls the first week most of who sounded great, I ended up hiring this one kid who is working out ok so far, he's a great worker when your there but he lacks some motivation when you leave him places. needless to say i left the add in the paper anyways in case he doesn't work i can replace him pretty quick.
  3. rywnygc

    rywnygc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 523

    Had a helper not show up on his first day last week. Hired a guy on Tuesday, he worked for 2 days and then called me before work asking to negotiate his pay. He wanted to go from 10 an hour to 12 an hour....after working for two days. I am expecting him to return my shirts today. I have 2 interviews on Monday...it's getting stupid out there.
  4. grass-scapes

    grass-scapes LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,552

    oh, i get my share of those that work a day and quit, those that apply, get hired, and then don't show. I get the ones that think that because they work a week, they are worth 15 an hour.

    Its only going to get worse.... H2B and the costs with it are going to make more landscape firms go with US workers. Complaints will go up, less work getting done, and a bunch of guys will go around thinking they are worth 20 bucks an hour.
  5. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,867

    Have you tried posting through your local universities' employment offices? I've used my locals unis for graphic design/marketing/development work for years and it's been great.

    In Greensboro, you've got plenty to choose from, and, as a bonus, you could see what you can pull out of the landscape/turf management programs. The guys I know who went to school for this all worked in the business during their summers. Sure, you'll lose them eventually, but you can actually build a great pipeline this way, either by your employee's referral of their classmates, or by way of building a solid relationship with the employment office.
  6. grass-scapes

    grass-scapes LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,552

    Thats a great option for summer employees and I get my share of calls from the students, but I need someone full time, to run a crew to get me out of the truck and out to quote, bid, etc. Ive been dealing with this for years and just when I think Ive got the right one, it all goes to hell. Ive actually got to downsize if I don't hire someone very very soon.

    Spring is hell....LOL
  7. rywnygc

    rywnygc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 523

    Hey, at least you aren't posting in the general section with a title like "Wanting to start a lawn business..need HELP!"

    This crap sucks, but it's good to have these problems.....right?
  8. grass-scapes

    grass-scapes LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,552

    LOL. If you say so. I would much rather not have any problems. Ive got a lead on a guy who responded to one of my ads and actually followed the directions in the ad when he replied. I get mostly one line responses instead of what I ask for.
    I ran his name through department of corrections and did a google search and didn't find anything. We will see how the interview goes.
  9. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    Go to another LCO and offer one there best guys 2 dollars more a hr

    I did that once by accdent Talking to the lead guy ask him what he was getting paid a hr He was working under What I start most guys at
    Well that evening he called me ask if job was still open yep starts at 7am
    he only lasted 1 yr he didnt like the 12 hr days
  10. Triplex

    Triplex LawnSite Member
    Messages: 221

    On the golf courses I've worked on, we had part-time retired guys who were unable to do strenuous tasks, but were great employees for less physically demanding things like operating ride-on machinery. Much more reliable and professional than the drunks and stoners we normally hired.

Share This Page