To keep or not to keep...

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Red Shed Landscaping, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. Red Shed Landscaping

    Red Shed Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 183

    I have searched and read some things about firing employees on here but most of them pertained to lawn care/maintenance. I wanted to see what some of you think in the hardscape industry would think or do with a employee that I just hired.

    How fast have you fired someone or how long did it take you to figure out that they weren't going to work out? Mainly for the work ethic or ability to understand the job we do. To me, hardscaping involves much more knowledge than mowing side since no house or project is the same.

    He is a nice guy but.... he worked 2 days so far and after the first day I felt like he wasn't going to work. I could write so much about what I see wrong. His posture when he had to rake in grass seed and sweep off the concrete was not normal, like he wouldn't bend over and only use one hand to do it. On the first day he kept going to the truck to get a drink and then would check is phone and text. The second day I started him out by digging a trench for a retaining wall and painted the lines where to dig and came back 20 minutes later, he had gone the opposite direction of the line and only went about 5 feet. I have been telling him we have to move faster and can't take our time. He just seems to space off a lot.

    Would you try to see if he would get better since its only been 2 days or do you think you can easily tell how someone will be?

    To me if I really wanted a job, I wouldn't be on my phone when everybody else is busy working. Wouldn't you think they would at least try to impress the boss for at least the first week?
  2. BlockHead23

    BlockHead23 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 45

    If he is not going to bust his *** when the boss around, then what will he do when/or if you are not around??

    I would approach him with your feelings on his work ethic. If he responds positively, keep him around for a bit. But if not get rid of the dead weight and find someone who is willing to work.
  3. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,619

    So who hired him?
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  4. Red Shed Landscaping

    Red Shed Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 183

    That would be me. This whole hiring employee thing has been sort of a new thing. For the every other year besides this year I have either know them or someone I knew referred them. So I am not the best at hiring yet. This year I have had to start all over with help and not much to choose from (only 5) and 4 months backed up with work.

    This guy sent his resume and was ok but not exceptional with some mistakes. Had a phone interview and sounded good. He had good answers to the questions I asked and references seemed good. Worked detailing cars so thought he might be able to pay attention to details but not really. As soon as I told him he was hired he asked when was payday. Right then I knew I made a mistake since he said he had a job. I also asked him if he could come by the shop on a Saturday a few days before he started and said he was out of town running a 5K so when he did started working I asked how the 5k went and he responded saying he walked it with his daughter. He seems to be lying or leaving out certain info.

    I also asked him on several occasions if he can handle hard work and be able to put in long days. I mentioned all we do like digging, shoveling, raking, lifting lots of heavy blocks, bending and kneeling over. He said he could do it all. I haven't seen too much effort on his part.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013
  5. SoCalLandscapeMgmt

    SoCalLandscapeMgmt LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,154

    It's in our employee handbook that when you are hired you're on a 90 day probationary period during which time we can terminate for any reason. We've had people that have lasted 2 days and we've cut them loose. You just have to make it crystal clear when you hire them what you expect and make it known that you are not afraid to cut them loose if they can't perform. We've had people that make it a month and then get comfortable and then start effin' so they get the boot. Your best bet is to have your policies in writing and make the employee sign off on it. This way they can't come back at you for wrongfully terminating them.
  6. Red Shed Landscaping

    Red Shed Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 183

    I finally got a employee handbook made up this year because of the new people I am having to hire.

    I have that we are an at-will company and can fire for no reason. Also I am currently putting in the probationary period paragraph in the handbook but seems as if it is the same as the At-will clause.

    I did also tell him and other that I expect a lot out my employees before they get hired.
  7. SoCalLandscapeMgmt

    SoCalLandscapeMgmt LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,154

    Yep... we have the At-Will clause too but we also did the probationary period because it gives us some leeway on having to order uniforms and that sort of thing. Plus with a probationary period there is very little that they can say or do if they think that you have wrongly terminated their employment. We also tell the new hires that they are expected to be at work on time and ready to work. The first time they show up late they get the warning, the second time they get sent home with no pay. The third time they show up late they are fired with no exceptions. I've found that if you don't set the tone for what you expect immediately it causes nothing but trouble down the line.
  8. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,619

    Sounds like the guy isn't cut out for physical labor. Detailing cars in not physical labor. No cardio involved. No lifting of anything heavy. No working in full blazing sunlight.

    The guys that are not ut out for this industry I refer to as "restaurant workers". Better suited for working in a restaurant.

    I had one employee that worked his butt off like an ox. He became a coke head. Had to fire him.

    I once hired a guy that upon the first time I saw him I didn't like him. Turned out to not only be a great employee, but also a good friend. (Yes, Mr Unprofessional Andrew Hardscape has friends!)

    A trick to hiring is to look for people that have hobbies and are die-hard about it. An example is going to the gym and working out. No don't hire someone cause they have muscles (unless you have a thing for muscles), but it takes commitment and dedication to get to the gym on a routine basis. Employers want people that can commit and dedicate. Whether they volunteer at the local soup kitchen every week or they play soccer. It says a lot.

    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. Red Shed Landscaping

    Red Shed Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 183

    I like the idea of finding out if they have any hobbies or something they are passionate about!

    From my experience and have noticed many times that "weight lifters" do not like to do much in the way of physical labor.
  10. promower

    promower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,233

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