Where to get "good" employees

Discussion in 'Employment' started by scrapn, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. scrapn

    scrapn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    Ive been in business for 12 yrs now and every year im looking for 2-3 more guys. Its the most exhausting part of this industry. Anyone have decent luck looking for employees on a certain website etc? Ive done the craigslist thing every yr and every yr that CL guy ends up quitting or has an issue with something.
    Any leads would be great!
  2. elbow300

    elbow300 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    looks like you and I are not the only ones in the dark on this!!
  3. McFarland_Lawn_Care

    McFarland_Lawn_Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,445

    Are you looking for seasonal or full time help? I was talking with a guy yesterday who made a good point. If you are looking for seasonal help, try to find a way to contact local college kids who are studying criminal justice. If you know someone in college, have them do a little digging for you. Takes a little work, but odds are they will be good workers and more honest than the "regular Joe". Of course they probably won't be with you for the long haul, just an idea.

  4. jones68

    jones68 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 453

    I am mostly solo... pick up some help in the spring and fall... i live in a college town and usually pick up a student or 2 for the help... i try to find one that works the summers for a landscaper from their home town. it really isnt too big of a pita to schedule around their class schedule.. but trying to get them to work on a Saturday morning is a PITA and if they do they usually arent worth a dime. Also check with the local high school here they have a "career center" high school kids go to this full time and they learn a trade, such as heavy equipment, welding, carpentry. here they dont offer a landscaping trade (would be nice) but usually these kids have learned somewhat decent knowledge and if you dont mind spending a little time training them you can get a pretty good worker that hasnt developed a lot of bad habits to break. A lot of times these kids dont go off to college and are looking for jobs.
  5. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,764

    What about long term full time guys? Seasonal guys would be nice but we need year round guys and I'm sure a lot of you are in the same boat. Does anyone have luck with temp agencies?
  6. MarineSniper

    MarineSniper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    Contact your state Dept of Veterans Affairs. They keep a listing of qualified, recently returned veterans who are seeking employment. I have 4 full timers currently through them and hands down they are the best men and women out there. Longest one has been with me for 3 years. All are ultra reliable and RESPONSIBLE. Plus, in Connecticut, a company is eligible for tax credits and other benefits by hiring veterans. No more craigslist nut jobs, druggies, and criminals.
  7. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,545

    I've got to agree with the above statement. Ex-military people do make the best helper's, no question.
  8. McFarland_Lawn_Care

    McFarland_Lawn_Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,445

    Great point! I thought of that before, but the VA didn't have anyone listed in my area.... They may be a bit hard to find. Can you give preference to Veterans....I'll check the state Labor website.
  9. ozarklawns

    ozarklawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 65

    As well I am a victim of Craigslist. I have about 75 properties and about to start my 4th year. Would like to find a "quality" person. I think if I can get about 25-30 more residential accounts I can maybe "break even" financially with a full timer and have a hired hand to help do smaller less detailed properties. Tough point to be at for me in this business. I have the plan in my head and I work it out on paper but have problems with the execution of it. If any big timers are out there with advice it sure would help. Hiring employees has been the hardest hurdle for me so far.
  10. lawncuttinfoo

    lawncuttinfoo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,014

    Please explain your CL routine that has not worked. It has worked well for us.
    That said we have a full explanation on CL that this is demanding work, detailing everything. Followed by a full application for them to fill out which weeds out 75% because they never fill it out. Scheduled interview weeds out another 75% for no shows. Which leaves you at about one out of twenty of the original "interested" applicants. From there you need to use good character judging to find who meets you needs, but at least most of them are good.

    If you are saying you hire the first person who calls you up responding to a posting that says "lawn guy needed"
    I can guess the quality of help. Happened to us before we wised up.

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