Where to look for Employees?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Derek's Lawn Care, Feb 5, 2016.

  1. Derek's Lawn Care

    Derek's Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    from IL
    Messages: 208

    Last year I had the hardest time finding decent help. Other than my main 2 guys, I went through 5 losers by the end of the year. Most of them I found through craigslist (which might be my problem) but I dont know where else I can find employees. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks
  2. fireball756

    fireball756 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 600

    ask your pastor at church

    JLSLLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,845

    This is by far one of the biggest issues for me. Ive tried CL and even facebook for help. Out of the dozen plus people ive hired i can onlt think of a few that were some sort or help. Sorry to sound like a downer.

    Ever thought of going to a temp agency? Less headache for sure
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  4. OP
    Derek's Lawn Care

    Derek's Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    from IL
    Messages: 208

    No I haven't but that's a good idea thanks
    Posted via Mobile Device

    JLSLLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,845

    They cover a lot of the overhead and you pay a small fee. Best of luck! Lots of guys have had success on here that way
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. I've seen companies who put a, "Now Hiring" sign on their truck and trailer, may get ya some calls
  7. Subiz

    Subiz LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    Employees are just like customers... it's a numbers game. I tried doing a more in-depth interview system but unless you just need 1 or 2 people, it wastes a lot of time in our type of business. Most guys do just need 1 or 2 guys so maybe talk to them on the phone, then have them meet you in person, then talk to them on the phone again. Don't make it all business.... just talk casually while getting in the questions you want to ask. Don't be in a hurry... if they are in a hurry and don't seem like they want to talk to begin with.... 1st red flag.

    We used to go through atleast 5 girls a week in the cleaning business. I know many others that go through more than that. I hope the mowing business is a little different because we would do 1 interview and then hire someone and they would be all excited and ask to start ASAP..... and then never show up for work the first day. That would happen about 80% of the time. Same thing happened when we did 3 interviews so that's why we stopped wasting time with 3 interviews.

    If you are needing several people and building your business, you don't have time to do 3 interviews on everyone in this type of business. But if you just need a guy or 2 then I'd say implement that system.
  8. Ben Bowen

    Ben Bowen LawnSite Bronze Member
    from PNW
    Messages: 1,201

    We only hire by word of mouth. Our current employees usually can find someone, and tend to recommend people who fit our company.
  9. Utah Lawn Care

    Utah Lawn Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,575

    I will be trying a temp agency this year. I have struggled as well.
  10. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,908

    "back in the day in CT" I had HUGE success in maintenance.
    But man If I could keep any momentum going in Landscape installs it was a miracle.
    so for labor fluctuations when I got install work (usually big jobs like athletic fields);
    I used Labor Ready.
    Back then, If the employee got paid 14-15, labor ready charged me around 17-17.50 and they cover all the taxes, comp, everything, so it wasn't that bad.
    I haven't used a temp agency in years, but I cant imagine it being that bad, especially if youre small and don't already have the office staff to support fluctuating employee need.

    the gig is, you can have the guy for X period of time, and then hire him directly (or just leave him picking up checks through the temp agency if you like) OR you can "buy him out" which means paying the temp agency a fee to "keep him"

    I know a lot of office personnel who go their jobs through a temp agency and then were brought on permanently.

    Most of the guys you will get through a temp agency aren't "landscapers" they will be out of work roofers or painters etc. but the thing is, they ARE mostly the outdoor laborer type, so they have that going for them over johnny off the street.

    I had good luck with labor ready, I was pleased with out relationship.

    the other place I would say to look is minority groups.
    they have cultural halls, so if you have an odd ball minority group in your area...for example: Puerto Ricans as an example, where there aren't that many of them, and they tend to stick together, those people have trouble finding jobs. The culture hall leaders struggle finding jobs to keep the youth off the streets, so go talk to them and they are happy to help you.
    All over the country there are little groups of sub cultures (even in some cases African Americans) that struggle to employee their folks. Give them a jingle.

    Ill throw this in here, but people will have a mental break down over it:
    Call your local Probation Officer and get a relationship.
    I had two that used to feed me guys all the time, I told them, no thieves, no druggies.
    they kept giving me guys when I needed them, its their job to make sure people out on parole are employed.
    They always show up to work, or go back to jail.
    they pee in a cup, or go back to jail.
    they have lots of control from the state, so they become default dependable.
    and they don't have ANY more baggage than johnny off the street.
    If I recall there may be tax bennies for employing them as well.

    I know there are tax bennies for employing vets too.
    check out the VA, VFW and American Legion, see if they will let you hang help wanted signs.
    Vets can have HUGE baggage tho, so you need to read up on hiring vets and know what to look for.

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