Why did I think I would be diferent?!?!?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by CC Lawncare, Apr 29, 2006.

  1. CC Lawncare

    CC Lawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 114

    Ok, I have been full-time for a few years and manage to make a decent living with this business that I TOTALLY enjoy. I have used a few subs here and there in the past but primarily it is just me and my elder children. This year I decided to hire a few people full-time to help me free up some family time.
    I have read many threads in lawnsite about how virtually impossible it is to find good work ethic in todays laborforce. I figured I could certainly be able to overcome any situations that might come along. :dizzy: WRONG !!
    I hired 3 guys. 1 lasted 2 days, the 2nd lasted 4 days, and the 3rd has almost a month in but is ready to go back to watching TV as well. These guys were all in their mid 20's and couldn't stand working all day at a decent work pace. I am almost 50 and they can't keep up! That is pathetic!! The most discouraging part is that I received about 50 applications and these guys appeared to be the best bet.
    I have decided to go back to handling it with my family and occasional sub. It will mean that I have to let a few accounts go away but I will be better off in the long run.
    I just wish that I had trusted the advice of you other guys that have already gone down this road before.:) :)
  2. Kickin Your Grass

    Kickin Your Grass LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 479

    I had the same problems the last 2 seasons and I have decided to go solo this season.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    Sorry about the bad luck there with the employees...

    Truth is most people you hire for this work will not last long. Sad but true :cry: You sometimes have to go thru a lot of employees to find that diamond in the rough. Just keep sifting thru the dirt :laugh:

    NCSERVICE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 206

    yeah yeah, you need to find somebody out busting ass somewhere and offer them a job, ask em if they like hard work if they say hell yeah your all set, till they start their own business!
  5. CC Lawncare

    CC Lawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 114

    Hoolie, I can't afford it. I wish that I could because I hate to give up any accounts. The problem is that it takes me 50% more time to do the work with the employee than it does to just do it myself. I keep having to stop to show him again and again how to properly do the work. It is has been an absolute nightmare!
  6. CC Lawncare

    CC Lawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 114

    I don't want to try to take anyone elses lawncare employee so that rules out the experienced guys. Any suggestions on where else I could find a go-getter type person ?:confused:
  7. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Of all the different types of contracting I have done over the years, good mowing crew employees are by far the hardest to find... and when you do find a good one it won't be long until he ventures out for himself.

    NCSERVICE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 206

    not necessarily a lawn care dude although that would be a plus, you can train a go getter quickly
  9. stuffdeer

    stuffdeer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,617

    Me, Me, Me,

    I'm one of the hardest working 15 year olds you will find.

    Here's my day,

    Not cutting day

    6:30 wake up for school
    3:30 Get home from School
    4:00 Party Store Job
    11:00 P.M Come home from Party Store Job

    Cutting day

    6:30 School
    3:30 home
    4:00 Start cutting
    8:00 End cutting
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    This has been my experience...
    I am told (and I agree) that there are two kinds of Lco's in this world (and it works for any business owner) but:
    - The first kind enjoys hands-on do it myself and I am done, can do the supervisory aspect but finds it difficult.
    - The second kind enjoys the supervisory aspect, can do the work but would rather not.

    I am the first kind, and thus my list of why I will NEVER hire anyone else ever again is literally endless... I mean, I could over time write out a thousand good reasons and then a thousand more, so as you can see employees are not for me, but that's just me.

    But I spoke with an elderly gentleman once who used to pwn a very large outfit, and we respected each other and I trusted his advice as far as employees because everything else matched my version and then some, the guy knew a few things, and here they are:
    - Employees are somewhat like customers in that where we give estimate after estimate until we're blue in the face and finally one says yes, he said it takes 10 interviews and 10 guys to be told to show up on Monday at 8am for you to have your 1 hire (10 to 1 rule, I apply this to customers: Out of 10 estimates, I get one sale - evidently this is true of employees thou it appears you have to go as far as telling every one that you interview that they are hired and to show up, I was told it might take until Tuesday but no later than Wednesday you will have your 1).
    - Run a classified ad week after week after week and be ready to do it technically indefinitely, but if you don't want to deal with this, you may end up dealing with 20 or 50 folks before you find your one, maybe even 100... Not to discourage you, just saying. It is a process, much like when I'm estimating if I even think I see trouble, I am gone - same with employees.

    This one isn't relevant to your thread, but I find Lco's on Lawnsite consistently paying a LOT more than any large outfit around here, so:
    - Paying an employee more money does not make them a better employee in any way, manner, shape, or form: Try 7.50 an hour.
    If the first thing out their mouth when they walk in to be interviewed is 'how much am I getting paid,' you can let them go.
    If later on you tell them the wage and they come back with 'well I can get 10 / hour anytime,' you can let them go.
    If they're 5 minutes late, if they're cocky, if they just look at you funny or you don't like the cologne, you can let them go.
    and so on.
    translation: you are the boss.

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