Roanoke Landscapes is currently in the process of hiring for our spring busy season, meaning we are parsing through a mountain’s worth of applications, scheduling interviews, and making tough decisions about who to add to our team. We experience all of the hiring problems that are typical of the landscaping industry. Since we hire seasonal workers, we have trouble finding consistent, dedicated candidates that have strong employment and driving records. Seasonal employment opportunities attract plenty of folks who are somewhat wayward—maybe they’ve never worked in any industry for longer than a few months, or they have a poor driving record, or a lack of reliable references. We’ve had to ask ourselves: how can we attract seasonal employees who will show up on time, do good work, and grow as we grow? Because we value excellent work, we strive to give our workforce excellent incentives, and we streamline the hiring process so that only the top candidates are interviewed and, ultimately, offered the job. Here’s some tips we recommend:
Start with a Strong Job Posting
Many green industry job postings on sites like craigslist or indeed are woefully unspecific. They may not give a clear description of the job, the preferred qualifications, and the essential duties that must be fulfilled. Many also fail to mention paygrade and employee incentives; that is, what the company is prepared to offer the right candidate. Generally, the more specific the job posting, the more qualified candidates will apply. Serious candidates will also want to know about the kind of company they’re applying for. They’ll be curious about the paygrade, any benefits the company offers, and opportunities for training and advancement. Write a detailed, straightforward job posting that covers all these bases, and consider getting it translated into Spanish. Personally, Roanoke Landscapes has a large Spanish-speaking workforce, and it’s essential that Spanish speaking populations can keep up with our job postings.
Do a Team Interview
When a promising candidate comes in for an interview, consider having more than just one team member involved in the interview process. It’s essential that the business owner or hiring manager feels confident about the candidate, but it is equally as essential that the candidate can mesh well with other employees. Plus, each team member can offer a unique perspective on what the job actually requires, and they may be able to ask the candidate pointed questions that further refine the hiring process. This is why many landscaping companies will do an initial, one-on-one interview, and then invite especially qualified candidates back for a second group interview.
Offer Employee Incentives
There’s no better way to attract great employees than by being an employee-focused company. Simply put, good people like to work for businesses that care about their happiness and welfare, and they stay employed at businesses that give them ample opportunities for advancement. At Roanoke Landscapes, we attract and keep good employees by offering higher salaries than other area businesses, opportunities for continued education and paid training, paid time off and holidays, and health insurance packages. We also try to support our employees’ work/life balance by limiting weekend work and long-distance travel. In return, our employees produce award-winning work, and most stay employed at the company for years—a rare feat in the landscaping industry.
Without our employees, our company and the proud legacy we’ve created would cease to exist. So we care deeply about hiring the right people and giving them every incentive to continue working as a part of our team. The hiring process can be exhausting and fruitless, but, when done correctly, it serves as the backbone of our business—where we find the best employees, and where the best employees find us. It’s a process worth perfecting, and one that every landscaping company should approach thoughtfully.