The landscape and lawn care sector is no stranger to the arduous process of sourcing the right talent. Beliefs such as “nobody is inclined to work these days” or “millennials are overly privileged” won’t help you build a strong workforce. A more creative and innovative mindset is imperative to overcome the present labor shortage.
In this post, we offer practical strategies and insights you can leverage to bring capable professionals on board.
We’ll dive into:
- The traits your star performers value and how to highlight them
- The incentives that entice potential employees to hit ‘apply.’
- Strategies to make your business stand out in a crowded market
Indeed, the quest for rewarding and fulfilling work is a universal human pursuit. Navigating these extraordinary times might be tricky, but your business has proven resilient in the face of market upheavals before. Apply the strategies and principles discussed here, and you’ll differentiate your business from the rest, luring top-tier talent to your team.
Capitalize on what your star performers value.
To initiate, it’s crucial to promote the factors that make your business a preferred workplace for your best performers. Their testimonials will be magnetic to aspiring candidates.
1. The promise of lucrative returns
It’s time we debunk the notion that landscaping and lawn care jobs don’t pay well. The industry is booming across North America as homeowners and business owners seek assistance in maintaining their outdoor spaces.
Don’t hesitate to broadcast these facts if you’re proud of offering superior wages and benefits. Rewarding stellar performers with bonuses and career advancement opportunities is vital to retaining them and attracting more talent.
2. Opportunities for career progression
It’s high time to dispel the myth that landscaping doesn’t offer long-term career growth. Cite success stories of employees who have climbed your company’s corporate ladder. Show that time and effort invested in your company can open doors to future opportunities.
Revealing how 93% of respondents in a National Association of Landscape Professionals survey deemed their landscape contractors as “trusted advisors” should also help. This illustrates the pride and satisfaction that one can derive from this profession.
3. Sense of Fulfillment in Seeing the Impact of Your Work
The opportunity to witness the transformation of a landscape is genuinely gratifying. Landscaping offers a variety of tasks—like trimming shrubs, mowing lawns, laying sod, and constructing patios—that result in tangible outcomes. Stress how working with your company brings a sense of achievement and recognition.
4. Fun and camaraderie at work
Highlight the enjoyment your team experiences on the job. Share anecdotes of major projects accomplished together, friendships formed, community contributions, or customer praise received for work quality. Make these narratives public on your social media channels and website.
Let these stories exemplify why someone would want to work for your organization. It’s essential to corroborate your claims with real-world examples.
5. Healthy and Active Lifestyle
Landscaping is a physically engaging job. Capitalize on the growing trend of leading an active lifestyle by showcasing the health benefits associated with a landscaping career:
- Active movement and heavy lifting at work help in muscle-building and maintaining fitness while earning.
- The physical nature of the work promotes heart health.
- Say no to sedentary desk jobs!
- You are in the open air, not confined to a stuffy office environment.
- Soaking up sunshine gives you a good dose of vitamin D.
Draw top candidates with attractive perks.
Indeed data indicates that incentives are increasingly being used in job listings to attract new hires, simply because they work. An alluring offer can be the decisive factor in a potential candidate picking you over your competitors.
Consider these incentives when recruiting for your landscaping or lawn care business:
1. Provide a Monetary Incentive
A financial incentive, like a signing or retention bonus, can instantly grab job seekers’ attention. Tailoring this incentive as a percentage of the base salary shows you’re committed to investing in your new hires and growing your team.
A referral bonus for your existing employees is also an excellent idea. It incentivizes your staff to spread the word about job openings, often leading to candidates that are a better fit and easier to onboard.
2. Implement 3-day weekends
Introducing a 4-day, 10-hour workweek could offer the appealing perk of 3-day weekends. This arrangement is becoming increasingly popular among landscaping and lawn care companies for its promise of better work-life balance.
Evidence suggests that companies adopting this model have reported better-rested and more efficient employees, with no negative impact on their net income.
3. Distribute Branded Merchandise and Safety Wear
Company merchandise does double duty—enhancing your business’s image while also serving as a perk for your employees. Consider giving new hires a branded item like a hat, t-shirt, or water bottle on their first day, and offer higher-value items like a hoodie, jacket, or tool belt after certain milestones. Providing safety gear or an allowance to purchase their own can also be enticing.
4. Propose a Mentorship Program
A mentorship program between long-serving employees and new hires can be attractive. Not only does it empower your existing team members to develop their leadership skills, but it also alleviates some training responsibilities from management.
Indicating this program in your job postings can eliminate barriers to entry, attracting applicants who might otherwise feel underqualified. Plus, it allows you to align the newcomers with your company’s processes and culture.
5. Give them a Stake in the Company
Granting your employees a stake in the company can be a powerful motivator. This engenders loyalty and encourages employees to think long-term. Employees who feel their employer invests in them report higher job satisfaction and productivity.
Offering bonuses after significant years of service can be an added motivator for both new and veteran employees. This also results in cost savings in the long run when considering the expenses of hiring and training new staff.
Spread the word about your hiring endeavor.
After you’ve detailed why your employees love working for you, the next step is to publicize your career opportunities.
1. Social media
Social media is an essential tool for recruitment if you have a strong brand persona and following. Your marketing team should integrate your recruitment efforts into your overall social media strategy. Sharing content showcasing your team, social events, and community involvement should be part of your recruitment plan.
2. Your website
Your landscaping website is a vital tool in attracting quality employees. Ensure that it includes a career page with listed job openings. This helps potential candidates discover you, and it helps you build a pool of talent to tap into as needed.
3. Videos and photography
Videos provide a dynamic way to present your culture, brand, and employee experiences. You can feature past projects, client testimonials, and community contributions. Think about creating a ‘day in the life video and embedding it on your career page or job descriptions. Videos typically generate more engagement on social media than images.
4. Online ads
If you aim to reach a broader audience, online ads are an efficient and cost-effective method of driving traffic to your career page or job descriptions. Google Ads, Facebook and Instagram Ads, Microsoft Ads, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest all provide potent tools to increase your visibility to the appropriate demographic.
5. Community outreach
Networking at community events, school career fairs, or local business expos can help your company become well-known in the local community. This approach attracts not only potential customers but also potential employees who may have otherwise overlooked your business.
6. Job boards
Online job boards are some of the most popular platforms for job seekers. Websites like Indeed, Glassdoor, and ZipRecruiter are user-friendly, often providing templates to guide you through posting your open roles. They also allow you to reach job seekers on a local, national, and international level.
7. Collaborate with trade schools and universities
Developing relationships with trade schools and universities can provide a consistent flow of capable interns and employees. The academic advisors and career services staff can connect you with students who are eager to start their careers in landscaping.
In conclusion, sourcing talent is more than just posting a job ad online. You must show potential employees why your company is the right fit for them. You can attract and retain top-tier talent by highlighting the right incentives, showcasing your workplace culture, and reaching out to potential employees through various means.
Remember, cultivating talent for your landscaping business isn’t an overnight process; it’s a long-term investment. A strong and committed workforce is the backbone of a successful business and its most visible representation.