If you’re in the landscaping and lawn care industry, you know how challenging it is to find people to hire these days. There’s a tendency to think that “no one wants to work” or that “the younger generation is entitled”, but that’s not going to get you very far. You need to get creative and think differently to overcome the current labor shortage.
We’re here to help. In this blog, we’ll share actionable tips and ideas you can implement to recruit qualified staff.
- How to showcase what top employees are looking for
- Which perks really get people to apply
- How to cut through the noise to get your business noticed
The reality is that, at the end of the day, hard working people are looking for good work. We may be in unprecedented times, but your company has responded to market fluctuations before. If you apply a few of the ideas and principles in this blog, you’ll stand out from other landscaping companies and will attract A-players to work with you.
Showcase what top employees are looking for
First, it’s important to highlight the many reasons your current top employees love working for your landscaping business. Testimonials from these employees will attract other candidates like them.
A few reasons may include:
1. You can make good money!
The stereotype that the landscaping and lawn care industry is low-paying needs to change, and we all have a role to play in making this happen. The reality is that you can earn a very good living as a landscaper! The industry is growing rapidly in North America as more homeowners and business owners are looking for support to maintain their outdoor spaces.
If you feel you pay a higher wage and offer greater benefits, be sure to share those facts. The key is to incentivize hardworking and ambitious workers with added bonuses as their production levels increase or as they look to further their careers (more on that below!).
2. You can grow your career
Another stereotype that needs to change is that you can’t build a long term career in landscaping. Counter this myth by providing examples of employees who have grown within your company and moved up the ranks into management positions. Be sure to point to future opportunities available to those who put in the time and effort.
Furthermore, a survey conducted by the National Association of Landscape Professionals found that 93% of respondents considered their landscape contractors to be “trusted advisors”. Highlight this fact! It provides a great source of pride and satisfaction that is not easily found elsewhere.
3. You’ll feel good about seeing the fruits of your labour
Seeing the results of transforming a landscape is deeply fulfilling. There’s so much variety when it comes to landscaping: trimming shrubs, mowing a lawn, laying sod, building a patio, etc.! Landscaping allows you to create something beautiful with your own hands and for many people, that’s rewarding. Emphasize how working for your company leads to a great sense of accomplishment and recognition.
4. It’s really fun!
Focus on showcasing how much fun your crew has on the job! Spending time outdoors and working with a fun team are great perks of the job. Share stories of large projects that your team has worked on together to accomplish, or stories of friendships that have developed at work. Perhaps you helped the community in a meaningful way, or your team received praise from a happy client about the quality of their work — post it on your social media and website!
The bottom line is that you want to bring these stories to the forefront and not keep them to yourself. They can make a real difference in demonstrating why an employee would want to work for your business. The key is to not just say it, but to show it with concrete examples.
5. You’ll lead an active lifestyle
Landscaping is an active job, so leverage your social media to share images of your staff moving! With an increase in people wanting to live an active lifestyle, why not showcase the many health benefits a landscaping career can bring:
- You’re actively moving and lifting heavy items, building muscles, and staying fit…all while getting paid!
- Your heart will thank you for all the walking and moving you’ll be doing each day.
- Say goodbye to a sedentary lifestyle!
- You’re outdoors, breathing fresh air instead of stuffy office air.
- You’re getting a large dose of vitamin D from being outside.
Offer perks that attract top job seekers
Incentives are being used more and more in job postings to attract new hires, as shown by Indeed. The reason is simple: they work. An enticing offer can make the difference between a qualified candidate choosing you over a competitor.
Let’s explore some potential incentives you should consider when it comes to recruiting and hiring employees for your landscaping or lawn care company:
1. Offer a financial incentive
Giving a new employee a financial incentive to join your company — whether a signing bonus, retention bonus, or cash incentive — is an easy way to draw the attention of jobseekers. To come up with the right financial incentive, find a percentage of their base salary that would make a contract more appealing. This shows that you are invested in your new hires and committed to growing your team.
Another great option is to offer a referral bonus to your current employees. Encouraging your staff to spread the word about available opportunities within your company is a great way to find good candidates. They tend to be a better fit and an easier hire given that they have been vetted by an existing employee.
2. Give 3-day weekends
Another option is to offer the perk of 3-day weekends by working on a 4-day, 10-hour workweek. This type of arrangement is becoming increasingly popular for landscaping and lawn care companies looking to offer their employees more freedom and flexibility.
Research shows that companies that have opted to go this route have reported their staff is better rested, more efficient, and their net income has not been negatively affected.
3. Supply merchandise and safety wear
New merchandise is not only enticing to employees, it’s really great marketing for your business. It gives your employees a professional look and establishes a good first impression with clients.
Offer something small to new employees such as a branded hat, t-shirt, or a water bottle on their first day. Once they hit their 6-month or 1-year anniversary, offer hotter ticket items such as a hoodie, jacket, or tool belt. This will build brand loyalty and is a great way to also show off your company culture. When possible, offer gloves, glasses, and safety boots, or an allowance to buy their own.
4. Offer a mentorship program
Offering a mentorship program between long time employees and new hires can be very appealing. It empowers your core staff to build their leadership chops while relieving you of some of the burden involved with training.
Mentioning that you offer a mentorship program in your job postings can help remove a lot of barriers. You’ll encourage more applicants to apply for the role, especially from those who may be hesitant if they feel they do not have all the qualifications. Lastly, you get to mold the new hires into your processes and culture.
5. Offer skin in the game
Offering your employees a stake in your company can be a hugely valuable incentive. This is a great way to build loyalty and enroll employees into thinking long term. Employees who feel invested in their employer — and who feel their employer is invested in them — are happier, more fulfilled, and more productive in their work.
Bonuses after 2, 5 or 8 years of service can also be exciting and motivating for employees new and old. This will represent a cost-saving over the long run when you consider how expensive and time-consuming hiring and training new staff can be.
Get the word out that you’re hiring
Now that you’ve listed the reasons your employees love working with you, the next step is to get the word out about your career opportunities.
1. Social Media
In order to have your social media recruiting strategy work, you need to create a strong brand personality and following. Ensure that your marketing team is incorporating your recruitment efforts in the overarching social media strategy. Including content that showcases your team, social events, and community involvement should be part of your recruitment strategy.
2. Your website
Your website is your greatest asset when it comes to attracting quality employees, yet so few landscaping companies leverage theirs to its full potential. Be sure that your website includes a careers page that lists available opportunities. That way you’ll help top talent find you and you’ll build a list of candidates you can reach out to at any time.
3. Videos and photography
Videos are a great way to share your culture, brand, and employee stories. Through videos, you can show off past projects, client testimonials, and your community involvement. Consider doing a ‘day in the life’ style of video and embedding it into the career page or role description. Videos also get much more engagement on social media than images.
4. Online Ads
If you’re looking to reach a wider audience, online ads offer a fast and cost-effective way to send traffic to your website. Google Ads, Facebook and Instagram Ads, Microsoft Ads, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest all offer powerful ways to reach your target audience, or to retarget visitors who’ve already visited your website and are familiar with your brand.
At Intrigue, we offer a variety of services to help grow your landscaping or lawn care business — both with quality leads and quality hires. With our experience in employer branding, online job advertising, SEO, content marketing, and video production, we know the best path to get your A-Team assembled and ready to dominate!
If you are interested in attracting more qualified candidates and improving the recruitment strategy for your landscaping or lawn care business, we’re here for you. Contact the team at Intrigue today.