Depending on your geographic location, your landscaping business probably has some seasonality to it. Your hiring and recruiting efforts might follow that seasonality: ramping up in the spring and scaling back in the fall. The logic is there, but it’s actually more complex than only recruiting when you have open jobs to fill.
Recruiting vs. Hiring for Landscaping Workers
Although they are often used interchangeably, there’s a notable distinction between “hiring” and “recruiting.” According to The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, “Hiring happens when you need to fill a role. Recruiting is the process of attracting top talent to your organization.”
Recruiting, then, is essentially an exercise in marketing and branding your organization—making it known that you hire often and offer competitive pay, great benefits, and perks like paid time off. By accepting applications year-round (instead of just when you’re actively hiring), you’ll have already done a lot of the heavy lifting when the time comes to start ramping up for busy season, or when you unexpectedly need to fill a role quickly.
You’ll use a lot of the same tactics for both hiring and recruiting, but you should be engaging in recruitment efforts year-round, like growing your social media audience and developing partnerships with local organizations for placement. Then, when you have open jobs to fill, you can turn to your network of people already familiar with your brand while simultaneously cranking up the hiring activity (such as with paid ads on social media, or hanging “We’re Hiring!” signs around town).
Whether you’re actively hiring lawn care employees or just looking to build a pipeline of qualified candidates for when the time comes to hire, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading for some of our best tips for finding and hiring landscape workers.
1. Use Hiring Software with “Text to Apply” Capabilities for Offline Advertising
In the digital age, offline advertising can seem antiquated, largely because there isn’t always a clear or easy call to action. With billboards, flyers, and newspaper ads, there is no large green button that says “APPLY NOW,” begging the viewer to click on it so they can be linked directly to the job application. Instead you’re left hoping they’ll remember your company name, find your website, and successfully navigate to your careers page to apply.
Text-to-apply numbers are the solution to this problem. The benefits of text-based recruiting are plentiful, both for job seekers and employers. Specifically for applicants, it’s fast, easy, and low-pressure to fire off a text immediately after reading an ad, effectively bridging the gap between the offline advertisement and the online application.
Use your text-to-apply number as the call to action on job ads in:
- Signs posted around town at restaurants, gas stations, bars, entertainment venues, colleges or universities, churches, apartment complexes, laundromats, grocery stores, and gyms
- The marquee board in your company’s yard
- Company vehicle wraps or magnets
- Handouts and signage at job fairs
2. Take Advantage of Online Advertising
Whether you’re hiring for landscaping laborers, foremen, or a marketing manager, you’d be a fool not to post your openings online. Most people, regardless of industry or experience, turn to the internet when they begin searching for employment. There are three key places to make sure you have a presence online:
There are two sides to social media. One side is unpaid (also known as organic) and consists of the social media platforms your company is active on and the people who choose to follow you on them. When you have open positions, you should definitely post them here since it costs you nothing and broadcasts to people already interested in your brand.
The other side of social media advertising is paid and consists of running ads to reach people who are not already following you. While this does cost money, it’s extremely effective at reaching passive job seekers and helping people discover your brand. If you’re new to this side of social media, check out this overview of using Facebook and Instagram ads for recruiting.
Generally speaking, well-known job boards are an acceptable place to post all types of jobs—blue-collar, white-collar and everything in between.
Indeed and LinkedIn are the only major job boards that are truly free to post jobs on. All the others (Monster, CareerBuilder, SimplyHired, and ZipRecruiter) only offer free trials, or they’ll let you post for free, but then make you pay to contact applicants. The cost to post on these sites might be justifiable for your company’s unique needs, but we think that money is better spent on social media ads or on the forms of offline advertising mentioned above.
Not all jobs are a good fit for all job boards, though. LinkedIn is popular for white-collar jobs (like sales, marketing, finance, and management), so refrain from posting landscaping worker jobs there. Those laborer jobs would be better suited for Craigslist (which isn’t free, but is very affordable) and Indeed.
Lastly, don’t forget to look for local job boards (e.g. a college or university) and industry-specific sites (like the National Association of Landscape Professionals’ job board).
Careers Page on Your Website
This goes back to the idea that recruiting is all about branding your company and “selling” it to anyone who might be interested in working there. A careers page should do more than just list open positions; it should demonstrate your company culture and values.
If you already have a careers page (or are thinking about building one from scratch) consider enhancing it with photos, videos, employee quotes, and more. If the thought of manually building and maintaining one on your own sounds daunting, make sure to use hiring software that can create a branded careers page for you.
3. Get Referrals… From Everyone
Referrals often lead to the best hires because the referrer has inside knowledge about both parties and sees them as a good fit for each other. Share your digital job postings and/or job flyers with all of the following categories of people:
- People you know personally, like your friends, family and professional network.
- Existing employees make the best referrals because they know the company culture and are invested in bringing in people they’d like to work with.
- Vendors are great sources for referrals since they’re already tapped into your industry.
- Customers also make great referrals because they are already fans of your brand, and want to see you continue to succeed and serve them.
If you’re a landscaping company looking to find and hire more qualified lawn care employees, Team Engine could help you streamline your efforts. See how one landscaping company used software to scale their high performance workforce with HR automation and text messaging.