How one landscaping company used Team Engine to transition from reactive hiring to proactive recruiting across multiple locations and hiring managers.
Landesign has provided landscaping services to St. Louis and the surrounding areas for more than 20 years. From the beginning, owner George Tucker didn't set a large budget for marketing and advertising, yet still managed to build an incredible company on word of mouth and reputation alone. But as the company has grown (and continues to grow), it became clear to Landesign’s HR Director Lara that there was room for improvement in the way that they approached recruiting.
While word-of-mouth is great, she knew there were other channels for sourcing candidates—career sites, social media, their own company website—that they weren’t taking advantage of. She also knew their all-paper application and on-boarding process (which was tedious and time-consuming) could use an update.
Managing recruiting for multiple companies in different cities and states
Filling the applicant pool (and keeping it full)
Reaching applicants on the phone for pre-screening
Inconsistent interviewing & hiring process
Centralized dashboard for visibility to all hiring activity across all locations
Higher retention by attracting local candidates
More interviews scheduled (and time saved) due to efficiency of screening applicants via text message
Formalized application process to set clear expectations for applicants & keep them engaged
As HR Director, Lara oversees the Team Engine job posting dashboard for all Landesign companies, so one thing Lara loved right away about Team Engine was the ability to create job postings for multiple locations within the same account in the software. This allowed the local staff at each location to conduct their own screenings and interviews, while effortlessly keeping Lara in the loop from afar. Now, when she sees in the software that someone has accepted a job offer, she can start gathering paperwork and planning their onboarding…from several states away and without ever having to bug hiring managers for updates!
Not only has the collaborative hiring saved Lara time, it’s given more autonomy to the hiring managers at each location. Now they, not Lara, choose who they want to interview and set up the appointments directly with applicants themselves. Even better, they never find themselves scratching their heads anymore about where to find the people they need to fill out their crews. They just open up the software and start browsing applications.
Before Team Engine, Landesign used a three-page application. They didn’t realize it at the time, but the lengthy document was intimidating and cumbersome to complete. Lara now sees that it was unnecessary to ask for that much information, and that a lot of it was irrelevant for a landscaping position. The process of moving from a paper application to a digital application compelled them to pare it down significantly, making the form both easier to complete and quicker to review.
Before Team Engine, when someone would walk in to apply, Lara would give them the paper application, ask pre-screening questions on the spot, and let them know someone would be in touch if interested. She’d then add her notes to the completed application, scan it, and send it to Shaun (the General Manager) at the yard, which is in the next town over from the central office where Lara works. If interested in interviewing, Shaun would then call the applicant to continue the process. Other times, candidates might have applied directly with Shaun and Lara wouldn’t even learn about them until after they were already hired. “There was no system,” Lara says, “and everything was very reliant on communication between Shaun and I.”
Now, when someone walks in to apply, Lara simply gives them the link for the digital application and tells them to expect a text from Landesign once the application has been reviewed. “I tell them that they don’t need to keep calling us back and that we’ll do all the communication over text. They like the clear expectations it sets, and they like that we text with them instead of calling or emailing.”
As a large company with multiple crews at multiple locations traveling to multiple cities, Lara says the ability to target their recruiting activity by zip code has been hugely instrumental in extending their reach and filling the applicant pool. “With Team Engine, we are able to increase the pool ten-fold, reaching so many more people that have experience in our field.”
Lara says the ability to text employees and get a quick response is a payroll lifeline when it comes to collecting receipts for reimbursement, updating missed clock-ins, and more.
Lara loves Team Engine's automated pre-screening feature because landscaping is a fast-paced business. "I don’t have time to make call after call to screen applicants," she says. "So it’s nice to be able to screen applicants via text, and then easily share those responses with hiring managers through the software.”
Lara describes her experience with Team Engine as “magical” because it takes care of so many of the mundane tasks that occupy her day. “The efficiencies that Team Engine has created for me and for our managers in other departments has been incredible to see," she says.
More than anything Lara is pleased with how Team Engine has simplified the way they fill holes in their labor force, allowed them to be much more strategic about hiring, and ultimately reduce turnover in their organization. “It has revolutionized the way we recruit and has been a total game changer for us. It broadens our scope so much and is allowing us to find local workforce in other locations when we would have no way to reach those places in any other capacity.”
When Lara spoke at the Jeffery Scott Growth Summit for landscapers, she told them, "I don't think you realize how incredible this product is. At the very least, do a demo and check it out because you won't be sorry. It saves so much time, and is so easy to use." Interested in taking her up on that challenge?