Hiring in landscaping industry

Last month Paula Warman of The Landscape Circle, discussed employing sub-contractors to deliver on projects. This month we take a look at hiring in landscaping industry, finding permanent staff and looking at ways to keep them motivated and loyal to your business.

Finding quality staff 

First up, let’s look at getting those staff members through the door. Before promoting a vacancy, you need to define who you are trying to attract through a job description. When writing a job description, make sure it’s bespoke to your company requirements. Don’t just list contract hours and where positions will be based – good employees will be interested in your company ethos and vision, too. 

A well-written job description should lay the foundation and expectation for the potential staff member. They should be able to verbalise what values your company revolve around, for example bespoke installations and quality service. 

Once you have a clear idea of who you want to attract, you can write a job advert that directly informs them. Think outside the box – you need to capture a candidate’s interest so that your vacancy doesn’t get lost in a pool of job adverts. Your perfect applicant might just swipe past a very generalised job description!

Job description written and now to promote the vacancy. Below are some top tips of where to place your post.

  1. Website – First port of call is to add a job page to your website and post your vacancies there, with clear actions needed to take to apply.
  2. Social media – Utilise social media and post the advert across all your platforms with a link back to the job page on your website. Run adverts across social media targeting ideal candidates and/or boosting posts to gain more reach. It is low cost and the budget is managed by you.
  3. Referrals – Ask customers for referrals through a well written email campaign and don’t forget to ask your staff too.
  4. Advertise – In printed media, either industry specific magazines and/or local printed magazines/newspapers. 
  5. Online job platforms – Most platforms are free and you create the job advert, manage applicants and search for potential applicants that might be interested in your vacancy. For a fee many platforms will offer further promotions so your vacancy reaches a wider audience. 
  6. Apprenticeships – These are a valuable resource for attracting a new unskilled workforce. Contact local colleges that run horticultural courses, apprentice training providers or the Association of Professional Landscapers which has its own apprenticeship scheme. This method of recruiting is best used when growing your team and want unskilled staff that can be developed to your ethos and standards.
  7. Industry events – Attend seminars, shows and events to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry whilst making valuable new contacts.

Mainting staff loyalty

Staff will naturally be looking for a pay rise or on the look out for what other similar companies are offering staff, so you need an action plan focused on building loyalty with your employees. Ideas to keep up morale include:

  1. Benefits – Increasing holiday allowance, generous paternity/maternity pay, time paid in lieu if a job is finished early and schemes that offer staff treats will help keep staff on side. 
  2. Financial rewards – There are lots of options for this including but not limited to bonuses, profit share, shares in the company and regular salary reviews.
  3. Appraisals – The key here is regularity! These are a chance for employees to be heard and for you to develop a plan for their growth within the company and make them feel valued within the team.
  4. Training & development – Developing their skills not only makes them a better employee but a more loyal employee. Tailor training around their bigger goals.
  5. Responsibility – Give more responsibility to your staff to show trust then mentor them through any challenges that arise.
  6. Relaxation – Ensure a good work life balance. It’s no good pushing for them to work late and/or at weekends as this can lead to burn out and an unhappy employee.
  7. Team outings – This is a great excuse for fun and to build better bonds within the team. Not just for Christmas parties!
  8. Industry opportunities – Take staff to industry events and shows, manufacturer led workshops, conferences and seminars. It helps withtheir knowledge base and offers them an opportunity to be more invested wtihin the industry.

The key is to build trust with your employees. By continually developing communication channels and including them on business decisions you get fresh ideas and they feel valued and become invested in the business.

For more information contact www.thelandscaperscircle.co.uk

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