Recruiting for landscaping and snow removal jobs is unique. Fieldwork required employees to be outside working on projects, rather than sitting inside an office. This means you need employees you can trust to do their job right with minimal supervision. Employees you can trust are hard to come by.
At Arborgold, we understand better than most, the unique nature of field businesses like landscaping and snow removal companies. We create software specifically for businesses like yours, to ensure you have the tools and information you need to be successful in and out of the field. Knowing the industry as well as we do, we have some insight into the hiring process. Here are some tips on how best to recruit for your field-based business.
When to Recruit
Before we talk about how to recruit, we want to touch on when the best time of year is to recruit for these positions. Landscaping and snow removal are seasonal jobs. Depending on the type of employee certification you require, it helps to recruit early. In fact, many landscaping companies recruit year-round to ensure they have a large enough team to facilitate all their customers and services.
For snow removal, recruiting in the early fall is best. This gets you plenty of candidates, allows you to interview and train before they hit the road.
Who to Recruit
It’s also important to focus on the type of individuals you are recruiting to your landscaping or snow removal company. Aside from independence and capability, you want to ensure your employees are experienced. There are a lot of different types of equipment, machinery, and chemicals handled in seasonal businesses, and you want to be certain your employees are being safe.
When you recruit new employees to your landscaping and snow removal business, look at:
- Past jobs
- Reviews they have received online during previous projects
- Whether they have their own tools
- Whether they have the right licensure to operate certain types of vehicles
- Other industry-specific details
Remember, every employee you hire reflects your brand and builds on your local image. They could be the reason a client hires you for repeat service or calls a competing company.
Advertising for Recruits
Now that you know when to hire and who to hire, let’s discuss the best avenues for job ads. The world has gone digital, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use some traditional marketing methods. Here are the top ways to recruit landscaping and snow removal employees.
The news will always be around in one form or another. Whether locals read it online or have it delivered to their door. A news ad can be costly, so be sure it is something locals will see. Large-scale papers like the New York Times charge up to a million dollars for a spread in their Sunday edition. Meanwhile, most local news outlets charge about $11 an inch. This adds up if you’re looking for a quarter-page ad. We recommend the classified section for job recruiting purposes. You’ll be charged by the word, rather than the page size.
Social media is great because in most cases your ad is completely free to post. You can share it on your personal news feed, in landscaping and snow removal groups, or pay for an ad to run on Facebook or another platform. Facebook ads differ in price depending on what you’re looking to achieve. You can pay per click, or for the number of consumers reached. One benefit to this style of paid marketing is that you can cap the price wherever you’re comfortable. If you only want to pay $50 for the ad to run on Facebook, the social media service will only run the ad until you max out your $50 quota.
Email marketing campaigns can be a bit tough for hiring because you don’t want to send a job ad to every customer on your mailing list. You can add a “careers” button on your website and post your ad there, those who respond to the posting can be sent details by email. You can set up automated emails for interested parties through your business software platform.
Local job sites are a great way to post an ad for new hires and they often cost nothing at all. Websites like Monster.com and Craig’s List don’t charge to post a standard ad. Some job posting sites will let you pay to promote your ad, making it more visible, even in searches unrelated to your post.
Finally, a great untapped resource for job postings is hanging an ad at the local community center, church, or supermarket. Community boards are another free way to advertise a job and encourage applicants from the local pool of tradespeople within your community.
Whatever method you choose for advertising, be sure to include all relevant details, including the type of certification and training required of applicants.
1099 or Payroll?
A question many snow removal and landscapers ask themselves during hiring season is “should I go with 1099 recruits or payroll?” This is a personal preference and depends entirely on the structure and budget of your company. If you plan on keeping your landscaping employees and running your business year-round, rotating into snow removal during the winter, it might be worth hiring payroll staff. If you are unsure about the longevity of your services, and whether you will have an off-season, 1099 contracted employees require less paperwork and less commitment from you as an employer.
There are pros and cons to both of these options. For snow removal companies who only work in snow removal, 1099 hires are common. You don’t need to worry about health benefits or maintaining a minimum wage. Many contracted employees work freelance, making it easy to swap out one employee for another if they don’t fit your brand.
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