Last month, Paula Warman of The Landscape Circle, spoke about hiring contractors to carry out the projects. This month, we take a look at hiring in the landscaping industry, finding permanent staff, and ways to keep them motivated and loyal to your business.
Find quality staff
First, let’s see how to get these staff members through the door. Before promoting a vacant position, you should define who you are trying to attract through a job description. When writing a job description, make sure it fits the needs of your business. Don’t just list contract hours and job locations – good employees will also be interested in your company’s ethics and vision.
A well-written job description should lay the groundwork and expectations of the potential staff member. They must be able to verbalize the values around which your business revolves, such as tailor-made facilities and quality service.
Once you have a clear idea of who you want to attract, you can write a job posting that informs them directly. Think outside the box – you need to capture a candidate’s interest so that your offer doesn’t get lost in a pool of job vacancies. Your ideal candidate might just be walking past a very generalized job description!
Written job description and now to promote the job. Below are some tips on where to place your message.
- Website – The first port of call is to add a job page to your website and post your vacancies there, with clear steps to take when applying.
- Social media – Use social media and post the ad on all your platforms with a link to the job page on your website. Deliver ads on social media targeting ideal candidates and / or stimulating posts to gain reach. It’s inexpensive and the budget is managed by you.
- References – Ask customers for referrals through a well-written email campaign and don’t forget to ask your staff as well.
- Display – In print media, either industry-specific magazines and / or local print magazines / newspapers.
- Online employment platforms – Most platforms are free, and you create the job posting, manage candidates, and find potential candidates who may be interested in your job posting. For a fee, many platforms will offer further promotions so that your job posting reaches a wider audience.
- Apprenticeships – It is a valuable resource for attracting new unskilled labor. Contact local colleges that run horticulture classes, apprentice training providers, or the Professional Landscape Gardeners Association which has its own apprenticeship program. This method of recruiting is best used when you are growing your team and want unqualified staff that can be developed according to your ethics and standards.
- Industry Events – Attend seminars, trade shows and events to stay abreast of the industry while making valuable new contacts.
Staff will naturally be on the hunt for a raise or on the lookout for what other similar companies are offering staff, so you need an action plan focused on retaining your employees. Here are some ideas to keep your spirits up:
- Advantages – Increased vacation pay, generous paternity / maternity pay, time paid as compensation if a job is finished early, and programs that offer staff treats will help keep staff on the side.
- Financial rewards – There are many options for this including, but not limited to bonuses, profit sharing, company shares and regular salary reviews.
- Assessments – The key here is consistency! This is the opportunity for employees to have their voices heard and for you to develop a plan for their growth within the company and to make them feel valued within the team.
- Training and DEVELOPMENT – The development of their skills makes them not only a better employee, but a more loyal employee. Tailor the training to their more ambitious goals.
- Responsibility – Give your staff more responsibility to show confidence, then lead them through any challenges that arise.
- Relaxation – Ensure a good balance between professional and private life. There is no point in pushing them to work late and / or on weekends, as this can lead to burnout and a disgruntled employee.
- Team outings – It’s a great excuse to have fun and to bond better within the team. Not just for the Christmas holidays!
- Industry opportunities – Take staff to industry events and shows, workshops, conferences and seminars led by manufacturers. This helps their knowledge base and gives them the opportunity to get more involved in the industry.
The key is to build trust with your employees. By continually developing communication channels and including them in business decisions, you get new ideas and they feel valued and invested in the business.
For more information contact www.thelandscaperscircle.co.uk