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WAYS TO FIND


GOOD PEOPLE


“I’ve been in this industry for 20 years and finding good people has never not been an issue,” explains Jenn Myers, who focuses on workforce develop- ment education and research for the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) and has more than 20 years of experience dealing with recruitment and retention in the landscape industry. “Even through the recession, landscape companies couldn’t find enough people.”


In fact, 77 percent of landscape professionals answering a 2017 Lawn & Landscape survey believe a lack of quality employees hinders their growth. Another 59 percent of landscape busi- ness owners said they need workers pronto. It’s no doubt finding employees is one of the hardest parts about being a landscape business owner. But there are a few solid ways to improve your chances of locating valuable workers. Here are four ideas to set you on your way.


22 THE LANDSCAPE PROFESSIONAL > JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019


THE GOOD NEWS: A 2017 IBIS World study reported steady growth in the housing and property markets over the past five years, resulting in greater demand for land- scape industry workers. Similar trends are expected into 2023 as residential and commercial construction activity begins to stabilize.


THE BAD NEWS: Even though the demand for land- scape workers is growing, every year it gets harder and hard- er for business owners like yourself to find quality employees.


Landscape business owners share the solid, tested tactics they’ve used to find valuable workers. By Nicole Wisniewski


Don’t take any recruitment tool at your disposal for granted. Recruiting is not just something a landscape busi- ness should do prior to the busy season; it’s a year-long process, Myers explains.


1 Job board postings should include details like what


makes your company a great place to work (growth opportunities, community involvement, flexible hours, performance bonuses, fun or laid-back culture, etc.) and what traits are required, such as a high attention to detail. In a 2016 survey by Mel Kleiman, founder of Humet-


rics, a workforce development consulting company, 83 percent of respondents said referrals from employees, vendors, customers and/or social networks was their best source of job applicants. Implementing a referral reward program could help you take advantage of this source. While employee referral reward programs are growing in popularity in the landscape industry, consider reaching out to a wider network than just your current employees, Myers says, mentioning this as one of the eight more non-traditional ways to find landscape employees she highlighted in a recent NALP blog (visit http://blog. landscapeprofessionals.org/8-non-traditional-ways- find-landscape-employees/).


USE A VARIETY OF RECRUITMENT TOOLS.


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