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Having Trouble Finding Good Field Techs? 5 Ways to Up Your Recruiting Game

Finding and hiring good employees in any industry is an art, and the same holds true with landscape field technicians and general labor crews. Offering a decent salary isn’t enough, especially in the current job market. Every business owner who wants to attract and keep good employees needs to sell themselves and their company to job-seekers.

If you’re struggling to find and keep top talent, it’s time to up your recruiting game. Here are five ways to improve your hiring success:

1. It All Begins with You

To attract employees, you must present a clear, uniform message on why someone should join your company. To do that, start by identifying:

  • What your company does
  • What your company offers employees
  • Your company culture
  • What makes your company unique
  • Why your employees like working at your company
  • Why you like working at your company

Answering the above questions honestly and thoroughly will provide the foundation you need to create a message that sparks and holds potential employees’ interest. If you’re not clear about company culture, why it’s so important to job-seekers, and how to define yours, check out the following article, What is Company Culture?, on Indeed.com.

While pay and benefits are important, they aren’t the only things that bring good people into your fold. One of the first things Ewing recruiters tell potential employees is that we are a 100-year-old, family-owned company with leaders and employees who value and support one another as well as our customers and vendor partners.

Competitive pay, good benefits, and education and training opportunities available to employees who want to improve their skills and/or move up in the company aren’t the only reasons people choose Ewing. Things that make people feel valued — family-oriented events like barbecues, employee recognition, and the emphasis the company places on work-life balance — are a big draw. According to a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, employees who feel valued at work feel better mentally and physically, and enjoy higher levels of engagement, satisfaction, and motivation than those who don’t feel valued by their employer.

For ideas on what to include in your company’s message to let potential employees know that they will be a valued member of your work family, visit Ewing’s careers page.

2. Set Your Recruiting Strategy

Look at things from the perspective of potential employees when putting together job posts. People looking for jobs are likely scrolling through hundreds of listings, so keep job descriptions brief and get to the point quickly. Job-seekers want to know what’s in it for them if they come to work for you.

If you can include salary information, do so. If you’re unsure what you should offer in terms of pay, search online for the position and the area, and compare what you find to decide. For example, a Google search for “landscape field technician salaries in Arizona” turned up multiple resources for decision-making, including a city-by-city list of hourly wages.

Regardless of what position Ewing seeks to fill, the company’s job posts are designed to let job-seekers quickly determine whether they want to apply for the job. Posts include a position overview, skills required for the job, what the employee will do in their role, and why Ewing is a great place to work.

3. Search Online and Offline

Three websites to post field technician and labor crew job openings are Indeed.com, Monster.com, and ZipRecruiter.com. Each offers free and paid job search services, resources, and advice on what approach will work best for you.

Let your company’s followers on social media know you’re looking with “We’re hiring” posts that link to your job postings and/or careers page. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter can generate a lot of interest in your company as followers share with their friends and family.

In addition to posting openings online, consider printing and posting help wanted flyers on bulletin boards at your local college, university, or trade school; and on bulletin boards at places like nonprofit agencies, community centers, coffee shops, churches, or apartment communities. Your flyer doesn’t have to be fancy, but it should include the same information as your online job post, how to apply, and how to contact your company.

Other places to search offline include job fairs, trade shows, community events, and career days offered by schools and organizations like Goodwill, where you can set up a booth showcasing your company, and hand out flyers and applications. If you go this route, consider these two things:

  • Remember that uniform message we talked about early on in this article? Be prepared to present it to job-seekers who stop by your booth at events like the upcoming National Collegiate Landscape Competition, which is a must-go for green industry employers looking for top talent. Everything you’ve listed in your written message is a talking point you should share in person.
  • Invest in “swag” — inexpensive freebie items like pens, keychains, or stickers printed with your company name and contact information — to help draw people to your booth.

If you’re still having trouble recruiting, consider using a staffing agency. It may cost more than the other search methods, but agencies do the bulk of the work for you, from placing job openings to reviewing resumes, conducting interviews, and tracking down references.

4. Don’t Worry if a Person’s Resume Isn’t Perfect

“REJECT!” is the typical reaction many people have when a less-than-perfect resume arrives in their inbox, but that’s a mistake that may cost you an excellent employee.

You can’t judge a person based on one piece of paper, so don’t immediately disqualify someone if their resume isn’t perfect. Typos and bad grammar are red flags if your company is looking for a writer or an editor, but not for a field technician or labor crew member. Instead, focus on whether the person’s skills, experience, technical knowledge, and motivation fit your needs.

The same applies to applicants who have no experience in the industry, or who are new to the workforce. If their resume indicates they are eager to work and to learn, give them a chance and talk to them to see if they’re a good fit.

5. Don’t Procrastinate

Companies are in heavy competition for employees right now, so act quickly when you see a candidate that has potential. Calling someone immediately to schedule an interview or screening can be the difference between saying “you’re hired” instead of “congratulations” when they tell you they’ve accepted a job with someone else.

Here are five questions to ask candidates during the interview to determine whether they’re a good fit:

  • What qualities are you looking for in an employer?
  • Are you familiar with our company and what we do?
  • What do you like most and least about working outdoors?
  • What type of work culture are you looking for?
  • What do you like to do when you’re not working?

Ewing prides itself on helping our customers grow their businesses. For more tips and best practices, visit our Ewing Education page, email education@ewingirrigation.com or call us at (800) 343-9464. If you’re a ProAdvantage Program member, you also can access ProSolutions tools and resources, and Value Builder System™.

TAGS: Business Tips, Irrigation Business Tips, Business Practices, Landscape Management, Recruitment, Green Industry, Landscape Business Tips