A diamond in the rough

A diamond in the rough

Finding new employees all starts with a stronger online presence and the right use of technology.

February 21, 2020
By Jimmy Miller

Millennials are not lazy.

Dani Collinson should know – she is one. At the Lawn & Landscape Technology Conference, she told attendees that they’ve got to change their perspective on younger employees. As companies recruit the future of the industry – and try to retain them – they must address their mindsets and adjust their strategies to help grow their business.

“The problem is not the people we hire,” she said. “It’s the people doing the hiring. We have to change the way that we do it.”

Collinson said that because unemployment is so low, great candidates are not often looking for new jobs. “That means you need to find them,” she said. Here are some tips to help with this change:

Website needs to be welcoming: Design your website with candidates in mind, not just clients. Show your team culture on your website. Show video testimonies from employees, and post pictures/videos from the work you do. Prove to your candidates that your clients love their company.

Your social media should be up to par, too. She encouraged listeners to start an Instagram page and post to their Facebook stories. Show you’re tech savvy and interested in engaging with clients.

Job ads: Be clever with these to catch a good candidate’s eye. Posting simply that you need a “yard man” or “warehouse team member” is not enough. Use headlines like “jobs available for career-minded individuals” to make the candidates stop scrolling and consider your job.

Use tech: At Blades of Green, Collinson said they often host FaceTime or Zoom interviews to make it easier on the applicant. She also suggests studying how easy is to apply online.

Collinson said it’s also okay to text candidates to schedule an interview time. But be quick with your responses: “We’re treating candidates like business (clients), so that means time matters.”

Getting them to stay: But once you recruit, you need to ensure you have what it takes to keep the new employees.

First, show transparency in your company’s goals and status on those goals. Collinson said they use a company dashboard to allow customers to show all their goals and where they stand by department. “This helps staff understand why working a Saturday sometimes is a must,” Collinson said. “If we ask to do something extra, they understand the why because it’s there in black and white.”

Employees can also earn free money by getting referrals. Collinson said it takes roughly $2,100 to hire a new employee, so you may as well pay that out in increments to your own staff. Encourage this process frequently and dangle that incentive often. Those employees also get entered into a drawing to win a cruise trip, too.

Above all, Collinson suggested that you need to make work fun. She said they’ve had a pumpkin carving contest in October, host a Spirit Week each year and run a 5K together. These things don’t you’re your company much, and you should focus these efforts on when your team needs it the most. You could also gamify sales numbers with contests. “These are all things that are relatively inexpensive but they really create that team atmosphere,” she said. “Ask yourself, if work isn’t fun, are you playing on the right team?”