Hire better people

Hire better people

Wade's Lawn Service is upping its starting wages to attract more candidates.

April 13, 2017
Chuck Bowen
Turnaround Tour

Wade’s has spent the last few months revamping its sales strategy and bringing its fleet up to standard. The company has also had success using job fairs and social media to flesh out its crews, hiring three new employees to start the season.

“There’s so much competition around, everybody’s looking for good help right now,” Deborah Wade, co-owner, says. “Most lawn care companies are all out looking for the same thing. It’s a lot of competition out there.”

To stand out from that competition, Wade’s has raised the starting wages for its crew members from an average of $10-$12 an hour. And instead of dictating a starting wage to applicants, the company asks them what pay rate they’re looking for.

“We ask them, ‘What is your desired salary?” Deborah says. “We say, ‘We’ll start you at $13, we’ll start you at $14, we’ll start you at $15.’ We didn’t realize it, but we lost a of good potential employees because of that low starting wage. Our goal is to build loyalty.”

Deborah, the company’s main salesperson, continues to attend many networking groups and area chambers of commerce meetings, which puts her in contact with potential customers. But she has implemented a more structured system of cold calls and written follow-ups, which has been working well. The company closed a $44,000 contract, which puts them almost halfway toward their goal of $100,000 new business this year.

“We’ve done that, and it’s proven to be pretty good,” she says. “We have appointments set up to go see them and talk to them about their lawn care.”