Brad Leahy, vice president of Blades of Green, said his company hired 37 people in 2018 and holds a retention rate of 84 percent. He credits the hiring success to the company’s unique approach at recruitment.
At Real Green’s Solutions 2019 conference in St. Pete Beach, Florida, Leahy shared some ways to change the way you look at hiring. “We’re the problem,” he said. When it comes down to labor challenges, Leahy said the owners or hiring managers are in part to blame. The labor market is shifting toward Millennials and Leahy said many don’t understand the age group. However, all of his 37 hires in 2018 were in that category.
“People spend more time playing against them than playing with them,” he said.
Change the way you think. “Once you change how you think, that will start the process,” he said. “Track it like a sale.” Leahy recommends approaching recruitment the same way you do sales. Monitor the platforms you use to track leads, find out which ones give you the best payoff and a better idea of where to spend your time and resources.
Rely on referrals. Many owners say referrals are the still the best way to find good employees. At Blades of Green, the company offers a total of $2,100 to employees for a successful referral. The bonus is paid out in increments over the course of a year or so, but the first $100 is given for securing an interview.
“We’ve had to figure out how to overcome the fact that employees are worried that a bad referral would look bad on them,” he said. Now, the company hires 30 percent of their referrals. During the off-season, employees are encouraged to actively work to recruit and refer people.
“If they’re sitting at a bar and they’re getting exceptional service, (we tell employees to) talk to them about your job,” he said. “You have to train your employees on how to get the referrals.”
Selling yourself. “We are everywhere all the time,” Leahy said. Blades of Green posts on Craigslist three times a week,
When it comes to job advertisements, stay away from the cliché phrases. Job descriptions should be engaging and they don’t even have to reference lawn care right away.