Recruit Your Dream Team

Seasonal hiring is part of life in the green industry, however, hiring the wrong person can negatively impact your business.  Do you realize that some of your key people most likely started off as a “seasonal” employee?  Even if you are only adding a few or bringing them back, hiring the right people is singly the most important thing you can do for your business.  Why?  Your front line creates your bottom line.  Your front line represents YOU.  One negative experience with a cashier, a loader or with the crew making a delivery is all it takes to turn off your customers and have them cross you off of their list.  You have to trust your team because you can’t be in all places to control your customers’ experiences, either.

  1. Ultimately, business is people.  The success of your business ultimately depends on the energy, effort and education of your employees throughout year.
  1. You can’t play the game without a team.  If you want sales, you need to have plenty of staff trained and ready to give suggestions to your customers and thrill them to come back frequently.  Today’s finicky customers do not like to WAIT.  You need to have enough staff to serve your customers.  Your customers want you to take care of them.
  1. At Profitivity, we have a saying – “When you are desperate you will have desperate results!”  Hiring is more than filling a time slot with a warm body.  Even one immature or unwilling employee can start the “rotten apple syndrome” that can infest the entire team and spread like wildfire.  If you have ever had a problem employee you know you can never mentally detach or have peace of mind.  During your peak season YOU need to be 100% on your game. (Do not bring underperformers back!)  It is critical to eliminate unwilling, uncooperative, incompetent and disruptive people from your payroll.  (Why reinforce unacceptable behavior?)
  1. The solution – actively recruit.  Seek out the most talented and enthusiastic people who share the same values and interests as you do.  Then teach them new skills.
Okay, So How Do I Actively Recruit?

Hey, slow down for a strategic minute.  If you don’t know what you are looking for, how will you know when he or she is sitting in front of you?  Right?

1.  First Create A “Good Employee” Profile

The biggest mistake is to hire by “gut.”  Take the time to define specifically who would be right for your business, for your customers and for your seasonal success.  Gather your team leaders and clarify exactly what you are looking for – the skills, abilities and values that consistently contribute to your success.  Our Profitivity “Good Employee” Profile includes honesty, maturity, stability, communication skills, willing to approach people, physically able to do the job, interest in your products, and 8 more characteristics.  This “Good Employee” Profile becomes the basis for recruiting and for evaluating candidates more objectively so you can build a team that shares common skills, abilities and values.  It will save you time, money and headaches when you can identify a candidate that is worthy of your investment of time, training and wages.  It will save you money to “disqualify” candidates that clearly do not match your Hiring Profile.

2.  Don’t Just Sit There – Actively Recruit “Good Employees!”

Now that you know what you are looking for you can target your recruiting.  Don’t be passive and hope the right people will walk in to fill out an application.  Don’t post a “Help Wanted” sign facing outside or on your marquis.  You will get random people who are just looking for a paycheck – not devoted to your business.  (By the way, it’s much more elegant to post “Positions Available” instead of the derogatory word “help.”)

Here’s a hot tip:  The best candidates could come from your loyal customers who already shop with you; who already LIKE to be in your environment and they live in your community.  Put your “Positions Available” signs inside your garden center or distribute them to your clients if you have a landscaping company.  Have a flyer or a bag stuffer that invites them (or someone they know) to come in and fill out an application.  They will bring their relationship network to YOUR garden center or landscape business.  Cha-ching!

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