What’s the number one reason potential employees should work for your landscaping company instead of going and working for some other landscaping company in town, or not working at all, or working at some other company in town? That’s the most important question you must answer in all of your recruiting if you want to fill those hard to fill positions. In today’s episode we’re going to share the 10 Tips For The Landscaper’s Ultimate Online Recruiting Plan.
Hey everyone it’s Jack Jostes and welcome to the Landscaper’s Guide To Modern Sales and Marketing Podcast. This show is all about helping you grow your business through sales and marketing and in today’s episode, recruiting! I recently gave a live webinar about how to use digital marketing for recruiting and here are the top 10 tactics that you can implement to start attracting better qualified employees to your landscaping company.
1. Sell Me On Why I Should Work For You + What’s In It For Me
So the first one, again, is to sell me on why I should work for you, instead of someone else. This could be called a unique recruiting proposition or a unique employment proposition. So many of you have a unique selling proposition, a reason that customers should buy from you, but what's the reason that people should choose to work for you over somebody else. You need to get really clear on that, and ask your team, maybe you have some people who are on your team that have worked with you for years, and record a video with them. One of the things that I love about this tripod is that I can set it up in just seconds here. You can set this up, and boom, let's say you're at a job site or you're at your office and you have employees. Ask people, especially managers or people who are strung out, they're feeling overworked say, "Hey, I hear you could you help me do something, I'd like to record a video interview with you to put on our social media and recruiting to help find great people."
You put your camera on here, we'll send you this guide and ask people and be descriptive as possible. Make sure that every benefit, every perk. As an example, I had a client who every spring they had a spring kickoff event and at that spring, you know what they did? They paid people a return bonus. So if they came back after the winter to the next season, that's when they got their bonus and she has very high retention. The other thing that they do is they buy people boots and like work pants, they buy people basic stuff, because they know that they really need it for that year. The other thing that that does is now their crews are arriving on job sites wearing newer looking clothing, they look professional and they start the year feeling good. They've got some fresh clothes, fresh boots, and they just got a bonus. So they're inspired before they get back into the full swing of things.
2. Demonstrate Your Cool Culture With Photos and Videos
The next thing you need to do is demonstrate your cool culture. So if you have a cool culture, you've got to take photos. I have a client out in, they're in Cleveland, Ohio, MVP Snow n' Lawn and here they are, they had a pig roast, they roast a pig and they have this giant Jenga board. They've got all of their team here wearing their hats and their branded shirts, and I'm like, "Hey, you're having this cool party, hire a professional photographer." And they did, and look at these amazing photos. This looks like a place where you would want to belong, right? If you were like, I'm not really happy in my career, I want to work somewhere, I want to be a part of something. This photo creates that fear of missing out, it looks like fun.
Are they having a pig roast every day? No, they do it once a year. But it's a key thing and now they're they're capturing it with photo and video content and they're putting it on their careers page on their job ads, and then when their crews are referring people, they're seeing people they know in these photos. This photograph is really powerful.
3. Build A Careers Page On Your Website
Another key thing is to have a careers page on your website. So a careers page can again sell people on the vision of the company, on the perks, on the benefits on the career path and it can really help people actually apply to specific jobs. So here is one for Tech Scapes Nursery and Landscape, we've got team photos, they're wearing their branded apparel. They're talking about their expectations of the landscapers, they're talking about their goals, and then they have a forum where you can apply on, they show their vehicles. So all of these things, make it look really professional. So if I'm thinking of working for you and a competitor, I'm kind of thinking well, which one has more opportunity for me? Which one's going to have a better flow of work? which one's not going to have their equipment break down on job sites, and I'm going to be out of work for a week while they repair it? Okay, the company that looks more professional probably has more budget to take care of those things, and then they they have an invitation to apply.
What's amazing about this is I've worked with companies who have been around for over 60 years like the McGinty brothers, in Longview, Illinois, pretty close to where I grew up, and they shared that in the last two weeks since posting their new website, publishing this careers page, they had more responses than they have in the last five years. Field labor can be hard to find, and so on anyway, so they go on and explain it that since launching the new website, they've had a huge uptake of people calling and saying, "Hey, I applied because I saw this on your website." They've found truck drivers, they found laborers, they found lawn care technicians, they've found skilled and unskilled labor. All different types of things, people are looking online.
4. Have An Easy-To-Fill-Out Application Form On The Webpage
The fourth thing you want to do is have an easy to fill out form on your website. So that way people can apply on your website. Don't be like that weird company I mentioned that makes you fax a resume, don't make me fax anything. Again, remember, I'm probably going to be filling this out on a smartphone. So here's an example of one of our tree care clients, when you click on their website, you'll notice right up in the header on their website, it says we're hiring. So that makes it really obvious. It does a couple things. One, it lets their clients know, okay, this is a successful company that's growing. So that helps in that standpoint.
Two, people are curious and click on it, it makes it really easy. Then once you get to their careers page, you can scroll through it, you can see they have these amazing action shots of up in the trees, they've got their Instagram feed on there. One of the things I love about their website is that it disqualifies people. So in order to work there, you need to have a driver's license, and if you don't, if you check, no, you actually can't fill out the rest of that job application form.
So that'll eliminate and prevent most of the people who are just out there checking the box that they applied for a job when they're not really qualified at all for it and it'll weed them out. Then if the answer is yes, you can see that it then ask questions about chainsaw experience, plant knowledge, certifications, and that way, let's say somebody fills it out, yes, I have a driver's license, I have chainsaw experience, am ISA certified. Okay, I'm going to call that person first, over the other company that has other applicant who has no chainsaw experience, and isn't certified, right? You can build this in a way that it automates and assists in the filtering that you need to do because in recruiting, it's a lot like selling, you need to get a lot of people applying, a lot of people aware of it to come through the funnel and you're kind of like eliminating people so that way, you're ultimately interviewing people who are qualified, and then spending time and offering a position to hopefully to one of them.
So that's one of the ways that your careers page can actually automate a lot of that for you pretty simply. Here's what one of the people wrote when they applied for that tree care company. I love your organization's philosophy on caring for employees and understanding the importance of urban forestry for the health and well being of the community. They go on to explain their background in urban forestry, agriculture, and how they want to work somewhere with high standards that's reliable, and that's safe and professional. Wow. So what an amazing lead they got through their website. So do you think this person did the research? How would they know that this company that they care for their employees and they value safety and all these things? They've read the whole website, right? So writing about this, getting the leads and getting people to fill it out is going to help you get really qualified leads, but if you don't have this, you're going to get less qualified leads.
5. Include Photos Of Your Team, Vehicles, and Portfolios
The fifth thing you need to do is include photos of your team, of your vehicles, and of your portfolio. So if you're a landscape design company, you should share some inspiring project photos on your careers page. If you have a staff, I want to see a photo of them in uniform, ideally, professional photos. If you can't schedule that, and in addition to that I recommend, again, taking photos on smartphones is great, especially when you use a tripod, showing these these shots of clean vehicles, it just establishes your brand as a top dog, as a top employer, and you're going to attract higher quality people.
So let me ask you this, if you had to close your landscaping company, and I don't know, go get a job would you want to work for some loser with negative reviews and a terrible website? Or would you rather work for the company I just showed you? Blue River Forestry and Tree Care, five star rated company all over Google, Facebook, everywhere that they can get reviews. They have a robust careers page, there's a video of employees talking about how great it is to work there. Where would you apply first? Put yourself in the shoes of your potential employee, they know that it's an employee's market, they know that they can pick and choose where they're going to work and that's why so much of this selling happens online in that research phase before you even get the opportunity to talk to them.
6. Have a Video Featuring The Owner + Employee Testimonials
So absolutely have a video featuring the owner and employee testimonials. Employee testimonials can be shot in a number of ways, you could schedule an interview. We do recruiting videos for people where we interview people over Zoom, and we record it and edit it together. Sometimes we send people do it yourself video kit, sometimes you could hire a local video pro, or you can use some basic equipment and shoot some on your smartphone. But interviewing people about that, and if you check out you know McGinty's website, and Pleasant Landscapes.
7. Add A “We’re Hiring” Button To Your Website Header
The next thing you want to do is add a we're hiring button to the header of your website, and this should link to your careers page. The header of your website, the top of your website is really critical that it A generates leads in a way that's really easy, and if you're hiring, if that's a priority B, make it easy for people to click for hiring. That's going to help people because a lot of people are going to be looking if they want to get a landscaping job. They might look for landscaping jobs in whatever town or they just might look for landscaping companies and they're on your website and you make it really easy for them to click on that and get it.
8. Promote Your Posts On Social Media - Ask Your Employees To Share!
So the next thing you want to do is promote your posts for your jobs on social media and ask your employees to share. So the way this works and I do this all the time. By the way, I'm hiring right now. If you check out ramblinjackson.com/careers, we have employees all over the country, if you know someone who would be a great fit for my company, who's a digital marketing professional, I'd love it if you shared it with them. Right? See how I'm doing that ramblinjackson.com/careers, right? I'm giving you something that you can share. So when you do that, and then you email out your staff, "Hey, everyone, we posted this ad on Facebook or LinkedIn."
You send them the link to that post and you get a bunch of employees commenting on it, and our current account manager posted a comment that was like, "Hey, this is a great company to work for because." It's like wow, forget whatever Jack the CEO is saying, I have proof now from my whole staff endorsing this, and I can tell you we're getting really great people filling that out.
So asking people to share it because they often know people who could be employees of your company, and when you do that on social media, it really looks great and here's some examples. One was this trim landscaping company that posted a photo where they're doing a cool lawn maintenance next to this amazing lake on a beautiful day and they're daffodils in bloom. It's just a great photo and they say, "Riding along, soaking up the sun, taking in the view. Sound fun? Email your resume to email@example.com." I don't even know them, we just found that. There's another company who posted a photo of their crew. They're all smiling. They're wearing their work uniforms. They're looking good and they mentioned that they're hiring, and so you can just get some examples of that.
9. Gain Positive Online Reviews On Google, Glassdoor, and Indeed
The ninth tactic here is to gain positive online reviews on Google Glassdoor and Indeed. The reason is, again, answering that question, if you had to go get a job in the green industry, would you want to work for a loser or would you want to work for a winner? Your employees are googling you, they're looking at your reviews, and your Google reviews absolutely impact recruiting, your Glassdoor and Indeed. So if you're posting jobs on Indeed, and you've a negative review average, what are you a schmuck? I have to share that I was, I did that. You know what happened? I got one review one time, it was negative and because I only had one review, I was now a one star company.
So a lot of businesses are are unaware that your employees can write reviews on Glassdoor and Indeed, so what you want to do is create your accounts there and then reach out to your employees, the people who have worked for you for a while, who care and ask them, you're probably going to need to ask them often to write those reviews, and then once you do, once you have four, five, six, hopefully 10 positive reviews, when you get the inevitable negative review, it's outweighed by the positive ones and it's you've got a mostly positive review average. Where if you only have one review, and it's negative, you look like a loser, no one's going to apply for you.
10. Brand Your Training Programs
The 10th tactic is to brand your training programs. So at Ramblin Jackson, we actually have Ramblin Jackson University where we're producing online training content, and we build it in an online training program called Lessonly, where our Ramblers can go through an online training program. So when I'm onboarding people, it's like, boom, I enroll them in this thing and they quickly learn a lot of the skills kind of at their own pace. So that way, the time that I spend with them, and my manager spends with them, is more of a coaching relationship.
Another client of mine who has done this is Pleasant Landscapes, and they have Pleasant Landscapes University. A lot of people want to know that, hey, you know what, I don't have a lot of skill right now but I'm willing to learn, I'm willing to work hard, and I want to work somewhere where I can grow not only my skill, but also my income. When you show people that you have a career path, and that you have a training program, and you brand it and you put your logo on it, they're going to be like, "Hmm, this company doesn't mention career path, they don't really mention any perks or benefits, they just mentioned how hard the job is. Okay, this company, the job looks just as hard but there's this upside of these perks, these benefits, there's photos and videos of people working there enjoying it, and they have this career path with this training program for me, I see my future here, I'm going to go and try and work there."
So when you do this, it makes it a lot easier to get people. The cool thing is, is that when you implement these 10 tactics with your digital marketing, it'll complement other marketing that you're doing. Because I have a client who said that radio advertising actually really helped them, and guess what? They have this branded training university. So regardless if it's a referral, maybe they're looking directly online, maybe they hear about it through a friend or a current employee of yours, maybe they find the job on Craigslist, or Indeed, or wherever you're posting it on LinkedIn, it doesn't really matter, because it's all going to lead to them researching you googling you, and all of this stuff will assist whatever type of recruiting advertising you're doing.
So what do you do for your team? Like I mentioned we have a client who provides work boots, they provide meals on a certain day of the week, and they actually offer their employees money for coming back. So think about what you can do to take care of people and how can you capture that with social media, with photos and videos so you inspire people about that aspect of your culture? So here are some of the key takeaways. The first one is that recruiting is absolutely a sales and marketing act. You are selling against your competition, and your competition in this case is not only other landscape companies, but also not working or other industries. That's why you need to sell people on why they should work for you, and you're not going to be a fit for everyone. So you want to get clear on who is your best employee and how you can attract more of those people.
Remember that most people are going to apply to this on their smartphone, maybe you're doing TV advertising. TV drives the most branded searches on smartphones. Branded searches are when people pick up their phone, and they Google your brand after seeing an advertisement. So regardless of the type of marketing tactics that you're doing, people are going to interact with your brand and your job listings on their smartphone. So make sure that you test all of it on your phone, and make sure that it's mobile friendly. Show people your company culture through your photos and videos. And remember that each and every job offer, letter, every advertisement you make must answer, why should I work for you instead of anywhere else in town?
Thanks so much for checking out today’s video. I’d love to see you and our next live event so check out ramblinjackson.com/events on that page where you can see all of our upcoming events. Thanks so much for tuning in and I look forward to talking to you next week.