The landscaping industry has struggled with a labor shortage for the past decade. So, it’s essential to consider what you’ll be doing during this hiring season. What’s your recruiting plan to keep up with spring landscaping jobs this year?
On October 3, 2018, the National Association of Landscape Professionals reported 6.7 million job openings and only 6.4 million available workers. And that number was pre-pandemic.
Now, it’s even harder to find laborers to work for you because of the cuts in the H-2B program and The Great Resignation.
The Labor Shortage in Landscaping is Real
First, the bad news. It was challenging to find reliable help before the Covid pandemic. In 2022, two years after the pandemic started, it’s harder to find people who want to work outside during the summer.
Here’s a breakdown of why the labor shortage continues to be a challenge:
- There are more job openings than workers
- You compete with other industries, such as construction and trucking
- The landscaping industry isn’t valued as a career to parents who want their teens to go to college
- The landscaping industry can expect less than a 25% chance of finding workers from the H-2B program in 2022
- There’s no quick fix: you need to get creative and be willing to try different strategies when recruiting for the spring.
6 Different Strategies to See What Works for Your Landscaping Company
There’s no magic formula out there to suddenly find motivated, loyal laborers for your landscaping company. Instead, you need to employ different methods to either get the job done with a reduced workforce or try other strategies for recruiting and holding on to great employees.
Here are six ideas to help you cope with the 2022 labor shortages in the landscape maintenance industry:
- Use the “word-of-mouth” approach. You know that word-of-mouth advertising works to spread the word about your company. Now, use that same approach to discuss how wonderful it is to work for you. Build that reputation and encourage your current employees to “spread the word.”
You also want to let others know the value of working in the landscaping industry; workers can grow and learn throughout their green industry careers. It’s not a dead-end job—it’s a skilled labor job where you can move up in the industry.
- You want to reach out to high school kids, demonstrating how landscaping can be a rewarding and fun career. Get involved with local schools for kids to shadow you or one of your supervisors for the day. Students get an idea of what’s involved in a landscape maintenance career when they follow a pro.
- Use apprenticeship programs, such as the National Association of Landscape Professionals. This program teaches skills for students to become landscape technicians with a heavy emphasis on landscape maintenance.
NALP developed the Landscape Management Apprenticeship Program™, so students receive 144 hours in a classroom or online. And the students also get 2,000 hours of on-the-job training.
- Market the benefits of working for your landscaping company with a recruiting web page on your website. You can also create a recruitment sheet or packet that features the benefits of working for your landscape maintenance business.
- Consider reinvesting some of those recruiting dollars toward better landscape equipment that takes the place of workers. For example, robotic mowers, stand-on skid steers, and ride-on spreaders allow you to get more done in less time with fewer laborers.
- Consider temporary workers. Since the gig economy is gaining ground, you can hire folks to work for you during the busiest seasons, such as springtime and snow season.
Temp workers allow you to scale your business, meaning that you can add on other services, such as snow removal and tree trimming. Hire on those gig specialists, and when the season is over, both of you know that you’ll part ways.
Finally, hiring temporary workers lets you see how people work, their loyalty, and their skill levels. You can use the gig economy to recruit new employees and try them out before making a long-term commitment.
Spyker Spreaders Make Spring Landscaping Jobs More Efficient
We have a growing collection of spreaders, lawn rollers, and sprayers at Spyker Spreaders to make your lawn care services more efficient.
You’ll save time and have happier customers when you use our landscape equipment to spread fertilizer, roll seed deep into the soil, and spray weed control in hard-to-reach places.
Have a question about your Spyker spreader? Then, call our customer service at (800)-972-6130 or fill out our contact form.
EwingIrrigation.com, How to Hire During a Labor Shortage.
GreenIndustryPros.com, 3 Ways Machines Can Help Landscapers with Workforce Shortages.
LandscapeProfessionals.org, Apprenticeships Are Opening Doors to Better Future.
TotalLandscapeCare.com, How to Outsmart the Labor Shortage with Temporary Workers.
TurfMagazine.com, Record High H-2B Demand; Less Than 25% Chance to Receive Workers.