How I Do It: Utilizing Professional Recruiters - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

We recently updated our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use this website, you acknowledge that our revised Privacy Policy applies.

How I Do It: Utilizing Professional Recruiters

If you are still busy handling the day-to-day aspects of your company, you probably don’t have the bandwidth to dedicate as much time to recruiting as you’d like.

Chris Winkler, Coastal Scapes based in Port Aransas, Texas, says their company doesn’t have a full-time recruiting arm to the business, and partnering with a professional recruiter has been extremely beneficial for them.

He says they started out using McFarlin Stanford’s bookkeeping services and then moved into their consulting and recruiting offerings. Now, whenever they are looking for a new hire at the management level, they turn to their professional recruiter.

This doesn’t mean they don’t conduct internal promotions. He says it typically depends on the position they’re looking to fill and their current talent pool.

“We felt like it’s good for employees to see ‘Hey, you do have the opportunity to move up,’” Winkler says. “We didn’t want to bring someone in from out of the area or completely not within our culture because it was for a field manager position. Someone that’s directly dealing with the guys day-to-day would be more comfortable doing that.”  

Winkler says they are transparent with their team and let them know they’re trying to make a professional decision that’s for the growth of the company.

“We’ve also expressed that if guys do want the opportunity to move up and they do want to take the next step that those opportunities are available,” Winkler says. “They just need to come speak to us if they do want to grow within their career.”  

In the case of looking for a construction manager who can help take them to the next level, Winkler says an outside hire is their go-to for that type of position. He says working with a professional recruiter automatically provides them access to a larger talent pool.

“They have networks and resources that just someone in your area, unless you’re just traveling all over the place and just shaking hands and stuff like that, you’re not going to know everyone across the United States,” Winkler says.

Winkler says one of their employees that McFarlin Stanford found is originally from Portland, Oregon, and he never would have connected with that individual if it was not for their professional recruiter.

He says he’s been incredibly lucky with his candidates being willing to relocate, but you need to have a solid company culture and upsell the area to those you’re wanting to hire.

Using professional recruiters also helps provide quality leads faster. Winkler says he’s had candidates presented to him in as soon as two weeks, and typically within a month they have some potential hires to consider. McFarlin Stanford also has a vetting process, so they make sure these candidates meet Coastal Scapes’s criteria as well as ensuring they are genuine about their capabilities and knowledge set.

Winkler says typically, he’ll reach out when there is a need and they will discuss the position’s daily tasks, the company’s ideal candidate, as well as the type of experience they should have and if they need a degree. Once they are provided a lead, they’ll conduct a phone interview, a Zoom interview and then an in-person visit if the candidate is not from the area.

“I would say just be very explicit about what you’re looking for,” Winkler says. “So that way, one, they can do their job. But number two, you’re not wasting your time on them giving you candidates that may not exactly fit what you’re looking for.”

Winkler notes it’s key to work with industry-specific recruiters.

“The biggest thing, especially with McFarlin Stanford, is they’re all past industry professionals,” Winkler says. “They’ve all worked in industry, so they know what they’re looking for. They can put their stamp on someone and say, ‘Yeah, this person knows what they’re talking about.’”

Jill Odom

Jill Odom is the senior content manager for NALP.