How to Hire the Right Person, the First Time - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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How to Hire the Right Person, the First Time

Hiring new employees is expensive. Ideally, you want to hire the right people the first time, instead of having to turn around and try to fill the position again when it doesn’t work out with the current hire.

“Studies estimate that it costs more than a thousand dollars to hire an entry-level employee, from the job search to the onboarding and training process,” says Jessi Burg, owner of Outgrow Your Garage, a program of self-guided online courses and co-working opportunities design to help trade and service businesses grow. “And it only goes up from there. If you’re not hiring the right person, that money gets wasted instead of reinvested in your business.”

Jessi Burg

Burg is also the founder of Pears to Perennials, a sustainable garden, landscaping and tree care service company based in Denver, Colorado. At her company, she has a near-zero staff turnover rate and an 85 percent client retention rate.

Burg will lead an interactive workshop on “How to Hire the Right Person, the First Time” during LANDSCAPES 2021 on Friday, Oct. 22 at 9:30 a.m. ET. During this session, attendees will learn clear, actionable steps on improving their hiring process.

“This session will be all about distinguishing what you think you need from what you actually need in a new hire – whether they’re year-round or seasonal, supervisory or entry-level.”

Anyone who hires will benefit from attending this session, whether you struggle with turnover or are growing and need help writing new job descriptions for positions you are creating. Employers can often end up hiring the wrong person when they rush the hiring process.

“Every company has been in the position where they just need a body to help with the workload,” she says. “But when you’re desperate to hire, it’s easy to mis-hire.”

An employee can be the wrong person for a number of reasons whether they’re not a good cultural fit, in the wrong role or unable to do the job you hired them for.   

“Sometimes, you promote an internal candidate who was great at their job and they struggle in their new role,” Burg says. “Other times, you might hire someone who has the perfect set of skills, but it turns out their personality is a bad fit. Every situation is different.”

Another common mistake is not being sure what you need. If you’re hiring a supervisor, what’s most important for your company? Is it landscaping experience, experience at a company your size, or supervisory experience?

“The last pitfall is not making sure you’re hiring a diverse skill set,” Burg says. “A lot of hiring managers tend to hire people who are like themselves, but that may not be what’s best for the company. For example, you need people who are detail-oriented, as well as people who are good at big picture logistics.”

The session will also touch on hiring family members and setting them up for success. Burg says you should hire them using the same process you would use for any hire.

“Setting expectations clearly and at the outset will vastly help your work relationship,” Burg says. “Also, make sure you have a plan in place for how to manage workplace conflict. This is a big one that a lot of people miss. If you aren’t managing your conflict well, (and there’s always a little conflict at work), you can ruin your personal relationship.”

This session is worth 1 CEU credit. You can earn up to 13 CEU credits by attending sessions at LANDSCAPES 2021.

Want more information about hiring the right person? Register for LANDSCAPES 2021 and we’ll see you in Louisville!

Jill Odom

Jill Odom is the senior content manager for NALP.