Team Building: What Professional Recruiters Offer - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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Team Building: What Professional Recruiters Offer

Just like how you’d turn to an accountant for help with your financials, hiring a professional recruiter can bring a level of experience and focus to a task that you can’t always devote all your attention to.

Designscapes Colorado, based in Centennial, Colorado, has been working with two professional recruiters for a number of years. One firm that focuses on filling administrative positions for the company has been working with them for about 15 years. The other firm Designscapes Colorado has been using for about five years and these recruiters are hired to find employees for management and higher-level positions.

Phil Steinhauer, CEO of Designscapes Colorado, says the main reason they started working with the first professional recruiters was because they have a setup where the employee comes on as a temp and they can determine if it is a good fit for both parties.

“We can convert those into full-time positions based on the compatibility of both the employer and the employee,” Steinhauer says.

Steinhauer says they started working with the other professional recruiter because they wanted to do a better job finding professional candidates and the recruiter would handle all the pre-screening.

“They just send us the best of the best, so it saved us a lot of time from advertising,” Steinhauer says.

What Professional Recruiters Offer

Depending on the firm you decide to work with, what professional recruiters can offer your company will vary. In the case of McFarlin Stanford, they view their work as a partnership with landscaping companies.

When they get a new client, vice president of McFarlin Stanford Chris Psencik says they ask and see if the company is currently recruiting for that position in-house. He says they encourage their clients to keep searching for people for their open positions.

“We’re not saying you need to shut down your search,” Psencik says. “What we’re saying is we’re going to assist you in the search, and we’re going to do everything in our power to make sure that we can secure this role for you.”

McFarlin Stanford has an intense interview process with their new clients so they can learn anything and everything about the business. Psencik says they provide feedback to the company as to what they might be doing right or wrong recruiting and how to improve their ability to attract an employee.

Psencik says they conduct a series of screens they do internally before the client ever meets a candidate. The company could screen anywhere from 30 to 300 candidates before the client meets with any of them.  

“Our goal is we’ve already done majority of that screening and vetting on our end, long before you ever meet with them,” Psencik says.

For Lawnline Marketing, they use digital marketing and industry connections to position landscape companies as desirable workplaces.

“Being transparent and actively promoting your company’s values, goals, team building, environment, and other insights enables you to strategically position yourself as ‘the company to work for’ and attract the best talent,” says Tony Ricketts, owner of Lawnline. “Big tech companies like Google and Facebook are extremely good at this, which is one reason top talent flocks to them.”

Ricketts says aside from positioning your company well, digital marketing also ensures your open positions can be found online by those searching.

“Digital marketing is also the primary delivery method we use to push your company and positions in front of the most qualified candidates, even if they’re not actively seeking employment,” Ricketts says. “With the vast amount of personal data collected online, digital marketing experts know how to utilize this information and reach out to top talent via social media, email marketing, and even SMS marketing strategies.”

 Lawnline will review resumes and rate candidates on a scale from 1 to 5, leave comments for the company to review about each candidate, and set up assessment testing. The landscape company’s HR team can then start with the best candidates and quickly move them through the hiring process.

Steinhauer says he chose to start working with professional recruiters because he wanted to look outside of the run-of-the-mill options.

“They do outside searches,” Steinhauer says. “They do LinkedIn searches. They look outside of Denver in surrounding areas like Colorado Springs and Fort Collins, even out of state, in surrounding states.”

Steinhauer says he was hesitant at first, but the benefits far outweigh any of his hesitations. He was concerned about the cost and the unknown but the recruiters have saved him time from bringing on new hires that don’t work out.

Steinhauer’s recruiters conduct preliminary interviews and vet the candidate and determine whether they’re worth sending on to Designscapes Colorado. Steinhauer says they have a 90 percent hire rate with the people the recruiters have sent them and about a 75 percent retention rate.

Check back next week for part two on how to find a good recruiting firm and make the most of it.

Jill Odom

Jill Odom is the senior content manager for NALP.