How temporary workers can benefit your landscaping business
As a landscaping company or lawn maintenance service, there are often fluctuations in demand over the course of the year. As your business grows or when the seasons are busy, your full-time employees may feel overworked. You may need to hire new employees quickly. The decision that it’s time to hire people and actually start the process are two very different things.
While having full-time employees is important, consider adding temporary workers to your workforce. Using agency workers allows you to hire as many additional workers as you need, especially when spring comes and the lawn care business is booming. Hiring temporary workers allows you to scale your business, offer more services, cover more projects and save money in slower times.
Let’s examine how adding contract workers to your workforce can greatly benefit your company.
Overcoming labor shortages
According to a study by HindSite Software, around 92% of companies in the green industry – including lawn maintenance, irrigation services, mowing, snow removal, etc. – report that it is difficult to find strong applicants.
In fact, attracting and retaining employees has been one of the most talked about topics in the landscaping industry. But what is causing this labor shortage and how can landscaping companies really develop sustainable workforces? The answer can be contract workers.
As a result of the labor shortage, many companies are canceling business orders or rejecting last-minute projects, while others close their doors entirely. With agency workers, you can hire workers based on season or per project requirements. By adding a flexible workforce to your crew, you can easily offer more hands-on deck to get projects to completion on time (or even ahead of schedule). Temporary work makes it easy to scale your workforce without the unfortunate disadvantage of firing or firing full-time crew members once the projects are completed. With an agile crew, you can outsmart labor camps, save money, meet deadlines and keep your customers happy.
Access to workers with special skills
Because every landscaping project is different, there are times when you don’t have a crew member with the expertise required for the job. By using temporary work, you can employ highly qualified workers for short-term work. In addition, you can get other potential benefits by finding agency workers with specific expertise or equipment. Instead of leasing or buying the equipment (like a tiller or lawn mower), you need it To complete the job, you save yourself some overhead by having what is necessary as a prerequisite for your next temporary hire.
Expand your range of services
With an easily accessible pool of professionals, you can expand and expand your service offering to grow your business. With the help of temporary workers, you can hire snow clearers when the winter months come and employ other types of skilled workers during your busiest season (think lawn installers, tree cutters, landscapers, irrigation workers, and beyond). Options are plentiful so you can scale as customer needs change.
Try workers before hiring them permanently
Finding good workers is a challenge in itself, but once you find those hard workers, hold onto them.
You can easily take agency workers (as opposed to full-time workers) to court to get a feel for whether or not they will fit in with the rest of your lawn maintenance or landscaping staff in the long term. Hire with 100% confidence by using temporary work as an additional way to easily screen candidates. Think of it as another step in your full-time interview process.
You can reduce your risk by trying to “confirm” individuals that they actually have the skills required and are able to complete the job. Testing the water with a wider range of temporary crew members can leave you with some superstars that you may want to keep on repeat or even permanently.
Use the “gig economy”
Many believe that we are in a “gig economy” where flexible and temporary jobs are thriving. With so many people laid off as a result of the pandemic, there are workers looking for jobs like this. Many people also prefer the flexibility of temporary work. This could be an opportunity for landscape contractors to take advantage of it.
After all, many landscaping companies continue to struggle to find and retain staff due to variability in planning, job complexity, and the nature of the jobs.
It can be difficult to find skilled, last-minute labor for an outdoor project, but solutions exist. For example, landscapers can find and hire qualified help for any outdoor project using GigSmart Get Workers, an online platform that connects lawn care companies with local workers.
Whenever you find contract workers make sure you set them up for success by making them aware of your expectations. As with any employee, communication is key. If you take the time to clearly define what you are looking for, you will have a great start with a temporary worker that you may want to keep hiring.
Editor’s Note: This article was written by Rich Oakes.