Over the past few months I've had great difficulty in finding someone to join and eventually run our garden maintenance service in the Surrey and Hampshire areas. I've always heard that finding people was the most difficult part of running a business but just assumed that the companies weren't offering enough incentives or were just understandably over picky.
The fact is that there are people who want to work but there aren't many who want to work to a certain standard for any length of time.
When i first started I always looked at it as though working hard everywhere will help me to progress a lot faster and learn as I go along. The problem was, employers didn't always reward hard work so after slogging it out for months with no acknowledgement it suddenly dawns on you that you're killing yourself for nothing. That is in my opinion a grave mistake for employers and businesses looking to grow a reliable and hard working workforce. Why should someone work with pride and respect if they don't feel like they're getting at least some of that reciprocated?
After inviting around 4 or 5 candidates to come and have a paid trial I quickly found out that although they worked hard there was just no chemistry or they were really personable but were only working for the sake of working and that's not ideal when you're looking to grow.
As of 5 weeks ago I finally found someone who is great with clients, takes pride in his appearance and most of all uses his own initiative to get the job done thoroughly and efficiently and it feels like we're suddenly starting to get somewhere!
Even more exciting is that the garden maintenance part of the business has become very busy with around 3-4 enquiries a week so the timing couldn't have been better.
The new member of staff, Steve is very driven and is focused on what he wants for his career but also on how he can enhance Ben Lannoy Landscapes through his skills and personality.
I always remember listening to one of Richard Bransons' books and hearing him say that he would give every employee at Virgin some kind of ownership to help them feel like they can build on their position and add a piece to the bigger puzzle. I'm defintely no Richard Branson, but I believe building from the inside out absolutley works here too.
I just wanted to write this post because I feel so relieved that we finally have someone on board that can carry on the same kind of garden maintenance standards that we've always tried to maintain but also to give others hope that there are people out there with the same vision as you. It's simply a case of not settling for the first and possibly paying that bit more to make sure you have a skilled and approachable person representing your company.
Steve contacted me but there are other places out there you can start looking.
Some places I tried are:-
A 'jobs' page on my own website
Local ads and many more!
We have a number of students and landscapers writing to us and my advice would be to give them a chance first. Anyone who takes the time to write a letter (albeit to possibly every other business in the county) deserves a chance at proving themselves. Some have even sent hard copies and for some reason that really seems to work for me, although i'd always go with paperless messaging everytime!
Either way, as I've always said to people who have made the effort, I know how it felt looking for work and even an acknowledgement that it had been received goes a long way when you're just starting out so I try to get back to everybody.
Our Trusty Garden Maintenance Van.
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