How to find experienced crew members?

VenasNursery

Well-Known Member
Location
Michigan
We have a great team (currently) but been trying to hire more employees has been mostly a joke

We have a great name

Awesome Crew

Really nice and newer equipment with clean trucks

the right equipment to make our job the least physical

40-50hr weeks

Pay above surrounding companies

any ideas
 

Reach

Well-Known Member
Location
Atglen, PA
Good question. We have had the same problem. I met with my business coach and he and I put together a job description explaining us and what we are looking for, and then put some pretty serious money behind it on Indeed. It got us a bit of attention, but still not as much as normal. People are just not working right now, the government has been paying too much for people to stay home.
 

VenasNursery

Well-Known Member
Location
Michigan
Good question. We have had the same problem. I met with my business coach and he and I put together a job description explaining us and what we are looking for, and then put some pretty serious money behind it on Indeed. It got us a bit of attention, but still not as much as normal. People are just not working right now, the government has been paying too much for people to stay home.
Trying to find good help is nearly impossible

40 year olds getting dropped off by parents

People getting Uber $40 each way so that don’t last long

to people that don’t even knowhow to rake 0% effort

“today is my dogs birthday can I have the day off”

and yes our government has failed us I try not to get political or religious but jeez

so I’m fishing

Not a lot of star guys out there seems like most companies have 1-2 and that is it

We are booked to November for the first time I think I could start another crew
But not enough employees

Well I guess we will start scheduling February by September (we don’t work January)
Not a bad thing but aggravating
 

Reach

Well-Known Member
Location
Atglen, PA
I definitely understand all those points! One of my neighbor’s commented the other day on the fact that, with the crew we have right now, only one even owns his own car! We do have a good crew right now, finally, but could use more. We are booked to mid-September, and could keep another crew busy if we could find the help and had the equipment, but we don’t. So for now we will keep doing what we can, and that will be all.
 

Wrangler

Active Member
Location
Woodbine
It’s the most challenging part of this of this business. It’s supposed to be 97 F today, I have three guys on payroll, they all called out today. I m heading out to do solo treework.....again. I pay $16 for a kid that is pretty good but doesn’t use a saw and $20 to other two guys, we work 9-10 hr days. They are pretty good but cry about how hard the work is constantly. I do all the climbing,soon as I get down I start doing clean up. I really don’t get it, I really don’t.
It’s good clean work with decent pay in my opinion. 130-200 a day to drag brush and pick up logs, and no one wants to do it.
I just don’t understand
 

Reach

Well-Known Member
Location
Atglen, PA
It’s the most challenging part of this of this business. It’s supposed to be 97 F today, I have three guys on payroll, they all called out today. I m heading out to do solo treework.....again. I pay $16 for a kid that is pretty good but doesn’t use a saw and $20 to other two guys, we work 9-10 hr days. They are pretty good but cry about how hard the work is constantly. I do all the climbing,soon as I get down I start doing clean up. I really don’t get it, I really don’t.
It’s good clean work with decent pay in my opinion. 130-200 a day to drag brush and pick up logs, and no one wants to do it.
I just don’t understand
I’m right there with you. I finally have a crew that doesn’t call off for the heat, which is nice, but it is far too hard to find people to come in to work. We also do everything possible with equipment, so the job really is not that physical, and it pays well, plus some decent perks, but it’s not air conditioned, and there’s no desk to sit behind, so the kids of today aren’t interested. I’m real sorry to hear your crew all called out on you today, be careful out there in this heat!
 

owScott

Well-Known Member
Location
Lafayette
The industry has changed. Any body who is a star and can really get it done has started their own gig. My low guys is $22 doesnt climb middle guy who climbs is $27 and my star dude is a bunch and pretty much anything he needs. I still climb and can handle anything I need to . I am fortunate but i am still on every job site and the crew sees me bustin ass right with them. This is my main stress as abusiness owner. Networking and making guys want to work with you is the key, the guys with real potenial need to see a boss they respect. They need to feel some draw to your operation, not viewed as help. I know a guy who goes to half way houses and hires dudes out of prison and in recover programs. Something i have thought alot about. Just my thoughts
 

Reach

Well-Known Member
Location
Atglen, PA
The industry has changed. Any body who is a star and can really get it done has started their own gig. My low guys is $22 doesnt climb middle guy who climbs is $27 and my star dude is a bunch and pretty much anything he needs. I still climb and can handle anything I need to . I am fortunate but i am still on every job site and the crew sees me bustin ass right with them. This is my main stress as abusiness owner. Networking and making guys want to work with you is the key, the guys with real potenial need to see a boss they respect. They need to feel some draw to your operation, not viewed as help. I know a guy who goes to half way houses and hires dudes out of prison and in recover programs. Something i have thought alot about. Just my thoughts
I will agree with most of that. I don’t do so much of the physical work these days, but when necessary I sure will, and I try hard to get out and help the crew out when it’s a miserable job, or the weather is bad, to show them that I really do care. We are also in the process of putting together a profit sharing program that treats each employee as if they are a part owner of the company, I got the idea from my business coach who has lead a number of other companies in successfully adopting it.

I like hiring guys out of prison or halfway houses. It will get you some great guys who are intensely loyal, most of the time. You have to be able to tell which ones actually want a chance though, and which ones just want a paycheck to get their next fix. The prison chaplain is a good resource for finding those guys, and getting to know a couple local probation officers helps too. They know who is trouble, and who is just troubled.
 

Serf Life

Well-Known Member
Location
Maine Island
Can’t quite figure out threads like these and the well scripted and paid help wanted ones that go unanswered. The photos of your gear are enviable @VenasNursery and some companies are paying over $10 more per hour than “decent” wages here. I would consider going back to W2 for a gig like that.
 

MA Arborist

Active Member
Location
Cape Cod
We have a great team (currently) but been trying to hire more employees has been mostly a joke

We have a great name

Awesome Crew

Really nice and newer equipment with clean trucks

the right equipment to make our job the least physical

40-50hr weeks

Pay above surrounding companies

any ideas

We have the exact same issues with finding help in my area.

Just about everyone I talk to in the service industry has problems finding good help.
Even 10 years ago was better than now.

I think our industry will continue to evolve and become even more mechanized than it already is...so there is hope
 

Fivepoints

Well-Known Member
I think this is an industry wide problem. We have the same problems here. We pay well, have a crane, bucket, mini skid, grapple truck, etc. Doesn't seem like it matters as far as getting help.

I have several friends with their own tree service that have been looking for help for a while. Some literally years without finding anybody decent. It seems like forget it if you need a cdl driver.

We're also working on setting up profit sharing. Seems like a good way for employees to have some skin in the game and not feel cheated for busting ass to get a job done.
 

dsptech

Well-Known Member
Location
North East
I work on my own and this year has bean exceptional for work.
I'm booked out till September and grabbing everything I can get my hands on.
Deposits required to get on my list.
Just me and my chipper busting ass.
When I see you guys post looking for help with all your great equipment and offerings I wonder why the heck you're not here? :tonto:
 

Crimsonking

Well-Known Member
I’d like to hear what you guys think- I believe the hourly wage for skilled people is a broken system. Productive people are penalized while unproductive people are rewarded. Money is exchanged for time, rather than skill. While I’m not sure what the best solution is, I believe the people who crack this one will have enough and happy employees. Thoughts?
 

dsptech

Well-Known Member
Location
North East
My plan for paying a helper would be a decent percentage of the job.
The faster we get it done the sooner we get to the next and more money.
I think that would be incentive enough in which the helper would be invested in earning their share.
Might be a good for a two or three man crew.
For larger crews offer a bonus for getting the job done right, safely, and efficiently.
 
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Crimsonking

Well-Known Member
That’s what I’ve tossed around in my head, but I’m staying away from employees and a full service tree business, so I can’t test it. When I pick up a helper for non-contract climbing jobs, I usually just pay a hefty day rate added straight to the clients bill.
 

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