If you’re like a lot of landscape professionals, then the H2B dilemma is likely on your mind. Whether you’ve relied on H2B workers before in the past or not, drastic cuts to the program have made it increasingly difficult for landscape business owners to get workers. Those who have always relied heavily on this program have been struggling in past seasons to make up for that labor loss.
Those who are most successful have been those who have thought outside of the box. With this problem continuing to loom, it might be time for you to start thinking about other ways to solve your labor challenges. H2B Program Information
Here are just a few ideas that we’ve seen in action.
Your hiring approach needs to be multi-faceted. Think of it as creating a “hiring engine,” that is firing on all cylinders. A robust effort like this means utilizing online job boards, staffing agencies, and local job fairs. Make posts on social media. And, of course, you also need to make sure that your website is doing some of the work for you. When potential hires visit your site, do they see a place where they want to work? This is important. After all, you know that as soon as you put job postings out there, one of the first things potential hires are going to do is browse your website. Make sure that they’re going to like what they see.
Another tactic that some landscape companies are using is recruiting workers from Puerto Rico. This bypasses the complications of H2B because Puerto Rico is a U.S. Territory and Puerto Ricans are American citizens who do not need visas to work in the United States. The island also has a high unemployment rate and people are in need of jobs.
Of course, you also want to make sure that your company is a place where people actually want to work—or else none of your hiring efforts will matter. Potential hires want to work for a company that is profitable and successful. One way to make a quick but effective change in your business is to lose the losers. In other words, review your accounts and dump the ones that don’t make you money or might not make sense for your business. This can help you operate leaner and be more profitable—making you increasingly desirable to job candidates.
You also want to make sure that you’re building a positive culture where people enjoy coming to work each day. This type of mindset comes from the top down, so make sure that your management team is promoting the right type of culture. That can come from listening to your people—and caring about their needs.
Also, keep in mind that negative people breed negativity. If you have a worker who is constantly putting others down, talking bad about the company, or just bringing drama to the workplace, it might be time for you to part ways with them. A bad attitude can spread like cancer in a company and before you know it, you could have many disgruntled workers.
Finally, you also want to make sure that you’re doing everything you can to keep your good workers so that you don’t have to start this process all over again. Some of the points we mentioned above apply here.
Another way to achieve this is through performance incentive programs. People appreciate the opportunity to be rewarded for a job well done. Not only will you make them feel good and inspire them to do it again—but you’ll also inspire others to follow suit.