As a landscaping company, you know you can count on three things: death, taxes, and labor shortages.
To keep up with the workload, you should be hiring year-round, but we know recruiting high-quality workers is a challenge. That’s why we’re hosting a webinar on the secrets to hiring great landscape employees with HR expert and industry veteran Ian Schotanus.
When it comes to hiring great workers, it all starts with the job description. Ideally, you put together a list of everything you want from a candidate, then send it out into the universe and it returns to you with a pool of qualified applicants.
But in reality, no hiring process goes this smoothly—and the job market is more competitive than ever. If you want to stand out, you have to improve your postings.
Fortunately, you can do so easily by following a few best practices. Here’s a list of quick tips to instantly improve your landscape employee job postings and start bringing in more candidates.
- Keep it short
- Sell yourself
- Create a careers page
- Optimize for SEO
- Include the right details
- Clarify next steps
- Make it easy to read
- Ditch formality
Keep it short
Job seekers interested in a landscaping career typically skim lots of postings during their search. If yours is too long, you risk having prospects click away because they don’t want to spend the time reading it.
Postings that are around 300–600 words tend to perform well, so try to keep yours as concise as possible. In addition to making it easier to read, cutting words can also help you focus on your core message,
Many landscape business owners feel prospective employees should just be grateful for the chance to have a paycheck. In 2022, though, workers will expect more.
They want to work for a company that will respect their contributions, prioritize wellness and advancement, and operate with integrity. This shift has led businesses to reframe their approach to hiring, both to stay competitive in a challenging job market and to reflect true care for their employees.
The job application and interview process isn’t just about candidates “selling” themselves to you anymore—it’s also about you selling yourself to candidates.
To start, show how landscape professionals at your company are able to pursue the career path of their choice. Highlight opportunities for growth and training. Explain how your organization values diversity and inclusion. Talk about your benefits package, work-life balance, paid time off policies, and workplace culture.
Include a condensed version of this information in your job posting to help you stand out to future applicants.
Create a careers page
If you don’t already have a careers section on your website, add one! It can be as simple as a single page, or as complex as a whole subsite devoted to the experience of working at your company.
Of course you'll want to list open positions and career opportunities for green industry employees, but don’t stop there. Add photos, videos, and testimonials from current employees. Share highlights from your benefits package, talk about your culture and values, and explain why your company is a great place to work.
For some examples of great landscape industry career pages, check out the following companies:
Optimize for SEO
A great job posting won’t help if no one reads it. That’s where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in.
You can optimize your online job listings by using the right keywords, including your location, and sharing across multiple job sites. This will help your post to show up when people search for jobs in your area on Google, LinkedIn, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, SimplyHired, or any other job boards.
Finally, have your web developer add structured data to job openings to ensure your landscaping jobs appear in a special “jobs” list when someone searches on Google.
Include the right details
Most job posts follow a typical format: introduction to the company, description of the role, list of responsibilities, list of qualifications, and final details. But what information should you really include?
Start with a “hook” (using the first couple of sentences to grab a reader’s attention), then move to a brief description of your company’s culture and what the job entails to establish an immediate connection with the candidate. Next, include any relevant details about the position.
If you're looking for team members with specific types of experience—setting up sprinklers or irrigation systems, using fertilizers or pesticides, mowing, or mulching, for example—include that in your posting. Also include any educational requirements, such as a high school or college degree.
Some tips to keep in mind:
- Include the pay rate or salary to attract more applicants
- Be realistic with the requirements you include
- Keep lists of responsibilities short enough to skim (you can expand on them during the interview)
You may also want to define job titles like crew leader, crew member, groundskeeper, mower, or landscape designer. Someone interested in an entry-level job opportunity might not be familiar with terms typically used in landscape management.
Clarify next steps
If someone’s interested in applying for your job, make it as easy as possible for them to do so. At the end of your post, include specific, clear instructions for what to do next.
Should they fill out an application? Email a resume? Sign up for future job alerts?
Whatever the next steps are, make sure they’re crystal clear for readers.
Make it easy to read
As we’ve mentioned, the job search process involves lots of skimming. Optimize the format of your listings so they’re easily digestible to give you a leg up with prospects.
To improve the reader’s experience:
- Use bullet points to break down details about a job (but don’t overdo it)
- Write in short sentences
- Break large chunks of text into shorter paragraphs
You also want to make sure the elements in your post flow together naturally. People expect to see the contents laid out in a certain order, and while you can shake things up, throwing expectations out entirely can be disorienting and uncomfortable for searchers.
Finally, you’ll have a better chance of connecting with candidates if you talk to them like real people.
You don’t have to use formal language in your postings to be taken seriously. Adopt a more conversational tone to help prospects feel more comfortable with your company.
Not sure how to do that? A great first step is to get rid of impersonal third-person language (e.g., “The candidate will demonstrate skills in…”), replacing it with “we” and “you” language (e.g., “You’ll work closely with our sales team to find opportunities for…”).
Have people around the office take a look at your postings, and ask if they sound stiff. If the answer is yes, consider rewriting the same content—instead of sending it to an unknown mass of people, though, picture your ideal candidate sitting across the desk from you and write directly to them.
Now that you’ve got some ideas for how to improve your job postings, you’re off to a great start.
If you’re ready to take it to the next level, join us for a webinar on recruitment best practices with HR expert Ian Schotanus. During the presentation, Ian will share insights from his 10+ years of experience helping contractors solve their hiring headaches.
Learn more and register below!