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Managing seasonal snow workers

- Posted: February 14, 2013
By Jason Scott

Each year as we prepare ourselves for another unforeseen winter, one of the hardest things we come across is finding seasonal employees. As our snow division continues to grow it has been apparent that our landscape workforce is unable to fulfill all our snow personnel needs. With a workforce of 80 hand Laborers, 60 pieces of equipment, 5 Area Managers, 4 Salt Truck Drivers, and CDL drivers we need to look outside our current employees for help.

We have found that offering a part-time, seasonal position that is on-call, 24 hours a day, in the most extreme of conditions, a challenge. People who are out of work are typically looking for full-time work, out of the elements, with hours they can count. Although, it can be a struggle, here are some of the techniques that have been successful for us.

1. Keeping localized ads running on Craigslist with our current employment needs.
2. Leaning on our existing subcontractors and employees for referrals.
3. Creating relationships with small owner/operator Landscape companies that are looking for winter opportunities for themselves and their employees.
4. Reaching out to local seasonal companies (i.e. Painting, paving, and construction professionals).
5. Training and hiring more people than necessary as alternates to fill in holes when necessary.

We are always on the lookout for available talent and have trained our teams to do the same. It seems that at least a name or two trickle in every week from employees and subcontractors who have found another potential team member. One avenue we try in the near future, but have not yet tried, is social media. Reaching out to friends, colleagues and family with the click of a button is always promising as they are surely going to be willing to help spread the word.

Jason Scott, CSP is an area manager for The Groundskeeper, Inc. in Ashland, MA. Read more of Jason's snow and landscaping blog here
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