Recruiting Competent Help: Mission Impossible??? (Resource Guide)
Roche, Jerry, Landscape & Irrigation
Experienced business managers agree that running a ho-hum want-ad in the local newspaper, or raising entry-level pay, or adding a benefit are not the keys to successful labor recruiting. No, it's much more.
For instance, most of the successful companies in the lawn and landscape industry focus on staffing as a strategic objective. They make it an integral part of their marketing program. Here are some ideas to get your creative
According to Thomas R. Maloney of Cornell University, you can upgrade your want-ads by including:
 the job title
 positive aspects of your company (versus your competitors)
 a job description
 positive working conditions
 info on wages and benefits, if appropriate
 how to apply
But "a good help-wanted ad is not a panacea," Maloney notes. "It won't make poor working conditions or a deserved bad reputation of an employer disappear."
H2B is a federal program that issues legal permits for migrants to perform non-agricultural work in the U.S. on a seasonal basis. So if you're in the market for seasonal help only, you might enlist the assistance of a member of the National H2B Users Association.
One of the companies that makes such arrangements is S.I.L.C. -- Seasonal & Migrant Labor for Companies -- based in Bay City, Texas. The S.I.L.C. program provides a solution to the current labor shortage by enabling companies to qualify for the federal H2B program. Because the regulations covering the H2B program are rigorous, complex and cumbersome, companies like S.I.L.C. can be a great help.
Though S.I.L.C. and similar companies will get your paperwork up to speed, if you choose this method of recruiting, you'll probably have to visit the Mexican border about twice a year for new H2B visas for workers you keep for longer periods of time.
By law, the H2B process takes 120 days, which means that you should start now to have workers by mid-summer. For more information, visit the Website www.silc-h2b.com or phone (979) 245-7577.
Another similar service is provided by Labor Consultants International (LCI), which recruits, trains and completes the certification process for alien workers. You can phone LCI at (208) 777-2654.
Getting the students
"Student Career Days," sponsored by the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA), offers companies an excellent opportunity to meet and recruit hundreds of skilled students. …