Labor Tip: 24-hour rule

May 15, 2018 -  By

Ben Hardy quickly learned that when hiring field staff, acting fast is essential.

Hardy, who leads the talent acquisition practice for consulting and recruiting firm McFarlin Stanford, previously worked in human resources for several landscape companies.

He often found himself in a situation where he interviewed a candidate but had no supervisor accessible and available to interview the person for a second opinion, so he’d send the candidate home and ask them to come back tomorrow.

“By tomorrow they already had an offer somewhere else,” Hardy says. “They interpreted the delay as disinterest.”

To improve the capture rate of field staff, he refined his interview process to ensure he could make an offer on the same day as the interview—something he calls the “24-hour rule.”

For others looking to do the same, Hardy advises landscape contractors to fully understand their wage threshold before the interview begins. “If you need people, you don’t want to get hung up on price,” he says. Know your negotiating limits and be prepared to make an offer that falls within those.

Next, always have someone available in the office to conduct a second interview on the spot.

Finally, don’t wait for someone to pass a background check before you extend the offer. Simply make the offer and set a start date, but make it contingent on passing the background check. Tell the candidate he or she could start earlier if the results come back sooner.

“If you have a sense of urgency and demonstrate you have all your ducks in a row, they’re going to be excited to work for you,” Hardy says. “If you wait, you’re going to miss out.”

Photo: iStock.com/carrollphoto

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