The professional tree care industry and arborists have seen a decline in the labor force in recent years. Many tree care business owners are at a loss as to how to deal with the shortage, and how to maintain reliable skilled employees.
As things like our Visa H2B laws continue to change, and the safety procedures are not catching up to our advances in equipment, we are faced with a growing need for professional arborists.
While laws and injuries have taken their toll, we have also seen a decline in the interest of the millennial generation in the field. Professional arborists, while just as important if not more than it was 20 years ago, is not being offered as a career choice through career counselors and high school career guides.
All of these things combined have left business owners out on a limb- so to speak. In this article, we will go over some good practices to negate the effects of the labor shortage.
Safety and Security
As one of the more dangerous professions, injuries are common in the tree care industry. Being on top of safety procedures, and using the latest equipment, will reduce the risk of workers comp claims. Having these safety measures in place will also instill a feeling of safety for employees.
The majority of tree care works are clearing roadways, clearing land for development, and removing damaged trees from inclement weather. All of these jobs have risks involved. Another avenue to secure your employees is to provide good healthcare and workers compensation plans.
If an injury happens, knowing that you- as an employee- is taken care of will greatly increase the likelihood of the employee returning to work at full capacity. It is important to communicate with your employees about their benefits so they are fully prepared in case of an emergency, as well.
Hiring New Employees
As tree care is mainly a seasonal occupation, many business owners rely on Visa H2B workers to fill their manpower gaps. Unfortunately, with the tentative laws in place, we are not seeing the trained and experienced workers able to come into the US for the season.
Now is the time to turn your attention to the TCIA for resources. There is also the option of being more involved in arboriculture, and looking for federal-funded programs that give kids the opportunity to learn about tree care.
When looking for new employees in the tree care industry (or any industry for that matter), it’s important to properly vet your candidates. Not only will this ensure you are getting candidates with a good work history that are willing to learn, but your employees will also know that you are offering a career versus a job.
As mentioned, the TCIA (Tree Care Industry Association) is a great resource for hiring, safety procedures, business guidelines, and much more. You can find and utilize:
- A300 tree care standards
- Plant health care
- Drivers files
- Private and personal files guidelines
- Safety and training files
- Employee handbook
- Workers Compensation
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
- TCIA Tree Care business guide/purchasing insurance
- Hiring and termination
- Calculating your hourly sales rate
- Salesperson compensation
- Writing proposals/work orders
- Intro to business plans
- Strategic business planning workbook
- Sample tree care business plan
We Are Here To Help
Hiring employees, especially when you do not have an HR team behind you, can be stressful. We are here to help and share what other tree care companies are doing for new talent acquisition and retention. Contact Tree Service Marketer today!
My name is Mike Gurung, Founder and CEO of a tree care marketing agency and author of the book “Power of Web Marketing”. Our team is passionate about helping tree service business increase their sales & grow their revenues by more effectively marketing online via SEO, Google Maps Optimization, Social Media, eMail Marketing, Paid Search and other Online Marketing channels.