Across the border, Canadian landscape companies are having trouble finding good help, too. The vice president of one such company, Laura Couper of Elmsdale Landscaping in Elmsdale, Nova Scotia, recently tried a new tack on getting reliable employees. Couper posted a Facebook ad, and from the sound of it, she’s heard enough excuses to last a lifetime.
“Please do not apply if you oversleep, have court often, do not have a babysitter every day, have to get rides to work later than our work day begins, experience flat tires every week, have to hold onto a cell phone all day, or will become an expert at your job with no need to learn or take advice after the first day,” the post reads. “Must be able to talk and work at the same time. Must also remember to come back to work after lunch.”
Although Elmsdale did get some great new employees last year, not everybody was a keeper, and Couper is trying to find 30 new hires. “Everybody interviews really well, but then we had employees who go to the bathroom with their phones, and they’re in there for 45 minutes,” she said. “In the end, we just started hiring everyone and telling them to try it out for a day.”
Not everybody is used to raking soil, laying sod, or planting shrubs, let alone operating a mower for eight or ten hours. Asked if everything in the ad had happened at Elmsdale, Couper responded, “That’s the filtered version. There are some stories I just can’t tell you.”
She hopes that the new ad will dissuade flaky people, and entice people with a sense of humor. “Talking to other people in the industry, it seems everyone is having the same problem,” said Couper. Whether she reached her desired demographic or not, her approach is certainly getting attention; the campaign netted more than 200 resumes for the 30 spots.