“I need to hire new team members for snow removal, but how do I find the right crew?”
Finding the right hires for your snow removal team can be tricky. It’s hard to find qualified people, and it’s even harder to find someone that’s going to be the perfect fit for your team.
Keep reading to discover…
- The best time to hire new employees…
- Where to find the right people…
- And, how to know if they’re a good fit.
The Insurance Every Snow Plow Team NEEDS
Snow removal is a dangerous job that makes your business more liable than traditional landscaping. This. Is. A. Fact.
What does this mean for your snow removal business?
Well, chances are your traditional liability insurance for your lawn care or landscaping business may NOT cover the snow removal sector.
Since snow removal is more dangerous, you’re considered to be a part of the high-loss group due to the greater risk of claim filing.
Before you hire any employee, you should consider 2 types of insurance. Think about getting workers’ compensation and liability insurance. Again, these should probably be separate from your lawn care or landscaping insurance.
Want to get more out of your snow employees? See how the right snow plow will boost their productivity! How to Find the Right Plow for Your Snow Removal Company
How Do You Know It’s Time to Add an Employee?
Knowing when it’s the right time to add a team member is vital to the growth of your business.
There are a lot of things you need to consider, before you take the leap to hire someone.
Here’s 10 signs it’s time to hire a new snow employee:
- You’re working more exhaustive hours than you ever have before.
- You feel as though you’re employees just aren’t loyal to you.
- You’ve turned down jobs, because you don’t have enough employees to help.
- Your employee morale is plummeting.
- An employee has quit.
- Your crews are overextended and burning out…FAST.
- You do small tasks instead of focusing on growing your business.
- You’re missing calls, because you’re too busy, and it’s costing you money.
- You’re working on the low-profit projects, because you need your crews on the bigger projects.
- You’re about to sell a ton of new work and will need additional employees to cover the jobs.
If any of these statements apply to you, then it’s probably time to hire more team members.
It’s important to know how to build a team, but it can be difficult to know exactly what steps to take to go about it.
How to Build a Team
If you’ve never built a team before, here are a few simple steps to help you easily AND safely build your first team:
- Step 1. Hire 1 part-time worker
- Step 2. Market your business to get more jobs to fill up your schedule.
- Step 3. When you have enough hours, hire a second part-timer.
- Step 4. Repeat this until you have enough hours to fill a full-time position.
Now that you know how to build your first team, let’s talk about the questions you should ask yourself before you actually hire someone.
The Questions You Should Be Asking Yourself
Before you hire a new snow employee, here are some important questions to ask yourself to determine what you need:
- How many hours do you need them to work by next week? And what about next month?
- Do you have the time and resources to properly train them?
- Is your service running smoothly? Are your clients happy?
- Wait until your clients are satisfied before you go out hiring new employees. Don’t add new employees to the chaos.
- Do you have enough money to handle short-term profit loss? You might lose some money while you train your new employee.
- Do you have a process set for new hires?
If you answer these questions and follow the steps, your decision to add a team member will be much easier.
10 Places to Find New Snow Employees
When conventional methods, such as job search sites, fail to find you the right candidates — try thinking outside the box.
Find new snow employees by…
- Reaching out to your current employees, friends and family for referrals
- Passing out flyers in your local neighborhoods and apartment complexes
- Reaching out to people at your local stores and fast food restaurants
- Posting ads in your local newspaper
- Posting ads on social media
- Posting on job sites such as Indeed, Monster, CareerBuilder and ZipRecruiter
- Posting on job boards such as LinkedIn and Craigslist
- Passing out flyers at local colleges and tech schools
- Putting up flyers at churches and community centers
- Asking hardware and equipment suppliers if they know of anyone suited for the job
Reaching out to your friends and family for referrals is probably the most promising choice… however, hiring friends and family is a whole other ballgame — we’ll discuss this more later.
What Makes a Great Snow Employee?
Snow removal is dangerous, which means a higher liability to your business. It can seem almost impossible to find people with the right qualifications.
In order to ensure you’re hiring the right people, you should look for someone who has:
- Certified Snow Professional (CSP)
- 2 to 3 professional references (preferred, but not required)
- Equipment experience
- Passes a background check
These qualifications are vital to ensuring you’re hiring the right person for your snow removal business.
You also need to consider the difference between a snow employee and a snow plow driver.
- A snow employee is someone who does NOT operate machinery for snow removal. Examples of their tasks may include shoveling, deicing, and salting driveways or sidewalks.
- A snow plow driver operates machinery — in addition to the traditional snow employee tasks. Examples of these tasks may include operating a snow plow truck or skid steer, and they also may shovel, deice, and salt driveways or sidewalks.
The Questions You Should Be Asking During the Interview
It may seem obvious but…if you don’t ask the right questions during an interview, you won’t hire the right person for your team.
Start by phone screening applicants. This filters out the ones who aren’t qualified or excited for the job. It also cuts down on your interview time, and your time is valuable.
You might ask them…
- What’s your work experience in snow removal?
- Why do you think you’re a good fit for snow removal?
If they pass the phone interview, ask for an in-person interview. Make the interview on your terms, where you pick the time and place.
The in-person interview should tell you everything you need to know about the candidate. We recommend you ask…
- Why do you want to leave your current job?
- What types of equipment have you worked with? How long?
- Are you excited to work for my business?
- Have you ever had a situation where a customer was wrong or upset? How did you handle it?
- What makes you different than the other people applying for this job?
- Can you drive a snow plow?
- Are you legally allowed to work in the United States, or do you have/need a Visa?
- This question covers your legal bases. This questions can also just be moved to your written application.
These questions not only show their qualifications, but also help you get to know them.
Just as a reminder… practice saying no to favors. Don’t hire friends or family unless you’re willing to potentially ruin the relationship. There’s a good chance they’ll feel entitled to special treatment.
Want to find the best trucks and tires? 6 Best Trucks and Tires for Your Snow Removal Business
How to Know if They’re the Right Fit for YOU
So, you’ve asked the traditional interview questions and their qualifications match up. Now, you need to know if they’re the right fit for YOUR team.
Before hiring a potential team member, you should ask yourself the 7 C’s.
The 7 C’s are a great way to ensure you’re hiring the right employee for your business.
If the potential team member passes all of these qualifications and questions, then you’ve probably found yourself the right team member.
Having trouble with retention on your snow removal team? 5 Steps to Keeping Your Snow Employees This Winter
How to Keep Great Employees
Building a positive culture is what keeps your best employees on your team.
We’ve been talking a lot about hiring… but let’s talk about keeping the employees you already have, so that you don’t have to continuously find great employees.
In order to raise your retention rate, you have to give them a reason to stay with you.
- Give incentives for bringing in new clients or upselling services.
- Provide perks such as:
- Fridge in the office that’s always stocked with fresh beverages and fruit
- Fresh hot coffee and cocoa
- Thermoses with your company logo on them
- Company-paid breakfasts and lunches
While incentives and perks help a great deal with retention, the BEST way to maintain retention is through solid culture.
A good company culture means…
- You take pride in your business.
- You exceed customer expectations and get it right the first time.
- You encourage each other and keep positive attitudes.
- You’re truthful and always communicate with your employees.
- You reward your employees for a job well done.
- Everyone is kind and respectful to each other and to customers.
Bottom line: You’re going to lose great employees for different reasons. If you do everything possible to cultivate a positive company culture, you won’t have to hire as often.
Just for FUN, check out these cool snow plows…
Finding the right snow removal team can sometimes seem like a pretty daunting task. If you read this article, we promise you’ll have a leg up on your competition.
This article shows you not only how you can cover yourself, but also how to find the right employees for your team.
So get out there, and find YOUR snow removal team!
Related: Still not sure if they’re a good fit for your team? How to Hire the Best Employees…
(This article concerns the lawn care industry, but the same concepts still apply.)
Alyssa is a Content Writer at Service Autopilot. Her bookworming began after she discovered the Harry Potter series. Her love of books evolved into writing and creating content. When she's not writing an SA blog to help service industry owners, she's watching sci-fi or has her nose in a book. If you'd like to chat with the author, you can reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.orgAuthor's Website