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Posted:  20 Dec 2012 17:37  
Why can I not find a person with Experience?
I have posted on several free listings and i get the same junk over and over. I changed the ad.Are thier more free posting sites then Craigs list. Good wage good milage and comissions. Not one person with a background in the job. I am growing and running out of labor. I do not want to hire illegals and I want to hire local people.$13.00 to start + .50C a mile and   Commissions. Thats better then most jobs i see posted unless you have a degree. NAd its not hard work.
Posted:  22 Dec 2012 17:12  
I don't know about that last line" "And its not hard work."  I've been doing this kind of work for over 30 years now, and it IS hard work.  Maybe that's why you're having trouble finding good help...they perceive that you aren't giving them enough credit for doing what is a physically and mentally demanding job that can be a real grind, even boring to many people.

Try the vo-tech schools in the area that have hort programs.  They may be able to connect you with committed students in their program who may be interested in learning your corner of the industry.  And they often have coop-education programs that actually pay you to subsidize the wages of the students while you train them. 

$13.00 an hour is not enough to sustain an adult with a family.  And even single people will struggle to survive on that wage.  Think about it: $27,040.00 a year won't get you much in the way of an apartment and a vehicle to get you to work.  That alone narrows your pool of potential applicants...decimates it, actually.  Good luck.
Posted:  04 Jan 2013 00:46  
Can some of you on this site who are not in Maryland tell me what you start techs out at. Because I know people with other skills in the general field of landscaping and tree work and that’s hard work. They are starting at 11-12 per hour. So $13.00 for a climate control job – no real steady heavy lifting, and commissions sounds better then average to me. I look at the paper every week. I see what people are offering. Its a good starting wage. The key word being starting. Now if I had some one with real experience I would re consider.
For example, A girl who worked in DC called before I really needed someone, 5 yrs exp, and a degree. I took her information and asked the basic question. What are your wage requirements. She replied I make 12.00 per hour plus .40c a mile. She is also commuting into the worst traffic known to man outside of New York. My point is this, most office professionals don’t even start at that wage. You start at the bottom and work your way up. Also this is not a CFO job at IBM.Unless your way up the ladder you are not making 17-20 per hour.You start at the bottom and work your way up.      I have 2 techs that do make that but with a combined wage and commission.
Posted:  04 Jan 2013 03:16  
You have stated the problem pretty thoroughly without realizing what it is: the pricing structure of interior landscaping has been so badly ruined by lowballing and by contractors working for what they "think" is a profitable rate but actually isn't (because they have no idea what their true costs are) that legit companies have a very hard time competing for the business that's out there while still being able to pay their employees an attractive wage and compensation package.  Many cannot afford medical benefits or retirement plans of any kind, and that makes jobs in our little corner of the green industry unattractive to all but the most novice of novices.  Would that it were different, but those are the facts in 2013.
Posted:  04 Jan 2013 18:26  
Coming from a tech perspective, you're not offering enough in compensation if you want experienced help. I've been a tech for over 19 years with the same company. To hire me you'd have to pay me 15-17/hr. My current employer uses company vehicles. You say it's an entry-level position and are offering compensation to match. If you want real experience, it's going to cost you more, entry-level or not.
Posted:  05 Jan 2013 03:01  
To my friend making 17-19 an hour after 20 years. My helper(female) has 4 years exp from a former life. She started at 13.00 as a tech-- and commissions from her one sales day a week. Wrap your head around this. She gets her 13.00 an hour plus 10% of each contract she signs divided by 52 weeks. Her real hourly rate if you break it down is around 20+ an hour. and she’s been here less then a year. My other helper same set up has 3 years on board. started at 13 bumped a dollar a year for the last 2 years now makes $15.00 per hour. Has sighed 18/20 or so contracts at 10% every year we hold the contract and last time i did a quick calculation makes around 25-28 per hour. He helps grow the business and so does the girl. My starting wage is good. The perks I put in are good. I advertise this way. Maybe it looks like a scam to techs. That’s because I do pay well a lot better then most, but I expect a high level of dedication.
What I am having a hard time with is when i do advertise not one person with experience applies. So I ask the question  again what are companies starting wage that remotely compares to what I am offering and if you saw this advertised what would  you think. Scam or to good to be true. Basically some one with 3 years hands on can be a tech for 4 days and do sales for one and make more in an hourly rate then people with say 17-19 yrs exp. Not being a smart*** but I do pay well and put it right in the add. I want to get the best money can buy. We never advertise for no exp or will train. If I was  a tech and saw that I would be all over that job because I know I would make more then just being a tech or what ever title. I pay my people like mid and upper level management. But you better perform. You know where  I am going with this. I also don’t set benchmarks for sales. You want to make more earn it. And you know they seem to do things outside of normal business hours because they know it will pay off in the end. Maybe I should advertise at 8 per hour and it would look more real to the average tech getting low balled by the big companies. Out of line but truly frustrated.
Posted:  05 Jan 2013 06:02  
Your deal doesn't sound bad to me, and it sounds like you're doing well by your people, and that you are a conscientious and knowledgeable employer - except for the part about it not being hard work.  Have you ever teched 5 full time days a week, or even 4? Be that as it may, there was a suggestion about contacting technical schools in your area for horticultural contacts; also colleges with hort programs that are close enough to you.  Then you might explore possibilities at job fairs, gardening clubs, garden magazines - anything people with interest in plants might look at. What about the state employment board. You might need to do training, and you'll probably have to figure trying out 4 or 5 people to find 1 who sticks, but the situation is dire and demands creative approaches.

But this really points to a big problem in the industry - PR outside the industry, communication within.  The general public has no idea that such a thing as interior landscaping even exists.  This was not so unexpected in the 1980's, when I started, but that it's still the situation is pretty strange. And within the industry, is there any site on the internet where techs can exchange info, or even just blow off steam if they feel like it?  A forum where people with jobs to fill can meet with people looking for jobs? A location where relevant groups such as architects, building managers, interior designers, whoever, can go to learn why they need to spend money on plantscapes, how they can find a good interior landscaping co, and so on?  I don't think so.  And if I'm out of the loop, apologies, and please let me know where these great places are.
Posted:  05 Jan 2013 19:33  
Most people enter the interiorscape industry as a transitory position (i.e., "between jobs") or an entry into the hort industry with an eye to a job as a manager, sales person, grower, or ultimately business owner.  That's why not many hang around forever as a career.  Who wants to tech full-time at the age of 45-55-65?  Some do it because they love the work, but most people don't have that luxury, or the health/fitness to keep on doing it.
Posted:  06 Jan 2013 16:04  
@theficuswrangler, there are a couple other websites that may be of interest to you:

http://www.gpgp.org promotes the industry...
http://www.interiorplantscaper.com/chat forum similar to this one, but you have to register and be approved to participate
Posted:  07 Jan 2013 13:58  
http://www.gpgb.org

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