5 Hiring Hot Spots

5 Hiring Hot Spots

Written by Eric Petersen, CIC


We all want to have the very best employees, yet the most common question that I get asked is, “where are these people?” So, in my never-ending quest to help the tree care industry advance, I want to share my top 5 hiring hot spots as well as two websites that provide a ton of information for you to use when recruiting your next new hire.


Military Veteran Groups – There are numerous non-profit groups that have been established to help Veterans re-enter the workforce. Vets typically have exemplary work ethics and a desire to accomplish the goals for your team. Ask around your local community to find the most active group in your area or look into one of these organizations;

Hire Heros USA
Recruit Military
Department of Labor

Local High Schools – While you won’t find a seasoned arborist still attending high school, engaging with the youth within your community will give you the best chance at hiring the next rising star within the industry. Your local high school probably has a career center or department that helps introduce industries and careers to the students. Reach out to those schools and develop a relationship so they know who you are and what type of career you can offer.

College Career Fairs – In my home state of Wisconsin, we are very fortunate to have multiple tech colleges and universities that offer programs in Urban Forestry and Arboriculture. These are gold mines for top notch employees, who upon graduating typically have a number of job offers right away. If you do not have a local college that has a specific degree within the tree care industry that is just fine, college graduates from other fields have been struggling with finding a profession they enjoy for decades. Being present gives you a chance to sell your company and the industry to them.

State Workforce Development Job Fairs – Every state has a Workforce Development Department who host job fairs for local employers. This can be a great place to pick up an unexpected employee. Plus as an added bonus, some states have programs available that will help pay for the training of an employee hired through one of these job fairs.

Create a Sector Partnership – This last hiring hot spot takes more time and coordination along with help from others to accomplish, but when implemented successfully, it can have a tremendous impact on your local tree care market. We are currently working on setting one of these up in the Milwaukee area where a number of local tree care companies are partnering with a local non-profit and technical colleges to structure a short term training and recruiting program to help provide more qualified, ready to work arborists in the area. If you are interested in getting one of these started in your area, ask TCIA for some guidance.


Before you begin to utilize any of my 5 hiring hot spots, you must be prepared to talk about your company and the industry when you meet a potential employee. If you haven’t checked out the TCIA’s Outside careers website yet, do so right away! This site is loaded with great content and videos explaining what your industry is all about and why someone should enter it.

Another fantastic resource is from ISA. Their Career Paths in Arboriculture shows all of the different possible career paths that an individual can take within this industry. Click on any of boxes to get an easy to read flyer on that position – perfect for handing out to prospective employees!

Legendary football coach, Don Shula, may have said it best: “The one thing that I know is that you win with good people.” So what are you waiting for? Create a plan to find these good people and go get them on your team!

Beat the Weather in 3 Easy Steps

Beat the Weather in 3 easy Steps

Written by Eric Petersen, CIC

As you probably know, I’m a work comp geek and pride myself on helping businesses minimize the financial impact that an injury causes their business. When looking at today’s forecast for my town, which calls for 6-8 inches of snow, I realized that weather presents a similar challenge to businesses that an injured employee does. How do you get productive work done when Mother Nature or an injured employee disrupts your upcoming work day?

We all know that your production will be affected by the weather multiple times a year. It doesn’t matter if that weather event is extreme heat or cold, rain or snow, the weather will do what it is going to do and you have to deal with it. The best way to deal with it is to be prepared before it happens just like you are before an injury happens.

Here are my 3 steps to beating Mother Nature and remaining productive during the most severe weather:

1. Weather Protocol – Discuss weather protocol as soon as possible. A storm can creep up fast and I can guarantee your team will be wondering what they will or will not be doing at work when the storm hits. Consider these questions and ask for your employees’ involvement in creating your protocol:

  • What is your cut off for high/low temperature before it is too dangerous to work outside?
  • What tasks or projects in the shop do you have that you’ve always wanted to do, but don’t ever seem to have time to do?
  • Are there safety or equipment training topics that can be presented?
  • How can we involve every one of our team members in a productive way if they are not in the field?

2. Reserving Jobs – Keep jobs reserved that are lower priority and don’t require climbing or aerial work. Maybe these are small pruning jobs or removals. If it is safe to be outdoors, but not safe to climb, use that to your advantage and get these jobs done when you can. Remember to emphasize proper job site preparation when working in less than ideal conditions and encourage your team that getting the job done safely is much more important than getting it done quickly.

3. Communication – Build a notification system where team members either contact one another or log on to an internal message board before they begin to travel to work. Within my office we use the Slack, a powerful software that allows us to communicate with everyone instantly. It can be downloaded as an app on your phone so all can get the same message at the same time.

Lastly, the preparation work that you just did for a weather event can and should be utilized to be prepared for an injury. The same small projects that you want to accomplish should be integrated into your injury management plan so that you can get the injured worker back on the job as quickly as possible.

We all enjoy and despise weather at times. Make the most of it for your business by being ready so you don’t have to watch valuable production hours or days fly by. If your company needs additional assistance with safety and weather related training, check out ArboRisk’s Thrive Risk Management Safety Package!