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Better Relationships = Better Recruiting

Better Relationships = Better Recruiting

Recruiting new employees to your company is typically one of the hardest parts about owning a tree care company. There are so many creative ideas to recruit new employees that one article can not simply cover them all so I want to just focus on one very powerful way; organizations.

What I mean by organizations, are the membership based groups that are well established and have a mission to help their members. Your local ISA chapter, a military veteran organization, a local chamber of commerce are all examples of established organizations whose goal is to serve their members.

Recruiting within organizations does not happen immediately, but when done correctly, will create a long pipeline of future employees for your company. To be successful, you need to create a positive relationship between your company and the organization. Volunteering your time and talents for the organization is the quickest way to provide value and begin to create a great relationship that will turn into a recruiting hot spot for you.

Now with so many great organizations out there, how do you choose which one to invest in to see the best results? Below are the four areas that you should look at when assessing each organization that you are contemplating working with.

– Members – You need to get a feel of what their membership demographic consists of. How many total members are there? What are the ages of the members? Does the organization know what the positions or titles of their members are? All of these questions will help you understand if your ideal employee is a part of this organization or not.

– Events – The best way to meet a potential new hire is in person. So ask the organizations what they have for events. Are there any Job Fairs or specific hiring events? If so, how many potential employees come to them? How about informal networking events? What about any multi-day conferences?

– Marketing – Learn how the organization communicates with its members. Gain an understanding by simply asking the organization if they send out a newsletter or email blast? Would you be able to write an article within their newsletter so prospective employees begin to see your name? Are there any sponsorship or advertising opportunities that you could engage in? The more your personal name and business name get promoted by the organization, the better reputation and more likely it is that new employees will come to you for their next job.

– Leadership – Understanding who the centers of influence are within each organization is a critical task to choosing which organization to partner with. This isn’t necessarily apparent from looking at an organization’s website, so you’ll have to do some digging to find this out. Is there an Executive Director who is a full time position? If so, get to know them personally. Are there long-standing Board members or very influential members who provide advice and direction for the organization? Who is in charge of the events? Each of these questions will help identify who are the movers and shakers within the organization and are the ones you need to connect with to get in front of more new hires.

Learning about these four areas for each organization will help determine which one you should focus on for recruiting efforts. As you know, a solid recruiting plan takes effort to build deep relationships, so do not try to get involved with too many organizations.

If you would like more help with Hiring & Recruiting for your tree care company, please contact ArboRisk today!

Written by: Eric Petersen

5 Tips to Become a Champion Recruiter

5 Tips to Become a Champion Recruiter

Did Nick Saban become the country’s best college football recruiter overnight? Of course not. Does he benefit from the history of the Alabama football program? Of course. But what really sets him apart is how he makes being an Alabama recruit the ONLY thing that a blue chip high school player thinks about.

I know what you are thinking, getting excited to play football in Tuscaloosa is drastically different than getting excited to work in the tree care industry, right? But is it really much different? After all, you want someone who is going to be passionate and not stop until they reach their peak, just like Coach Saban.

Following Coach Saban’s lead, here are my tips to becoming a champion recruiter in the tree care industry.

Company Culture – New recruits go to Alabama because they want to win a national championship. That is the culture and expectation that has been set by Coach Saban and his staff. Everyone knows it and understands their role in how to achieve it together. The culture focuses on the team success, not individual performances. Obviously, a tree service must have a team first approach as well, but creating a desirable culture can be difficult for tree care owners. There are no national championship trophies to hoist or conference rivalries to get excited about. So find pride in what you do and rally around that. Whether it is your unrelenting commitment to safety, the desire to enhance your customer’s lives by maintaining their trees, or the goal to plant more trees than you remove, it needs to be clearly defined to become the best tree service you can be. That message must be known and embraced by everyone on your team. When you have it, your company culture will start recruiting new employees for you.

Identify Future Staffing Needs – Just like in college football, turnover on your team is inevitable. No matter how great your company is, you will always have employees who leave your organization either to a municipality or to start their own company or need to switch careers because their body cannot handle the daily workload anymore. So do not avoid thinking about turnover, plan on it happening. Look at your current team and think about timeline for each person to be moving on from their current role. Also, look for ways that each individual can still remain a part of your organization. In doing so, you will have identified your future staffing needs and started creating internal career paths that can help retain those team members and recruit new ones.

Set Key Characteristics – Do you know what characteristics you want in an employee? Have you written them down? When looking at your current team members, what makes them a valuable asset to your company? Write down the desirable traits so you can start to build an ideal employee profile. At Alabama, the coaching staff has a very specific set of physical (height, weight, speed, strength) and personality traits (motivation, discipline, academics) that they stick to. If someone does not fit within their desired profile, they pass on them. Due to the lack of prospective employees in the tree care industry, it makes this part of recruiting much more difficult for you. However, every one of us has hired someone out of desperation that did not fit with what you want but you needed another person to do the work. Many times, this is the individual that is the most challenging to manage, they are the ones that get hurt and cause accidents. Be specific on who you want and don’t settle just because you need a body.

Be Present to Create the Pipeline – Being selective with your new hires can only happen when you have options. For that to happen you must build your recruiting pipeline just like college coaches do. You and your company must be present in the areas that your new hires will be. Depending on what who your ideal new employee is, this could mean having a physical presence at local high school and college career fairs or working with them to develop internships, or having an interactive booth at a 4-H or FFA conference. In addition to being physically present, you must be visible on the correct social media platforms (hint: Instagram not Facebook) showing why a career in the tree care industry is exciting and rewarding. If you haven’t looked at www.outsidecareers.org, do so today. They have some great information and stories that you can use to recruit new employees. After all, isn’t that really what Coach Saban uses? Stories from former players and alumni on how their time at Alabama shaped their lives into what they are today.


Always be Recruiting – The NCAA puts restrictions on how and when college football coaches can recruit high school players, but in the tree care industry the only limit on recruiting efforts is what you place on yourself. Putting a year round emphasis on recruiting is the best way to create the pipeline of prospective employees that you can tap into when you need it. Don’t delay recruiting until someone hands you their two week notice or when you finally land that big job and need more employees to complete it. Recognize recruiting it as a critical component of your business and one that must be given time and energy to be effective.


Becoming a champion recruiter takes a lot of time and hard work, but the rewards pay off tenfold. Just ask Nick Saban where his football program would be if he was not getting the right players to come play for him.

Need help creating a recruiting plan? Helping tree care owners become champion recruiters is one of the many services that we offer through Thrive.

Written by: Eric Petersen