What’s your recruiting strategy? Maybe you place ads on recruiting sites or try to share information about your company via word-of-mouth. Perhaps you even offer incentives to your employees for finding new hires. All of these are fine recruitment tactics, and you should certainly continue to do what’s working for you. But you should be sure that your recruitment plan also includes a digital strategy. After all, we are already immersed in a digital age and you are missing an enormous opportunity if you are ignoring your digital brand when it comes to your recruiting efforts.
Everything we know about marketing applies to recruitment, says Maria Mayorga of Coalmarch Productions, a company specializing in lead generation and employee training for green industry companies. Mayorga says that means building a digital strategy is essential not only for targeting new clients but also for targeting potential hires. When people find out about your company, they’re going to Google you for more information and you want to be sure that they like what they see.
Building your brand
Your digital strategy all starts with brand, Mayorga says. Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room. Most companies think about their brand in terms of getting client leads. But it’s definitely important when it comes to recruitment leads, as well.
“A strong employer brand is going to do a lot to bring in people,” Mayorga says. “If you have a great name in the community, and you do a lot of outreach, it’s going to make people want to work for your company.”
When you think about your company, think about why people would want to come work for you and focus on continuing to develop those aspects. The reasons why someone might want to work for you are often the same reasons why someone might want to work with you. Therefore, your strategies to generate client leads have a strong overlap with recruiting. Things like community commitment, integrity and quality work make you desirable all around. It’s important that these types of efforts are showcased in your digital brand.
Mayorga says she spends a lot of time reviewing websites and thinking how they will help recruit more people to those companies. How will your website stand out? The things that make you special should be evident.
But your website should also be easy to navigate as that also says a lot about who you are. How easy is it for a job applicant to find information about potential job opportunities at your company? Recruits should not have to hunt for a careers section on your website, Mayorga says. Your careers section should be easy to find and it should also be easy to apply.
Just as the goal of marketing is to convert potential clients into actual clients, Mayorga says the goal of recruiting is to convert potential hires into actual hires. Once you’ve attracted people to your business, you want to get them to apply for a position. It’s not enough for them to just stop by your page.
If you find that recruitment conversion is where you’re struggling, Mayorga says to take a look at your job descriptions. She says there is an “art to writing job descriptions” and many people don’t realize it and just slap something together.
A lot of it comes down to language. Mayorga says it’s important not to turn people away by using the wrong choice of words. For instance, Mayorga says a lot has been written about “fixed mindset” in business (those who believe abilities and talents are fixed traits) and “growth mindset” in business (those that believe abilities and talents can be developed). If you use language that is fixed mindset — words such as “high performer” or “the best and the brightest” — then you may limit your applicants.
The length of your job descriptions also matters. This is another area where it’s a “fine art,” says Mayorga, as finding just the right length can be challenging.
“Long descriptions can hurt you, but so can short ones,” Mayorga says. “You want to attract attention and to compel people to keep reading, but you don’t want to overdo it. Some of the biggest problems I have seen with job descriptions are that they are too short, they don’t have enough bulleted content and they use too much directive language.”
So, what is the perfect job description? Mayorga says to pay attention to the title, keep it simple, talk about the company culture, and mention a salary — or at least give a range. She says that research shows nearly three-quarters of job applications say they value seeing salary more than any other feature in a job posting but companies rarely include it.
When thinking about converting recruits to hires, it’s also important to make sure that interested candidates can follow through on applying. This might sound obvious but it’s not uncommon for companies to fail to actively maintain their website information.
“Try applying for a position through your own website,” Mayorga suggests. “Does it work for you? See what your company actually looks like for employees and for recruits.”
Mayorga says that looking at your website through the lens of being a “potential hire” can be eye opening. In her own research she has applied for jobs through various green industry websites only to find that things often go awry and the company doesn’t even realize their “careers page” is not working. Or maybe some of the job application questions require updating. Make sure you’re staying on top of this information.
Closing the deal
You’ve attracted potential recruits to your website, you’ve converted them into applicants, and now you need to close the deal. Mayorga’s best advice on how to do that? Treat every candidate like a customer, she says. That means putting in the work. Treat them well, help them to understand your brand and then follow up with them regularly.
Mayorga says that last part is crucial as four out of 10 applicants say they never even receive a response from potential employers. “The best digital marketers understand that you are not going to convert everyone in that first transaction and recruiters need to be thinking the same way,” she says. “Continually follow up with applicants. Create an email campaign to do this. Encourage your managers to also reach out. Be sure that you maintain ongoing communication with all candidates.”
When all of your hard work to recruit does pay off, Mayorga says, don’t drop the ball and assume your job is done. Her final point is to ensure that you “delight new hires.”
“Once new employees start, you want them to be happy to be there,” she says. “You put in all the work to get them there. Now you want them to stay.”
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One of the most popular weather terms as we entered 2018 was bombogenesis or the coined phrase “bomb cyclone” as most media outlets had labelled very powerful Winter Storm Grayson on Jan. 4-5, 2018. Although the term bombogenesis sounds very ominous and technical, it actually is fairly simple to understand. Bombogenesis comes from merging the words “bomb” and “cyclogenesis” and is defined as a rapidly intensifying low pressure system containing a pressure fall of at least 24 millibars within a 24 hour period. What made Grayson so unique was that it more than doubled the bombogenesis requirements with an actual pressure drop of 59 mb in 24 hours. The process is commonly associated with larger winter storms like nor’easters but can even occur over land across the mainland of the United States as well.
Before we get into the finer details of bombogenesis, let’s start off by first defining what a low pressure system is. Low pressure is the area in which the pressure of the atmosphere at sea level is lower than the surrounding area. One of the key weather fundamentals and the development of low pressure is related to the rising or falling of cold and hot air masses. Wind will flow from high pressure to low pressure, which causes winds to converge at the surface and thus rising air in a low pressure system. Rising air cools the water vapor in the atmosphere, forms clouds and results in eventual precipitation.
Although there are many different ways to represent or display air pressure, the most common way is in millibars (or mb). Average sea level pressure is 1013.25 mb, and a typical strong low pressure system contains a reading in the upper 900 mb. Winter Storm Grayson became one of the most explosive East Coast storms to ever form as NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center estimated the lowest reading during the storm to be 950 mb. To put this number in perspective, only some of the more devastating tropical storms and hurricanes that affected the Northeast had lower readings than Grayson (Hurricane Sandy – 946 mb, Hurricane Irma – 914 mb).
The term bombogenesis was first introduced back in the 1940s but became more widely known in the meteorological vocabulary during the 1980s and even more so today. The factors at work for a low pressure system to “bomb out” or undergo bombogenesis usually depends on several factors all taking place at the same time. To achieve the intense drop in pressure associated with bombogenesis, you need a strong gradient in ocean temperatures, an overlapping jet stream (dividing line between warm and cold air) and a relatively warm core.
During the life of a nor’easter, you have a low pressure system over the warmer ocean water of the Gulf Stream combined with frigid arctic air advancing in from the north. The clash of these air masses will lead to an increase of rising air at the center of low pressure and resultant rapid strengthening. With such rapid intensification, wind speeds increase and the development of heavy precipitation occurs. During this intensification process, you typically see heavy bands of 2 to 4 inches per hour snowfall rates, strong winds with blizzard conditions, coastal flooding, and in some instances even thunder snow.
While buzz words like “bomb cyclone” will continue to dominate news and social media outlets, it always remains important to understand the true meaning of the term as it relates to the weather conditions affecting your area. Bombogenesis is an impactful weather phenomena and can result in dangerous or even life-threatening conditions during winter storms.
Winter Storm Grayson was a direct reflection of how impactful a storm can be when Tallahassee, Florida, saw its first snow in 28 years and Disney World in Orlando, Florida, closed portions of their attractions because of the resultant cold temperatures. As always, check with your most trusted weather forecast provider to make sure you and your operations are prepared to handle an upcoming storm.
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Neonicotinoids became popular with lawn care pros in the 1990s with the release of imidacloprid (Merit). In the following decade, other products from the same class of chemistry also became available for plant-damaging insect control. They included thiamethoxam (Meridian) and clothianidin (Arena and combo product Aloft), among others. Then in 2008, chlorantraniliprole (Acelepryn) an anthanilic diamide and an even newer chemistry entered the market. Like the neonics, the diamides demonstrate excellent activity against a broad range of destructive insects.
All of these products have been available to the green industry for a decade or more, yet many of us still have questions about which products are the best to use on clients’ properties and also when to use them.
In other words, don’t assume each of the aforementioned products exhibits the same performance against the many different insect pests that damage lawns or that they offer the same residual performance, shared David Shetlar, professor emeritus of entomology at The Ohio State University, at this past December’s Ohio Turfgrass Conference.
All of these insecticides vary in terms of UV stability, water solubility, rate of uptake by plants, their host range of susceptible insects, including the longevity of their activity against pests, grubs being a primary concern for many of you.
Which product you choose to use will largely depend on what you see on lawns in terms of insect pest damage in spring, as well as where you expect grub damage to appear caused by feeding larvae later in the season, said Shetlar.
Keep in mind that the mere presence of pests, especially in the spring when turfgrass is rapidly growing, often does not warrant a treatment. However, when the damage is severe enough to take action, make sure you correctly identify the target pest before taking action.
Sometimes severe pest grub outbreaks can confidently be predicted on the same mature lawns from season to season, especially irrigated lawns. In these cases, a preventive treatment may be prudent. New lawns, those with little organic matter and thatch, generally don’t attract egg-laying adult beetles, said Shetlar.
Prior to the start of the season, Shetlar cautioned his Ohio audience to calibrate their application equipment, both sprayers and spreaders. Also, for bagged products, don’t assume each batch you get will have the same consistency or the same size granules.
“We have really gotten spoiled with some of our newer insecticides,” said Shetlar. “When the neonicotinoids came out, we were seeing two to three months of effective residuals for white grubs and billbugs. Yet on the other hand, when we were going for surface insects, we would often see those neonicotinoids having two to three weeks residual activity.”
In other words, timing is key in turf insect control. While each of the neonics on the market does a great job of controlling grubs, each differs in terms of residual activity. The availability of diamides to lawn pros changed this timing equation.
“Acelepryn has really spoiled us,” continued Shetlar. He told the Ohio applicators that applying the product in April controls billbugs, caterpillars and still preventatively targets white grubs arriving in July and August. However, chlorantraniliprol doesn’t work as well on scale insects, chinch bugs and other sucking insects.
Something to keep in mind when making applications for grub control, regardless of product, is thatch, cautioned Shetlar. Too much thatch (a half inch or more) traps insecticides and prevents them from reaching the soil/thatch interface where these pests feed. “You won’t get control, no matter how much you water,” he said.
Another variable, shared Shetlar, is one he observed while working for ChemLawn at the beginning of his professional career. Responding to complaints of treatment failures, he saw that some technicians were varying the speeds of their applications, which affected the amount available to pests. In some cases, for example, technicians were rushing late in the afternoon to meet their quotas.
But perhaps the most valuable information Shetlar shared is also the most obvious. Take advantage of your state extension service. Personnel there monitor what’s going on in terms of plant pests and diseases, including using up-to-date information on product and treatment best practices.
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Thirty-one percent of small business employers currently have jobs they cannot fill because they cannot find qualified talent, according to a recent CareerBuilder survey, and 37 percent have jobs that stay open for 12 weeks or longer. Moreover, 39 percent have seen a negative impact on business due to extended job vacancies, including loss in productivity, lower morale, lower quality work, more employee turnover and loss of revenue.
The survey also reveals what small businesses are doing to overcome these challenges and attract top talent while retaining high performers. Here are 5 of the small business hiring trends to watch this year.
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FSeries TREE I.V. micro-infusion system
The FSeries TREE I.V. micro-infusion system is an advanced injection method designed for maximum speed, accuracy and ease. The 120 PSI micro-injection system doubles the average uptake pressure. The Hex PDS parallel distribution system uses a central delivery tube, which distributes equally to parallel injection lines, ensuring the tree receives an even dose.
The Greyhound insecticide is for controlling webworm, caterpillars, mites, leafminers and nematodes. As a preventive, the product should be applied in early spring, prior to insect activity in the tree. As a curative, it can be applied as needed spring through fall, as long as bark is pliable enough to accept the chemical injections. One application provides season-long control.
Dinocide, a new, fast-acting tree injection product, is the fi rst tree injection insecticide containing dinotefuran, according to the company. Dinotefuran, the active ingredient, is a translaminar that can pass from a tree’s xylem to its phloem. This makes the product eff ective against certain boring insects, which do their damage in the phloem layer. Dinocide is for use on forests, parks and ornamental trees and can yield results in as little as three days.
Altus is an insecticide for landscape ornamentals that provides systemic, broad-spectrum control of sucking pests, including targeted control of whitefl ies, aphids and other harmful insects. Applications can be made before, during or after plant bloom. Altus is compatible with honeybees, bumblebees and many other benefi cial arthropods. Flupyradifurone, the active ingredient in Altus, is the fi rst insecticide with a butenolide chemical structure.
The Arena insecticide works as both a preventive and a curative, for control of chinch bugs, white grubs and a broad spectrum of other turf and ornamental pests with a single application. It does not require immediate watering-in after application.
Zylam Liquid Systematic
Zylam Liquid Systematic can provide control of more than 100 insects, including aphids, bagworms, Japanese beetles and scale, plus season-long control of emerald ash borers. It is labeled for use on landscapes, golf courses and school grounds. Zylam translocates through the tree and when applied through bark banding or soil drench can save labor and equipment costs while protecting the tree from insects and drill damage.
The 175-pound broadcast spreader from Cub Cadet has a rust-proof poly hopper and spread plate. The spreader width is 12 feet. The unit has 16-inch tires with ball bearings and a 3.5 cubic foot hopper capacity.
The Exmark Spreader-Sprayer features Lean-to-Steer controls that give the operator one-handed control of steering and forward/reverse speed. This leaves the second hand free to manage spread or spray system controls or use the spray wand. Selectable narrow and wide spray nozzles increase versatility. Dual induction nozzles inside the 20-gallon tank deliver aggressive agitation to keep materials in suspension.
Graham Spray Equipment
Pair the new compartmented 600-gallon sprayer unit from GSE with an Isuzu truck, and you have a spray rig that meets every need, the company says. This dual-system unit features 400-gallon mechanical agitation alongside 200-gallon jet agitation, allowing one rig to service multiple grass types. Dual pumping stations let two technicians spray simultaneously.
The latest PermaGreen Triumph Spreader/Sprayer and Spread-Only features the patent-pending BREAKTHRU Agitator System, which provides a clog-free, consistent fl ow of dry turf care products, including fertilizer, ice melt and seed. The Triumph also features a tighter turning radius and added traction from wheel weights, making it the most maneuverable PermaGreen made to date, according to the company.
The TT5000 Spread-N-Spray from TurfEx includes the new standard height adjustable boom that maximizes spray width and provides consistent and even application. The electric spray pump features an adjustable pressure regulator for greater application rates to treat more area in less time. The rapid-fi ll port has a vented cap and level indicator for fi lling the 17-gallon tank.
Have a new product? Send a 75-to-100 word description and a high-resolution color photo to us at email@example.com with the subject line “New Products.”
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Once a successful snow season has come and gone, Fred Oskanian, owner of Terra Lawn Care Specialists in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, says that allocating funds appropriately becomes of critical importance. Though the temptation might be there to immediately spend some of that cash, Oskanian says that he’s learned the value of smart allocation — and having a long-term financial plan.
“Frequently, after a great snow year, you see companies that go out and buy a bunch of fancy new equipment or the owner buys a brand-new truck for himself,” Oskanian says. “Everyone has that temptation. After all, snow is very physically demanding, and you work hard during the snow season. You might even feel as though you’re owed a reward. But I’ve learned that it’s better for the business to allocate funds in a way that better serves the business.”
Oskanian says that it takes self-discipline to stick to a long-term strategy. For him, that has meant keeping the focus on the obligations that he says come with the territory.
“As a business owner, I have come to feel that growing a financially solid business is not only important to support my own family, but I also have an obligation to my employees’ families as well,” Oskanian says.
That mentality has driven Oskanian to invest wisely after a financially successful snow season. He typically allocates funds three different ways. First, he pays down debt as his goal is to have a debt-free business. Second, he sets aside a large cash reserve for the upcoming year. And third, he allocates funds toward advertising in order to grow the business.
Oskanian admits he has made mistakes along the way. But like any good business owner, he has chosen to learn from them and to do better the next time.
“I think one of the lessons here is that it’s important that you don’t look for instant gratification with your finances,” Oskanian says. “You have to grow and take the time to develop a long-term plan. You might think that a 10- or 15-year plan sounds like it is so far down the road, but time passes quickly, and you’ll be there before you know it. If you’ve invested wisely, it will pay off for you in the long run.”
One other area where Oskanian says he invests wisely is in his people. While he has heard other landscapers say they pay a dirt-cheap labor rate to try and keep their costs down, Oskanian prefers to pay more than his competition and attract better workers as a result.
“When you don’t invest in your people, they don’t invest in you,” Oskanian says. “The people that get paid a low labor rate are the same ones that call off sick all of the time or don’t show up. They’re not happy to come work for you and your business will never grow as a result. I’d rather invest in my people. I feel that it is important to share my profits with my people.”
It is these strategies that Oskanian says he hopes will give him long-term business success.
“In the green industry, a solid financial base is important,” he says. “Just as the goal for a healthy tree is to have deep roots, that is my goal for this business.”
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Want to keep up with the latest news in lawn care and landscaping? Check back every Thursday for a quick recap of recent happenings in the green industry.
Amazon, EPA Reach Settlement For Sales Of Illegal Pesticides
Cool Planet Hires New Account Manager for the West Coast Region
Call For Entries Opens For Houzz Design and Architecture Scholarship Program
OPEI Announces Six New Members
Mean Green Mowers Introduces New Referral Program
Exmark Adds Suspended Operator Platform Option
PERC Promotes Jeremy Wishart to Director of Off-Road Business Development
Graham Spray Equipment’s Charlie Holloway Announces Retirement
Ruppert Landscape Acquires Classic Landscaping
DowDuPont Agriculture Division To Become Corteva Agriscience
The post Amazon, EPA Reach Settlement For Sales Of Illegal Pesticides: This Week’s Industry News appeared first on Turf.
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Posi-Track RT-30 compact track loader
The Posi-Track RT-30 compact track loader from ASV is a radial lift loader includes effi – cient hydraulics and cooling systems as well as low ground pressure. In addition, the RT-30 provides a safer, more productive alternative to walk-behind and sit-on mini skid-steer loaders. The unit’s small size makes it ideal for contractors looking for a commercial-quality, compact machine for clearing snow in tight spaces.
L.T. RICH PRODUCTS
The Snowrator ZX4 is a deicing spray system that holds up to 20 gallons. The machine’s width is only 42 inches making it easier to operate in tight areas. It is manufactured with corrosion-resistant stainless steel. It is powered by an electric-start Honda GX 390 engine.
MTX (Mud Terrain Xtreme) tire
The new Roadian MTX (Mud Terrain Xtreme) tire is designed to go from off-road to asphalt streets with ease. The tire has reversible dual side walls. The reinforced rubber belt delivers load-bearing durability over a range of applications. A rim protector bar on sizes 20 inches and up helps keep rims safe from curbs, according to the company.
GrandStand MULTI FORCE
The GrandStand MULTI FORCE stand-on has the ability to attach a plow and power broom. It features a 26.5 horsepower Kohler EFI 747cc engine. The smaller footprint takes up less space on the trailer when transporting. With speeds up to 10 mph, the machine also has a 10.5-gallon fuel tank. The stand-on has great traction on slopes and maneuverability, according to the company.
TUFF TRUCK BAG
This product is a collapsible, waterproof and dustproof cargo bag that can fi t all pickup truck bed models to store/protect luggage, cargo, equipment and more. Measuring at 40 inches by 50 inches by 22 inches with 26 cubic feet of storage, the Tuff Truck Bag is easier to use than permanent truck bed covers or caps, according to the company. The bags are made from non-breathable PVC material and all seams are water-tight sealed using heat fusion and epoxy.
Have a new product? Submit entries using our Product Form for Turf, Turf Design Build and PLOW Magazines.
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Thatch control is an essential aspect of maintaining a vibrant and healthy lawn during the spring and summer. By removing the layer of dead grass and other organic matter that has built up on your lawn over the winter, you are opening it back up for improved nutrient and water intake. The dethatching process is typically done during the spring, but what time of the season is best for your lawn? This mostly depends on what type of grass you have.
Warm-season turf types should typically be dethatched in the late spring to early summer. This includes grasses such as Zoysia, St. Augustine, Bermuda, Bahia, and Centipede. Cold-season turf types, on the other hand, should typically be dethatched in early spring, although they can also be dethatched in early fall before the cold sets in. Cold-season turfs include Kentucky bluegrass, rough bluegrass, fescue, and ryegrass.
Spring may be the best time of year to dethatch your lawn, but how do you know if it actually needs to be dethatched? If your lawn has a thatch layer thicker than half an inch, or if it feels spongy when you walk over it, this means it’s time to dethatch. After your lawn has already begun growing for the season, and after you’ve mowed it a couple of times, you should be ready to bust out the dethatching equipment. Although non-powered dethatchers tend to be more reasonably priced, powered dethatchers are typically more effective and less physically strenuous.
Thatch control is just one of the many landscape maintenance services provided by Borst Landscape & Design. Our lawn care experts will get your lawn looking lush, green, and healthy even after the toughest winters, and keep it looking that way all season long. Contact Borst today and breathe new life into your lawn.
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Why Go Organic?
Here at Borst Landscaping & Design, we offer an organic and sustainable approach to lawn care that delivers consistently satisfying results. However, organic lawn care does much more than simply providing a healthier and greener lawn. Choosing organic over synthetic lawn care methods can be beneficial in other very important ways that you may not be able to identify as easily. Here are just some of the reasons why organic lawn care is your best option.
Although organic fertilizer can initially cost more than synthetic fertilizer, going organic will actually save you money in the long run. Organic lawn care methods promote natural, healthy soil and root development, which reduces the need for herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides later on because healthy plants can effectively fight off pests and diseases on their own. This means that ongoing organic lawn treatments will ultimately cost you less than synthetic alternatives.
Though forgoing the use of synthetic chemicals on your lawn will reduce your overall cost, it will also provide significant environmental benefits. Synthetic chemicals used in lawn care can be washed away and end up polluting storm water systems, or even groundwater used in wells. Synthetic pesticides also kill off many beneficial insects such as ladybugs, which typically prey on pests that can damage your lawn and your plants. Using organic pesticides can eliminate these pests and keep your drinking water unpolluted.
At Borst we pride ourselves on a lawn care approach that is safe for your entire family, including your children and pets. This means avoiding the use of chemicals that can potentially cause health issues, particularly in children. Borst uses only natural ingredients in our lawn treatments, which have no adverse health effects.
As you can see, organic treatments are truly the best way to keep your lawn, your family, and the environment healthy. Contact Borst today and make your way to a healthier landscape!
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Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.