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Landscape & Design

By Sophie Rhéaume • February 15, 2019

How to Overcome the Labor Shortage in the Landscaping Industry

Techo-Bloc

It’s hard to find good labor nowadays!

 

Let's face it. We are currently facing a labor shortage in our industry. How can you stay profitable when you can’t keep good crew members? Many factors caused this issue. Now it's time to talk about the solutions. Let's see what Arden Urbano has to say.

The power of company culture

 

Greenius is a company that provides online training for landscaping crews. They offer 50+ courses for crew and supervisors and a tailgate library. They educated 80,000 workers in over 1100 landscape companies in the USA and Canada.

When we discussed the current labor shortage issue with Arden Urbano, the President and Managing Partner of Greenius, this is what she said:

“I have heard the same comments by landscape company owners for the past 2 years - we can’t find good workers!  In addition to that, the halt on the H2B Program has left many companies with more work than they can handle yet no one to do it. 

Many experience up to 80% turn-over in a given season, as they desperately try and extract a good group.  Some have shared with me 10 new hires to get 2 decent workers that stay beyond 90 days. 

I don’t pretend to have an easy answer as there are many factors involved with this issue, low unemployment rates leading the pack. I do know however that I have seen a huge upswing of companies focusing on company culture and wanting to invest more time and energy in attracting, and retaining those that are good

There is nowhere left to poach good workers because many, once they find a home, are happy to stay where they are.  I heard one CEO speak last week and he said that it is his full-time job to find and keep employees—that was a first! 

Look at what is going to happen in 2019 regarding the H2B program. I encourage fellow owners, to give it due thought, on what you can do differently in 2019 to attract, keep and grow those looking for a good place to work. Don’t underestimate your culture and the impact it has on why someone would work for you”.

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Department of Labor H2B Update 2019

 

The H-2B Program permits U.S. employers who meet specific requirements to hire temporary workers from other countries, except in the agricultural industry.

As of January 8th, 2019, the Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFCL) received approximately 5,276 H-2B applications for a total of 96,400 worker positions.

Out of those 96,400 worker positions, Homeland Security might only provide up to 33,000 H-2B visas from April 1st, 2019, to September 30th, 2019.

The OFCL has never seen such a high number of applications for H-2B workers and they will only process 1/3 of what they received. Maybe it’s time to come up with new and innovative solutions to stay profitable even if you can't increase your labor force.

Here’s a list of solutions to consider:

  • Buy new tools and equipment
  • Choose alternative cost-efficient building materials
  • Hire subcontractors
  • Know and control your costs
  • Take advantage of social media

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We cover these solutions and the labor shortage issue at our Contractor Showcase events and we help you choose what you can apply to your business today.

 

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