Hiring the Right People By Tim Hodson

Welcome to Spring 2019!

By now, the Polar Vortexes and Cyclone Bombs along with the run-of-the-mill blizzards of this past winter are a distant memory and it is showtime.

Each spring brings huge opportunities to grow and sell more but it also brings a few challenges.

In this month’s Chat Room (page 10), we asked readers what they thought would be their top challenges this spring. It really wasn’t a big surprise that the top two responses were unpredictable weather and finding labor.

There really isn’t a whole lot you can do about the weather. You just have to play the hand that Mother Nature deals you — hopefully she will deal you four aces and a royal flush this spring.

The other challenge — finding labor — is another story.


Our industry faces a lot of stiff competition when it comes to hiring, so it is imperative that you create a strategy for hiring the right people for your business.

I recently read an article on Forbes magazine’s website on how to recruit and develop talent. The author spoke with a former HR executive from Google who provided insight into how the internet technology behemoth has been successful in its hiring practices.

Some of the key principles include: seeking new resources for new talent; creating a “safe” team atmosphere; and implementing an employee value proposition.

When looking for new talent, you should broaden your horizons. Don’t keep going to the same old resources because they will produce the same results. Look beyond the traditional newspaper ads or universities to diversify your talent pool and grow your company.

Google found that employees want “psychological safety” in their jobs. They want to work for a company with a team atmosphere that encourages safe discussion and different viewpoints. They value the trust that this offers and makes them feel more respected.

When you are hiring, look for collaborative learners who you can cultivate. In our rapidly changing industry, you need to find people who are willing and able to learn and adapt to the necessary changes of your business. These employees appreciate the opportunity to learn new skills and you can help them develop for the future.

It’s always easier to hire and retain employees if you have created an environment where people want to come to work. Do you have an employee value proposition? If you don’t, you should and you should review it frequently to ensure it is compelling and attractive to potential employees — and right for your business.

Are you satisfied with your current workforce? If you’re not, you might want to read the entire Forbes article on Google’s successful hiring principles. Just google “10 Talent Tips from Google HR.”

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GPN recognizes 40 industry professionals under the age of 40 who are helping to determine the future of the horticulture industry. These individuals are today’s movers and shakers who are already setting the pace for tomorrow.