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Finding talented, committed people with a passion for landscaping can be a challenge – and this is likely true for all landscaping companies. Dan Dohar, executive vice president and chief human resources officer at BrightView, says his company also faces these challenges, but the company has implemented some new recruiting technologies to advance in this area.

Lawn & Landscape connected with Dohar to learn more about what these technologies are and how they have helped with recruiting.

L&L: What are the latest technology resources BrightView is using to recruit new employees?

Dohar: We launched kiosks in branches so that each could have applicants apply online. Additionally, we trained branches on how to use our applicant tracking system so they can post and receive their applicants on demand. We have placed a lot of focus on the way our applicants apply for jobs and toward the best technical sources for this, including the Text-to-Apply campaigns.

We have created marketing materials for branches and made it easily accessible for them to print locally, and we made recruitment guides and staffing plans to train branches how to recruit and how to find talent. We are also utilizing social media to spread the word about our openings and where and how to apply. Finally, we created positions for hourly recruiters to recruit for only high-volume hourly roles.

L&L: How do the application kiosks work?

Dohar: The kiosks are computers that walk-in applicants can use to apply for BrightView openings at our branch locations. (They) were initially rolled out early in 2017 and we now have approximately 120 branches utilizing this technology. BrightView wanted to provide a vehicle for all applicants who might not have access to a computer.

The kiosks direct applicants to our BrightView Career Site (jobs.brightview.com) where we receive roughly 30,000 hourly (worker) applicants a year. Due to this, we aren’t able to measure how many people applied using our kiosks versus their own personal computer. However, we have seen a significant increase in online applications over the past year.

L&L: Could you explain what an “applicant tracking system” does?

Dohar: An applicant tracking system helps manage the recruitment process. When an applicant applies, they enter their information into our application tracking system and their information is collected in a requisition. A BrightView recruiter will see the applicant’s information and contact them for the position they applied to. There are many benefits to an applicant tracking system, including keeping a historical record and tracking, use as a communication tool, recruitment pipelining and compliance. There are dozens of applicant tracking systems to choose from, but there are about five major players in this space.

L&L: What do the Text-to-Apply campaigns involve?

Dohar: Applicants can text a number to apply for a specific job. They are texted back with a series of questions based on the requirements of the job they are applying for. From there, the responses are compiled, and an application is built in our system. (It) is a very fast application process, but it does allow the chance of receiving more unqualified applicants because it is so easy for a candidate to apply.

L&L: How can smaller landscapers integrate more technology into their recruiting strategies?

Dohar: Mom-and-pop landscapers can track the way employees are hired through their application process, which can be tracked on a spreadsheet. From there, they can use their recruitment advertising dollars toward those efforts. The applicant tracking systems are not always expensive for businesses and by putting in a very inexpensive applicant tracking system, it can provide free job board advertisements on Indeed through job scraping.

L&L: What are mistakes landscapers need to avoid when adding new technology in their recruiting strategies?

Dohar: Focusing on too many technologies at once and not the right ones can negatively affect your recruiting efforts. Companies should use the technology which returns the best results. It’s best to track where team members are being hired from and then create a plan from there.