How to recruit landscaping apprentices into your company?

26 Feb 2020

As in most European countries, apprenticeships are common in France. This specific scheme sets out to be a win-win contract for all concerned and is strongly encouraged by French Government subsidies. But when the time is right to start recruitment, landscapers can find it difficult to obtain the information they need to get into the scheme! Here are some tips on how to simplify the process.

Timing is everything in recruiting a landscaping apprentice

In most countries, training courses usually begin between August and September (except for higher education for which dates are often later). So the first job offers to apprentice landscapers must go out in spring!

In France, apprenticeship contracts can start in summer with lead times up to 3 months before or after school begins. In fact, apprentices cannot finalize their registration in training centers until they have found employers. Last but not least, landscaping companies prefer to take the time required to choose the ideal profile and set up the internal organization needed to make sure the training program is successful.

At the “How to integrate your landscaping apprentice for a beneficial collaboration?” conference during Paysalia 2019, landscaping entrepreneur Benoit Brissinger discussed the need to prepare the ground upstream to ensure meaningful integration.

“Pick out your apprentice landscaper very early on – 14 or 15 years old! Landscaping companies should visit schools to explain their trade and encourage young people to seek a career in landscaping. Discovery training courses are also a good way to find your future apprentice!”

Read also: Ways to attract young people into the landscaping profession!

Unless you give a full job description, you will never find the ideal candidate!

It is probably easier to prepare a standard job contract than an ad hoc job offer for landscaping apprentices as contracts must correspond to their school or center training courses.

Initially, pick the training courses most likely to send you apprentices and study their programs to target your ad. You can also talk to the Apprentices Training center, a Chamber of Commerce or your Federal Authority to check that your job offer is tailored to recognized landscaper training courses.

Then you have to convince the student to want to come and work with you! Highlight your landscaping company and your values and demonstrate that you are proposing a real-world experience. Describe the type of personality you are looking for but do not be over-precise.

Memo: what your job description file must include to recruit a landscaping apprentice

  • a precise description of the job title
  • a description of the missions proposed
  • the skills required
  • the qualification level
  • details about your company and its values
  • details about where the apprenticeship will take place
  • contact details about the person in charge of recruitment

Find the right channels to relay your apprenticeship job offer 

To start, contact your National Job Center and post your ad on your website. 
But there are other options you should consider!

Dedicated organizations

Always start with Apprentice Training centers as it is in their interest to find jobs for their young people. Chambers of Commerce often operate platforms to relay job offers – there is one in the Rhône-Alpes region for example. Professional associations like the FFP and the APECITA also publish landscaping training offers. And many countries provide opportunities like the French Government Sandwich Course gateway!

Trade shows and instant interviews

In addition to the “must” training and sandwich course trade fairs, your presence at trade shows such as Paysalia is a good way to meet future recruits. For example, we organized a job/training space in 2019 and many teachers took their students to the trade fair to meet landscaping companies. Chambers of Commerce and Industry, like the CCI Lyon Métropole, can also arrange speed meeting days for sandwich courses.

Social media

Seek out potential landscaping apprentices by contacting them directly. If you have a corporate social media account, use it! In France, you can also ask your regional Centre de Formation des Apprentis (CFA) to pass on your job offer to maximize your visibility to landscaping students. If you are truly “connected”, use the sponsoring feature to target the ideal profile. Last but not least, using the web to boost the global image of your company is a good way to attract new recruits.

The digital levers landscaping companies can use to find clients… and apprentices!

The golden rules to adopt when interviewing candidate apprentices

Landscaping apprentice selection criteria differ from conventional recruitment procedures. For the young people concerned, it is probably their first contact with a landscaping company! Inexperienced, undoubtedly intimidated, they will not know the codes for a job interview. You must be lenient and prioritize their motivation and curiosity rather than their curriculum.

A dialog is a crucial step in identifying the recruit the most compatible with your company. Take the time necessary to describe in detail what a landscaping apprentice’s days will be like to help them get a grip on the job. The best way to measure their enthusiasm!

Once you have found the ideal profile, the process is not over and done with. Integrating your landscaping apprentice landscaper is a daily task requiring tact and understanding! Read our dedicated article to become familiar with the good practices to adopt throughout training. Enjoy your new recruit!


© Photo credit: Fokussiert / stock.adobe.com

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