How to Interview a Candidate for a Tree Crew Job

You already know that your team—your people—can be a significant differentiator from other tree care companies. As with all great companies, it is the people performing the work that make a huge impact on how a business is received.

But how do you go about finding the best tree service workers?

We know that the entire hiring process can feel daunting. But the fact that you’re worried about it already means you’ve taken an important first step by caring. You’re not just trying to hire any warm body that is willing to do the work.

You want to hire people that are going to be a great fit for your team culture.

That’s why we want to provide some advice on how to interview a candidate to be a tree service worker.

Don’t Make it All About Experience

One of the best pieces of advice that we can offer (which has worked for us) is not to make the entire interview process all about experience. This sounds shocking to a lot of people. They assume if they are hiring a tree service worker that they need to hire someone who has done this work before (and for a long time).

But the truth is, with the right training program, you don’t have to hire experts. You can BUILD experts.

tree care team member climbs tree to prune

In fact, sometimes there are benefits to hiring someone who isn’t highly experienced. So often we find that so-called “experienced” tree service workers have learned a ton of bad habits or poor practices. Sometimes it’s harder to “unlearn” something that’s wrong than it is to just learn it the right way from the get-go.

You obviously really limit your hiring pool when you are only seeking out highly experienced professionals.

Back it Up with Training and Education

Of course, you absolutely must have the training program to back up hiring newcomers.

One of our biggest objectives at Joshua Tree Experts is to build highly professional crews, even if we are doing it from the ground up. We want Joshua Tree to be a place that is known for having the best tree service workers and we know that comes from education and training.

tree care expert talks with potential candidate

That’s also why we care deeply about helping our team to become Certified Arborists. While a lot of companies talk about having “arborists” on staff, it doesn’t mean much without that “Certified” word in front of it. But we care about ensuring our people are as well-trained as possible and we believe that becoming a Certified Arborist is a big part of that.

It also means having a strong safety program and creating a culture of safety from the very first day that people are hired. Early on, having inexperienced tree service workers on staff can be dangerous if the focus is not on safety. It is absolutely shocking how willing some companies are to put inexperienced folks immediately into a role they’re not ready for.

tree removal team in bucket and on ground removing large tree

However, by following step-by-step systems and processes, it can all go smoothly.

In other words, when the focus is on the right things, you can make a newcomer an excellent tree service worker.

Looking Beyond Skills

So, if you’re looking beyond just the skills that an individual has, what are you looking at?

Arborist tree climber comes down from tree after pruning

You are looking for things that cannot necessarily be “taught.” These would be elements like:

  • Work ethic
  • A willingness to learn
  • Someone who works well on a team
  • A love for the outdoors

These are all factors that go into finding tree service workers who are going to fit your company culture.

Hiring the Right Person for the Right Seat

This is a concept that we talk about a lot at Joshua Tree Experts. At the end of the day, not every person is suited to every role.

Some people will naturally excel in certain areas of the business and struggle in others. Getting the right person in the right seat is imperative when it comes to setting them up for success.

That means even if you hire a tree service worker for a certain role and it’s not working, that doesn’t mean they are a lost cause to your company. If you saw something in them and hired them for a specific reason, you may just need to do some searching to find the right role for them in your business.

tree care team meets with potential candidate

As a leader, it falls on you to find the right role for your people.

Of course, when you go to hire tree service workers, it’s important that you keep core values in mind during the hiring process. This speaks to the point that you can’t just hire anyone who is willing to do the work. You want to hire people that align with your core values so that they’ll be a great fit in whatever role they end up in.

To do this, ask questions that help draw that person’s values out. For example, being a team player is a really important core value. So, ask questions about how that person works on a team. If it becomes clear they do not enjoy working in a team environment, that should be a red flag.
We have found that problems can often be prevented down the road when care is taken during the hiring process.

We are Here to Help You Build Your Tree Service Business

Recruiting and hiring are not easy and building a great team can take a lot of work.

Fortunately, you are not on your own. If you are a Joshua Tree Experts franchise owner, then we are here to help you in your quest to find the right tree service workers for your business.

Recruiting and hiring are areas where we have already put in the hard work and have seen it pay off. And we’re here to show you how we did it. You can lean on us and replicate our model of success to see your own tree service franchise grow.

Are you ready to grow a successful business from strong roots? Joshua Tree Experts has the proven systems and processes in place to help. Request a meeting and begin your journey today.


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