Do you know what to look for when hiring a gardener? If you are looking to hire a new gardener for your home, you need to be clear on your needs. The more specific your search, the better the result. So know what works, and what you need. But also what to look for. It will make the interviewing process a lot easier. And you can make a better decision, too.
Understand Your Job
Before you even start looking at job applications, there is something else you need to do first. You need to get a very clear understanding of the job you are offering. What tasks do you need your new gardener to do? Is there any specific expertise needed? You might not realize how niche the gardening role is you are advertising. Or exactly what you need.
So to know what to look for when interviewing gardeners, you need to really understand the job yourself. Take time to make a clear list of all tasks you would need your gardener to do. You’d be surprised how much detail will be on there. That you might not have thought about at first!
It might, for example, be really important for your gardener to manage the fruit and vegetable patch. So that you can have lots of fresh produce from your garden. Or maybe you want a really specific tropical garden, with complex plants and flowers that need specialist care. Whatever it is, make sure you really understand what the full job entails. This will bring you one big step closer to finding the right gardener for you.
A first important thing to look for when hiring a gardener is similar or matching previous experience. Now that you are clear on what the actual job entails, this will be easier. You can match up the specific previous experience you need your gardener to have. That can be something specific as mentioned above. Experience working with certain types of plants, for example. Or maybe they have done a lot of hardscaping before, designing gardens?
Even though it might be difficult to find someone who has done an exactly similar previous job. It is important to find some similarities. If a gardener previously only worked in a large team of gardeners on a big estate. Will they enjoy working for a small family house?
What is also important, however, is to never assume. Perhaps this person is specifically looking for a change of settings. They might thrive being the only gardener, but they simply hadn’t found the right opportunity yet.
So if someone has had opposite types of jobs, it is not necessarily a reason not to invite them for an interview. It is just an important question to raise.
What about no experience at all?
What can be more challenging, is considering someone with no previous gardening experience at all. Of course, everyone needs to start somewhere. But what can they bring to your job? Is there another gardener they can be an apprentice to? Or will you have the time and skill to teach them? Do they at least have a qualification or any training in gardening? It can be really rewarding hiring a junior gardener, but you need to have the setup for it.
Another thing you want to look for when hiring a gardener, are several practical things. Of course, you want someone with the right experience, and personality that you feel matches. But don’t disregard the practicalities that can really make or break a successful job placement.
Location is one of those practical things you want to consider. If your gardening role is a live-in role, this will not be relevant of course. But if accommodation is not part of the job, then you want to make sure it practically works. How far does your potential new gardener live from your property? What would their commute be like? This can be a personal thing too. Some people really do not mind a commute of an hour to work. But practically, does it work if someone has to travel much longer than that to your job? Especially if it is not a full-time role? The risk is, if the commute is too long, your gardener might not last very long. So even though it might not be the most important thing. Do at least have the conversation on how they feel about the commute.
Are you both clear on expectations, such as salary and days off? There is no point in being unclear about these details at the interview stage. You need to be clear on what the job is, and those details include salary and days you expect them to work. It might, for whatever reason, be really important that your gardener can work weekends. Or for them to be able to be flexible on working days, or hours. Maybe you want them to start bright and early. There can be so many different preferences. And this differs per family. So never assume your gardener would simply know, or be ok with all that you need. This might not be suited for every single person. But as long as you are clear on the complete role, you will find your perfect match with much more ease!
SOURCE: Polo and Tweed