Why You Should Trial Your Gardener


Published on September 16, 2020

Are you looking to hire a (new) gardener? If you are, it is really important you follow all the right steps of recruitment. Finding the right gardener should not be a process that should be rushed. You want to do it right! You want to really make sure you are offering the job to the right person. Interviews and reference checking are a large part of this. But you can do more. And this is why you should trial your new gardener, before offering the job.

So, why exactly should you trial your gardener– and how do you do it?

What is a Trial?

A trial comes after the interview stage in the recruitment process. You might have reviewed many CVs, and from there invited people for interview. But during an interview, and from a CV, there is only so much you can get to know about the person.

Do they fit within the team of staff you already have in place? And with your household and habits? Do they have the right skills you require? Are they physically up for the job? All these things are very hard, if not impossible to find out from just an interview, however many questions you ask.

So that’s what a trial is designed to do. A trial is a period of a minimum of several hours, up to several weeks, of where the gardener you have interviewed, would work for you. A trial is a temporary period where the gardener would conduct work for you, similar to what they might do in the ‘real’ job. So that both you, and the gardener, can decide whether this job is suited for them or no.

A trial gives you the time to really think about things before any formal offer of employment is made. Consider setting up at least a one full day trial to establish if the gardener is the right person for the role. You should prepare some tasks for the gardener to do, ideally with some variety so you can see a full skill set. The gardener should be paid for the trial even if you do not end up hiring this person.

Check their Gardening Skills

The first reason why you should trial your gardener is that it will give you the opportunity to find out if they have the right skills for the job. Gardening can be a really physically demanding job, so it is important to find out if this person is up for it.

Even though the CV might list everything you are looking for, having someone practically do work can make a big difference. A trial is part of the recruitment process. And you should consider it as a more extensive second job interview. So during a trial make sure you have the gardener do jobs that they would do if they would get the actual job.

Are they able to operate the machinery? Do they work quickly and efficiently? Is their knowledge of plants and flowers coming through? Are they physically able to carry heavy equipment and material? All these practical skills will be shown in the trial. So that by the end of it, you can really make an informed decision of whether this person is suited for the job.

Check Personality Match

Another important reason why you should trial your gardener is to make sure they fit in with your household and the team. Even though your gardener will mostly be working outside, they will still be in touch with you. Your family. And other members of staff. So even though they might be the best-skilled gardener. That does not mean that they will fit in.

So having someone over for, a couple of days to do a trial, will give you a really good impression on what their personality is like. Do they get on with people easily? Or are they quite argumentative?  Are they good at timekeeping? Are they respectful of your space? And do you feel confident in their skills?

A trial will give you all these insights, that an interview will never be able to give you. Even though a trial might sound time-consuming, it really is a crucial part of the recruitment process. It saves you money in the long run. As it will make sure you hire the right person for the job!.

How can Polo & Tweed help?

Do you struggle with the hiring side of things, when looking for a new gardener? There is a lot more to it than people think. But Polo & Tweed is here to help. We can make the recruitment process as easy as possible for you. Our highly experienced consultants will guide you through the whole process. From the first CV selection, through to trials and final placement. So contact us now to get the recruitment process for your new gardener started!

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