Skip to content

The links to products and services featured on this site are from companies which we may receive compensation.

How to Hire a Groundskeeper

  • by

A groundskeeper must be competent and knowledgeable about many different aspects of the land. That’s because their role involves maintaining the outdoor areas of a property. Competency ensures they can effectively care for lawns, gardens, and outdoor facilities. Knowledge about soil types, plant care, pest control, and equipment operation is important for maintaining the property’s aesthetic appeal and functionality.

The groundskeeper should also be knowledgeable about adapting to weather conditions, especially conditions that are specific to certain areas of the country, such as heat and drought or over-abundant rainfall and cold.

Why Hire a Groundskeeper?

A groundskeeper’s duties typically include mowing lawns, pruning trees and shrubs, planting flowers and other vegetation, maintaining irrigation systems, applying fertilizers and pesticides responsibly, cleaning and maintaining outdoor facilities, and ensuring the overall cleanliness and safety of the outdoor space, such as city parks.

When a property is not in a skilled groundskeeper’s care, it can begin to lose its beauty and allure. The expertise of a groundskeeper can transform an outdoor space and keep it in prime condition.

Where to Hire a Groundskeeper

Some good websites where you can post a groundskeeper job include Indeed, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, SimplyHired, and specialized landscaping job boards like Landscaping.Jobs. You can also explore job platforms to find qualified candidates.

You can also check out local classified Work Wanted listings to find an experienced groundskeeper. The Hiring Process: Step by Step. Each step of the hiring process is important. Attention to detail with these steps can help ensure that you get the right candidate for the job.

Crafting the Perfect Groundskeeper Job Description

A groundskeeper job description should outline the role’s responsibilities, required skills, qualifications, and any specific expectations unique to your property. The job title is important because a groundskeeper position is different from a landscaper or gardener.

For example, your property may have a pond that features flowering aquatic plants and fish, which would require specialized knowledge.

Or, you may have a property that requires extensive irrigation, and your groundskeeper should be skilled in maintaining such a system.

Will you need a groundskeeper on a seasonal basis? If so, will there be additional duties that the groundskeeper can perform during the winter months, such as snow removal and equipment maintenance?

Groundskeeper’s Toolbox: Tools and Skills

A groundskeeper should be skilled in operating lawn care equipment, have knowledge of plant care, and possess basic maintenance skills. The groundskeepers should be skilled in operating the equipment that is specific to your property. Knowing how to onboard new employees is crucial for success.

The skill set should also be specific to your property. For example, you may need someone skilled in pest control, such as fire ants or moles.

Typically, the property owner provides the tools and equipment. Should you opt for a training plan template to assist in this process, you can find templates and more information.It’s important that the groundskeeper knows how to operate the equipment properly or has an employment background that proves their ability to be trained.

Even more important, the groundskeeper should be diligent about the equipment maintenance and have communication skills – to relay information to other workers on the property and the employer. For example, the employer should be notified about any change in the condition of the various equipment that may need repair.

Screening Applications for the Groundskeeper Job

Key ConsiderationsQuestions to AskEvaluation CriteriaAdditional Notes

Experience LevelHow many years of groundskeeping experience do you have?Prior experience in a similar roleConsider apprenticeships for entry-level roles

Equipment ProficiencyAre you familiar with various groundskeeping equipment?Ability to handle specialized machineryTraining may be necessary

Horticultural KnowledgeDo you have experience with plant care and maintenance?Knowledge of plants, grass, and treesEssential for estate or botanical garden jobs

Problem-Solving SkillsHow would you handle a pest infestation in the garden?Practical and efficient solutionsMust demonstrate proactive thinking

Pesticide and Fertilizer UseAre you certified to handle chemicals and fertilizers?Proper certificationSafety training might be necessary

Teamwork and LeadershipHave you ever managed a team of groundskeepers?Ability to work well in a teamLeadership experience is a plus

Availability and FlexibilityAre you available for weekend or holiday work if required?Flexibility in schedulingMay require early morning or late-night shifts

Physical StaminaCan you perform physically demanding tasks?Physical fitnessRegular physical tasks will be required

Attention to DetailHow do you ensure the grounds are kept immaculate?Keen eye for detailQuality of work is critical

References and RecommendationsCan you provide references from previous employers?Quality and relevance of referencesContact references for additional insights

Review resumes and applications, checking for relevant experience and qualifications. And make sure to also reduce hiring bias during this phase.

Remember that even though an applicant may not have all the skills you seek, an experienced groundskeeper has demonstrated an ability to learn to operate different types of equipment. Look for the length of time of previous employment in related fields.

The Interview Process

As you interview candidates, ask questions about their experience, problem-solving abilities, and approach to landscaping challenges. Ask questions about elements of the job, such as adapting to weather conditions and providing maintenance for equipment. You can follow interview rejection letter guidelines if you need to reject an applicant.

As you evaluate the answers, keep in mind that your best candidate may not have all the specific skills you seek. However, the candidate, through the work history, has demonstrated a desire to work in the field and an ability to learn to operate equipment.

Practical Tests and Evaluation for Groundskeeper Positions

Have candidates demonstrate their skills in tasks like mowing, pruning, or using equipment that are specific to your property. If you are considering hiring a family member, weigh the pros and cons carefully. Should I hire a family member?

For example, will the groundskeeper need to prune fruit trees or evergreens? Handle snow removal to include driving a plow truck and operating a snow blower. Will the applicant need to set up irrigation systems or maintain one?

Background Checks and References

In addition to calling past employers to confirm dates, ask those past employers to confirm that the candidate has the experience that is claimed. For qualified candidates, you may want to conduct a criminal records check and also a driving record test if the groundskeeper will be using a vehicle to pick up materials and supplies.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a Groundskeeper

Common mistakes employers may make during the hiring process include not conducting thorough background checks and neglecting to check references.

Often, a groundskeeper is needed quickly. An employer shouldn’t rush the hiring decision without evaluating candidates properly. Also, make sure the groundskeeper understands completely what the job duties will be and agrees to do them. At the end of the day, you can also look into more unusual ways to promote a job opening.

FAQs: How to Hire a Groundskeeper

What’s the difference between a Groundskeeper and a Landscape Architect

A landscape architect typically designs outdoor spaces and landscapes, while a groundskeeper maintains and cares for those designs.

Landscape architects focus on planning and landscape design, , whereas groundskeepers are responsible for the day-to-day maintenance.

How does the role of a groundskeeper differ from a general gardener?

Groundskeepers have a broader scope of responsibilities, including maintaining lawns, outdoor facilities, and large properties.

General gardeners primarily focus on gardening tasks such as planting, weeding, operating lawn mowers and caring for ornamental plants.

What’s a competitive salary for a groundskeeper?

The salary for groundskeepers can vary based on factors like location, experience, and the size of the property.

The average annual salary for a groundskeeper in the United States ranged from $25,000 to $40,000. In some areas of the country, the groundskeeper position may be largely seasonal, which accounts for the salary figure on the low end.

Image: Envato Elements

This article, “How to Hire a Groundskeeper” was first published on Small Business Trends

The expertise of a groundskeeper can transform an outdoor space and keep it in prime condition. Here are tips on how to hire a groundskeeper.Read MoreStaffing, How to HireSmall Business Trends

Leave a Reply


We have two goals here at Cornerstone Web Devlopers llc (CWD):

1st: Provide well-defined services to other small businesses with no hidden costs, and no surprise fees.

2nd: We are in business to make money. So. In addition to the website packages we sell, we are also leveraging our working understanding of products that we have used/are using/or have thoroughly researched to use in every capacity of our CWD business ventures. That’s where the affiliate links come in.

Our promise to you is that no recommendations we publish, or allow to be published, will be driven by the compensation. If we have an affiliate link on one of our pages it is there either because we’ve thoroughly researched the product our self, are currently using it, or have used it in one of our business websites or to conduct the business of our small business.

Where you can please support us, by clicking the links. However, please always remember our primary goal is to provide well-defined services to other small businesses with no hidden costs, and no surprise fees.

Thank you.