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Who We’re Hiring At…Bland Landscaping

Jarrett Hathcock
Vice President, Operations
1997 NC State alumnus

Established in 1976, Bland Landscaping provides services from landscape design to grounds management and more to all major markets across North Carolina.

What qualities are you looking for in the next-generation student?

We’re looking for self-starters and employees who are going to take initiative. We offer employees programs to give them the opportunity to develop, and the ones that show promise are the ones that do it on their own. They’re not just doing their jobs — they’re asking for more.

Work ethic is also really important, and what I mean by ‘work ethic’ is you work in organized fashion and work smartly. We do hard work in the landscape industry, but we’re not looking for that person necessarily that wants to work 12 or 13 hours a day, six days a week. Being able to work smartly, being able to be organized, and being able to multitask – to do a lot of things at once – these qualities are important.

When you get into management – whether you’re managing the client’s expectations or you are in production management – it’s about managing different types of people, motivating and inspiring people. The old days where you reigned with an iron fist — that’s so outdated. I want people here working because they want to work here, because they’re motivated and inspired, and because they want to be part of our team.

I’ve just described a superstar candidate. We do realize that young people sometimes coming out of college programs – two-year or four-year programs – unless they were lucky and they grew up with parents in landscape or nursery operations and they get that experience coming up, they’re not going to have the in-depth skill set to just knock it out of the park right off. When they get here, we can teach them that stuff. The soft skills – organization, planning, and knowing how to work with different types of people – are more important to us. That, and just taking initiative. We want employees who are eager to develop and evolve.

What makes a resume stand out?

These days when I look at a resume, the initial presentation is important – I like to see ones that just pop. Then I’m looking for I’m looking for content: Does this person have any kind of experience? If they don’t have experiences for this particular position, do they have some kind of hands-on experience in another industry or another profession or trade?

If they graduate from a two- or four-year program, that shows me that shows me they can commit to something and finish. That’s important me. Being involved in activities or groups or associations or clubs — that’s an added bonus.

What can CALS do to make sure we’re building the employee you need in the future?

Whenever I see a resume from someone from the two-year or four-year programs at NC State in horticulture or turfgrass or both, my ears perk up because I know they are getting the kind of experience they need.

One thing that is huge with us is any kind of leadership classes. I always want to promote from within, because this person knows our culture and what we do. Learning how to lead is so important.