Bartlett Tree Experts was founded by Francis A. Bartlett in 1907 and is the world’s leading scientific tree and shrub care company. From over 100 offices worldwide, Bartlett helps both residential and commercial customers maintain beautiful, healthy trees. Bartlett is dedicated to developing environmentally sound products and promoting their use. With the Bartlett Legacy Tree Programme, Bartlett provides tree seedlings to help with reforestation efforts, and teaches people how to care for trees.
Horticulture Careers caught up with Sarah Maddox, HR Manager at Bartlett Tree Experts to discuss how they welcome new staff into their business and support them in developing lasting careers.
How do you welcome new starters into the business?
It is an exciting time to be working at Bartlett Tree Experts, the company has continued to grow over its 112 years in business. Our success comes through the hard work of all our employees, and we are always looking for new recruits. Although we are a large company, we still run as a family business. It is very important to us that all new starters have a good office and company fit, personality is just as important as skills. All new starters will have had an interview and a trial. The trial could be anything from one day up to a few weeks depending on the role and the office and we get feedback from the recruit’s peers throughout this trial period. It is so important that they can all work together. The first day is spent with the Arborist Representative getting to know the job and the company by talking through policies, procedures, being shown around the office, the facility and issuing PPE and kit. During the first week, they will have a day out with the Rep to see that side of the job.
What training programmes do you have in place to support staff progression?
We have the Bartlett Champion Assessment, which consists of regular skills assessments and an annual review. On day one, new starters are assessed to find out their skill levels and there are discussions about training needs, learning opportunities and development. This could be internal training by our Safety and Training Manager, working at other offices on different projects or external NPTC qualifications and academic courses. We also have our own Home Study arboriculture course, which we encourage all our employees including office staff to complete.
Are there opportunities for promotion within the company?
There is the obvious progression within the tree crew, from Grounds Person to Climber to Lead Climber, Crew Leader and Foreman. As we cover all aspects of tree work, employees also have the opportunity to move into Plant Health Care, Consultancy, Research and Sales. Subject to eligibility, as we have offices in Ireland, Canada and the USA, there are opportunities to transfer.
What additional benefits do you offer staff?
We have recently had strategy meetings with all employees from every office. It is very important to listen to what challenges and opportunities we face as a company and industry. As a result of these meetings, we are working on changes we can make now as well as looking to the future; this has included a review of the benefits package.
Do you hold team days for staff? If so does this have a positive effect on morale?
Each office gets a quarterly budget for team building and they are able to choose what they would like to do. Events have included clay pigeon shooting, bowling and curry nights. We also have annual update training days, which allow for the staff from different offices to get together. These are great to show our appreciation for the hard work and help with team building.
What sets Bartlett Tree Experts apart as an attractive place to work?
Bartlett is a family company with our Chairman, Robert Bartlett, Jr., being the third generation of Bartlett family management. Each of our employees becomes a part of that Bartlett “family” upon joining us. Each local Bartlett office has the support of the larger international company. This enables us to offer our employees advanced training, access to cutting edge science and technology and the most modern equipment. We also have the opportunity of a variety of work at prestigious locations, attendance at Arboriculture Association conferences and events, College Careers days, Arboriculture Skills days, Flower Shows and a host of other opportunities we can’t get elsewhere.