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Case studies:

Mansfields Propagation

The client

Established in 1951, Mansfield’s Propagation Nursery is a 3rd generation family-run business, which was located in the inner suburbs of Melbourne. Now, it's Australia's largest commercial nursery, growing over 6 million plants across an expansive 60 acre facility on the Mornington Peninsula.

Laura Calverley
Mansfield's Propagation Nursery

Mansfield’s typically has 50 nursery and general labour staff working in their production room each day, responsible for tasks like collecting cuttings, plant propagation, potting and plant maintenance. Mansfield's has now adopted Sidekicker as their horticulture labour hire agency.

Laura Calverley, the HR Manager at Mansfield's Propagation Nursery, says Mansfield's scales this workforce during spring and summer to meet the increased demand.

The challenges

Unable to find staff fast enough

Mansfield’s had a plan to double the number of plants they grow, rolling out new systems and automation machinery to facilitate the rapid growth.

The facility needed to dedicate full resources to rolling out the project, not wasting time on all the admin involved in hiring or utilising multiple agencies to source the large volume of staff required.

Mansfield’s would also often require flexibility on a weekly or daily basis, with production requirements impacted by things like weather conditions, and found it difficult to source staff to meet their requirements.

Inconsistent quality and high absenteeism of agency staff

To help sourcing staff, Mansfield’s trialled multiple traditional horticulture labour hire agencies, but found the staff they were sent were inconsistent and unable to pick up instructions quickly.

Mansfield’s is also relatively difficult to access via public transport – unable to communicate this to workers, they found staff would often arrive late with poor attitudes from the get-go, or simply not turn up.

The solution

Instant access to reliable and productive workers

Mansfield’s started using Sidekicker to hire general labour staff as they scaled, and to manage fluctuations in demand.

“Sidekicker allows us the flexibility we need to effectively hire staff on a short term basis. It means we don’t have to go through all the admin of posting jobs, interviewing etc, because Sidekicker’s team have already done it all and we can post a request instantly to their pre-screened pool of staff.

Their feedback system is also excellent and shows how invested Sidekicker is in the ongoing quality of their people.

The attitude of staff was super positive and their ability to pick up tasks quickly and respond to instruction helped us maintain high productivity.”

Flexibility and control with an easy to use platform
“The Sidekicker platform is so easy to use and allows us to control the experience. We’re able to be crystal clear on job requests around expectations, like where we’re located for example, which meant only staff who really wanted to work applied. Sidekicker has been great because we can change our labour requirements mid-week depending on production levels, timing issues or even weather conditions, or if productivity is much greater than we predicted we can reduce our labour spend without any permanent staff issues”

The results

During their peak period, Mansfield’s completed 300+ jobs through Sidekicker, achieving:

  • Average Sidekick rating: 4.95/5
  • Fulfilment rate: 99%
  • No-show rate: 0.02%
  • Reduced average time to fill agency shifts from 48 hours to <2 hours
“The attitude of staff was super positive and their ability to pick up tasks quickly and respond to instruction helped us maintain high productivity. We also control who works for us and can easily rehire the same staff over and over which means we don’t have to always retrain new workers.”