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    Danielle Putnam, president of The New Flat Rate, listens to questions from 2022 AHR Expo attendees about hiring new people.

    AHR 2022: Hiring and Retaining Top Employees

    Feb. 1, 2022
    The talent crunch is coming. Develop a plan for hiring and retaining top team members.

    AHR 2022 scheduled another session Jan. 31 about getting the right people on your team that brought together Danielle Putnam, president of The New Flat Rate, and Susan Frew, general manager of Sunshine Plumbing, Heating and Air. The two women explained to attendees how HVACR contractors can develop a plan for hiring and retaining top team members.

    “How often do we hire out of emotion?” Putnam asked. “We’re trying to find someone to fix our pain.”

    Usually, this happens when someone has quit unexpectedly or had to be let go; now you need to fill the gap. Or possibly many gaps.

    Using a hiring matrix can help you be methodical and consistent in your hiring process, Putnam noted. Prioritize the positions you need to hire for and focus on the top one.

    Then develop a job scorecard, which spells out what the position is, the responsibilities, the values a candidate for this position should have, to whom the person will be accountable, and expectations for the new employee’s first week of employment, first month, first six months, etc.

    Frew noted that she developed a training calendar to specify what a technician needed to learn and when, what office staff needed to learn and when.

    When it comes time to write the ad, it’s important to speak to people’s values as well as company culture. Young people coming into the industry are looking for a work environment that allows them to make a contribution yet also have time for family.

    “We have to change the way we look at employees,” Frew explained. “We need to provide a career path, not just a job. And we need to be available to employees if they need help.”