Future HVAC Employee . . . Oh Where Art Thou?

Aug. 31, 2018
Another gem from Mr. Michel: Don't steal people from your competitors. Here are nine places to look for your new superstars.

Too often contractors fall trap to the notion that the only good prospective employees are those working for competitors.  Here are nine unusual places to look for your new superstars in HVACR.

Emergency Medical Technicians
A plumber I worked decided to make a career change and become an emergency medical technician.  While he is unlikely to return to the trades, he noted that a lot of EMTs make less money than they would turning a wrench, a lot less.  They are smart, technically sharp, and generally have good bedside manner, including an ability to deal with upset people.  Teach them the trade and give them a career path.

Auto Mechanics
Speaking of turning a wrench, automotive mechanics can make more money as service technicians and often enjoy it more.  Increasingly, auto mechanics are shielded from customers by service advisors.  This is great for some, but others like interacting with customers and derive part of their job satisfaction from witnessing happy customers as a result of their efforts.  They can make as much or more in HVAC, experience more customer interaction, and gain a degree of personal freedom they will never experience working at a car dealership.

Health Care Billing Specialists
At a recent Service Nation Alliance Bootcamp I met the office manager for a Washington state contractor.  Accustomed to dealing with medical insurance paperwork, she was diligent and detail focused.  Working in the office of a medical practitioner, she also developed excellent customer care skills.  After leaving the medical profession for a time, she went to work for an HVAC contractor, has quickly become indispensable, and is taking on more and more inside responsibilities.

Real Estate Salespeople
Would you like a salesperson who expects to self-generate leads, who creates personal marketing material, who is skilled at customer relations, who is accustomed to working whatever hours are necessary to make a sale, and who is already well trained on relationship selling?  Try your local residential real estate salespeople.  They can earn more money in HVAC than real estate and less personal investment is required.

Automotive Salespeople
Similar to real estate agents, good car salespeople can make excellent retail salespeople.  They are motivated and well-trained.  Selling on payments because they are selling high ticket items is second nature.  Making sales calls by appointment is attractive to them.  Plus, they can make more money selling comfort systems than cars.

Hotel Front Desk Agents
The best customer service representative I’ve ever worked with came from the hotel industry.  Because she worked the front desk at a hotel, she was well trained on dealing with difficult people and stressful situations.  She welcomed the opportunity to be able to sit down and wear more casual clothes at work.  In addition, hotel desk personnel have little opportunity to earn extra income by phone selling.  Thus, working in HVAC involves better working conditions, more relaxed attire, better hours, and greater earning opportunities.

People coming out of the military are by nature, clean cut.  They are process centric and accustomed to following procedures.  If you have solid, documented procedures, veterans can be an excellent source of new hires.

Stay At Home Moms
The willingness to be flexible can be a great asset in recruiting.  This is especially true regarding talented women who want to be at home when their kids get out of school.  Be flexible.  Allow them to work part time or to finish the day from home and you may be able to attract talented people who would otherwise never consider the HVAC industry.

Minority Churches
As an industry, HVAC is under represented in minority communities.  This is tragic for an industry that needs people.  Correct it by approaching pastors of minority churches and taking them to lunch.  Explain the type of individual you are seeking and the opportunities you offer.  They know their flocks and will often recruiting promising young people for you.

COMING EVENT: Learn how the best contractors in the industry recruit, hire, and train at the Service World Expo.  It’s an opportunity to learn from the best.  You can network with peers from around the country and even from other countries.  Plus, you will attend the most enjoyable and innovative and fun trade show in the industry.  The Service World Expo is the industry’s major show focused on residential and light commercial service and replacement.  Visit www.ServiceWorldExpo.com or call 844.742.3970 for more information.