We’ve already explored the home services staffing crisis on this blog, including how it could impact HVAC staffing at heating and cooling companies across the country. Capable, reliable technicians are extremely valuable to HVAC businesses... and the industry is already starting to feel the sharp decrease in young workers entering the trades.
That means that HVAC companies need to be smart about their recruiting process. Below, let's take a look at four steps HVAC businesses can take to re-examine how they hire people and ensure that they're doing what they can to find and attract the best workers out there.
Examine Your Company Culture
When approaching the hiring process, it's easy to assume that, because you have a paying position available, you're the one who has to be impressed by a candidate to complete this process. While that's not untrue, too many businesses forget that candidates are also evaluating places to work-- and they want to be impressed, too.
This is especially true in the trades, where there is a cutthroat poaching culture. Experienced, reliable technicians are a scarce commodity and competitors regularly snatch valuable workers from each other by offering incremental pay increases.
The only way to avoid this compensation bidding war is to offer potential (and current) employees a rich company culture that compels them to invest in your brand and—simultaneously—their own future in the company. This is especially true of young people entering the workforce who have consistently shown us that they prefer flexibility and purpose over promotions and higher paychecks.
When evaluating the culture at your company, consider the following questions:
- What is our company's mission?
- What are our company's values?
- How do we practice those values?
- How do we distinguish ourselves from the competition?
- What role do you play in the community?
- Do we set goals as a team?
- Do we celebrate as a team when we hit goals?
- Do we enact policies that respect our employees' lives outside of work (PTO, sick time, maternity, benefits, etc.)?
- Does our team have access to management if they need to talk?
- Do our employees have a path for further achievement once they're hired? Ultimately, the goal is to envision and offer a job that the best candidates will want to have and keep. To prepare, speak to your best employees and learn about their impressions of where your company excels and what can be done to improve culture.
Write a Compelling Ad
What goes into a great job listing? Less than you think. Ryan Koehler, CEO of ApplicantPro, touched on keeping job ads brisk when speaking on an exclusive 2018 ServiceTitan webinar.
"The goal of a job ad is to make a job seeker want to apply. That is the goal. It's not a list of your demands," said Koehler. "The goal of a job ad is to convince a job seeker to apply for the job."
Remember: job searching is a grueling process and the first impression an applicant is going to get of your company is your ad. Do you want to post a litany of requirements and come off as a demanding, unconcerned employer, or entice applicants to learn more about the opportunity?
When writing your job ad, remember:
- Try to stay as brief as possible.
- Limit your requirements to minimum requirements.
- Mention employee benefits.
- Give an impression of what the company culture is like. Use Different Avenues to Spread the Word
Once you've written a job ad you're comfortable with, you probably already have a few ideas where to post it. Most job-hunting occurs on the internet now, so if you're planning to post your ad on big job search hubs like Indeed and Monster, you're on the right track.
However, while these kinds of sites tend to generate a lot of applicants, they don't necessarily produce a lot of actual hires. Instead, more localized word-of-mouth tends to be more effective in finding hirable applicants. If your company uses social media, for instance, posting a link to your job ad on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram alerts an audience that already trusts and is engaged with your brand that you're hiring—and news will travel fast.
Better yet, encourage employee referrals. Referrals are extremely effective because trusted employees are already helping you select which applicants might be a right fit for the job. This also means that your employees are working as evangelists for your company, letting promising applicants know what the benefits of working for your company are.
Make It Simple to Apply
Whether you are asking for in-person applications or using an online form for applicants to fill out and submit, you want to adhere to one central principle: make it simple. As we said, job searching is a grueling process, and the last thing you want is a promising applicant to be turned off by submission process that is overly complicated, confrontational, or inconvenient.
Consider the growing importance of mobile devices to the recruiting process:
- 78% of Millenials search for jobs on a mobile device.
- 73% of Gen-Xers search for jobs on a mobile device.
- 57% of Baby Boomers search for jobs on a mobile device. That means you want to keep your application process simple. Ryan Koehler of ApplicantPro recommends keeping an online application process to three minutes or less. Forgo asking for too much upfront—Social Security numbers and references can wait—and if you are going to use a questionnaire, keep it to five or fewer yes-or-no questions.
ServiceTitan is the number one, award-winning HVAC service software for the home service industry. Thousands of HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and garage door repair businesses have streamlined efficiency, modernized customer service, and driven new revenue thanks to ServiceTitan's comprehensive, cloud-based platform. To learn more about what ServiceTitan can do for your business, contact our team today to request a demo.