For HVAC business owners, like others in the skilled trades, it can be a challenge to find qualified employees in a highly competitive market. A shortage of HVAC technicians is driving many HVAC business owners to find new approaches to recruitment and hiring to attract the best talent.
Below, we look at seven steps residential and commercial HVAC companies can take to enhance HVAC recruitment, so you can attract and hire top-quality HVAC service technicians to your business.
7 Simple Steps for Better HVAC Hiring & Recruiting
Throughout, we’ll look at how ServiceTitan’s HVAC business software can help you attract top HVAC employees to your company by making your techs’ lives easier and free from repetitive and mundane tasks. Additionally, we’ll discuss how our software gives you all the tools to deal with each aspect of running your HVAC contractor business.
» Want to see ServiceTitan in action? Schedule a call with us to learn more about how our software can help you grow your business and attract the best candidates to your vacancies along the way.
1. Improve Your Company Culture
In HVAC recruiting, it’s important for HVAC business owners to focus on small changes that can simplify their technicians’ day-to-day experience.
Creating a great company culture attracts new employees and keeps your current employees happy.
“As far as culture, I still see people who expect their employees to run on-call, work weekends, work around the clock, who burn them out in the summertime,” says Keith Mercurio, Senior Director of Executive Success at ServiceTitan and CEO of his company, Ethical Influence Global. “They’re competing for labor against other companies while offering a quality of life that few would want to live. And pretending it’s a shortage issue.”
One often neglected aspect of improving company culture is employing the right software tools to take over busywork that can easily be automated. HVAC companies willing to invest in tools that help maximize efficiency and reduce work-related stress show that they have their employees’ best interests in mind.
By using HVAC service software, like ServiceTitan, you show potential hires that you run your business in an efficient and modern way. This maximizes use of every HVAC tech’s skills and allows them to focus on profitable work. Techs who know they’ll need to come up with their own estimates on-the-fly, deal with notifying customers of service delays, and who can’t check availability of parts in real-time, for example, may turn down your job offer.
ServiceTitan gives you, your techs, and office staff tools to:
Identify top performers and anyone who needs additional training, along with other KPIs, with our field reporting software.
Teach techs how to sell in the field with mobile tools to streamline a sales process that shows customers clear good-better-best options. Using ServiceTitan’s HVAC proposal software, techs can create branded estimates and close deals in the field.
Automate customer and dispatch notifications, so office staff and techs don’t need to deal with dozens of calls, or send multiple emails.
Dispatch for profit by sending the best heating, ventilation, and air conditioning technician to each job.
Optimize your team's schedule with ServiceTitan's service scheduling software to prepare for complex installation or repair jobs. At-a-glance scheduling ensures the right techs are available for the right jobs, and it always knows when techs have scheduled down time.
Simply removing the many day-to-day frustrations and obstacles that HVAC technicians face when using outdated software can transform their job enjoyment (and translate to higher profit for everyone).
2. Create Compelling HVAC Job Ads
What goes into a great HVAC recruiting job description and listing when you have a full-time or part-time job to offer? Less than you think.
Ryan Koehler, CEO of ApplicantPro, says to keep job ads brief and to the point. Here’s an example of that included in a ServiceTitan job description template for an HVAC technician:
“The goal of a job ad is to convince a job seeker to apply for the job,” he says. “That is the goal. It's not a list of your demands.”
Whether you post your ad for an HVAC installer, journeyman, or apprentice on Craigslist, LinkedIn, or another site, remember this: Your HVAC job ad gives the first impression of your company and its culture.
Do you want to post a litany of requirements and come off as a demanding, unconcerned employer—or entice applicants to learn more about an excellent job opportunity so they can grow their HVAC career?
Effective HVAC job ad tips include:
Keeping it as brief as possible.
Limiting applicant parameters to the minimum requirements. Basics for an entry-level service tech position include a valid driver’s license, high school diploma or GED, and completion of a training program or apprenticeship. Depending on the job type, you may require EPA certification or minimum years of experience.
Highlighting employee benefits, such as health insurance, life insurance, and paid time off, as well as incentives like a sign-on bonus, on-the-job training, mentoring, and other perks that set your company apart.
Describing your company culture so potential employees see what it’s like to work at your company. You can also ask current employees to provide a testimonial.
Using different media platforms and channels to spread the word.
Localized word-of-mouth promotion tends to be more effective for hiring top HVAC techs. If your company uses social media, post a link to your job ad on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to alert your audience that you're hiring.
Further reading: HVAC Technician Job Description: How to Hire the Best Techs
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3. Take a Strategic Approach to Filling HVAC Vacancies
When should you hire an HVAC recruitment agency to fill your open positions? HVAC companies with new job postings, stuck in unsuccessful recruitment and hiring strategies, may want to consider help from expert HVAC recruiting firms.
“It's not just about getting warm bodies that can fog a mirror,” says Jody Underhill, owner of RapidHirePro, a marketing agency that works with home service providers to recruit and retain quality workers. “It's about really attracting A-players and top talent. They are out there, you just have to go and find them.”
RapidHirePro examines a company’s hiring strategy by determining which positions need to be filled, the experience and qualifications needed for each role, and the revenue loss per empty position. Then RHP asks about the company’s best sources for finding previous new hires.
Other HVAC recruitment agencies include:
If you’re interested in recruiting HVAC technicians without HVAC staffing agencies, you could learn from other HVAC pros, or receive training from businesses like Core Matters, which teaches companies how to enhance the hiring process for skilled workers.Subscribe
4. Incentivize Employee Referrals & Reward Performance
A competitive HVAC tech salary goes a long way when attracting new hires, but what other methods can you use to find the best future employees? If you’re wondering how to recruit HVAC technicians more successfully, consider incentivizing employee referrals.
“Employee referrals will always be your best resource for recruiting, hands down,” Underhill says.
Referrals typically provide quality job applicants, because trusted employees help you select the applicant for the HVAC technician job. If your current employees love where they work, you’ll attract potential applicants who want to work for your company.
“We teach our employees to always be recruiting for team members,” says Brad Pesek, CFO of McWilliams & Son in Texas.
His company pays employees up to $1,000 for referrals who get hired. On top of that, they get an annual $2,000 bonus for every anniversary of their referral’s hire date.
Additionally, it helps to consider using performance pay as an incentive to create top performers, and to attract new HVAC techs who are looking for a commission-based salary.
Manage Performance-based Pay with ServiceTitan
Use ServiceTitan's contractor payroll software to make quick work of tailored pay structures and bonuses. With ServiceTitan, HVAC contractors can integrate commission tracking and calculation into the rest of their business with a highly customizable and fully automated software system, instead of calculating bonuses and commissions separately.
Contractors can choose to configure commission calculations however they want. ServiceTitan can integrate commission tracking with making sure that HVAC contractors are accurately estimating jobs, for example. Overhead costs like materials, equipment, and purchase orders can be subtracted from the total price of a job before calculating commission, to avoid cutting into profit.
In addition to commission and bonus features, ServiceTitan’s payroll software also automates time tracking for each and every one of your HVAC employees, including factors such as flexible overtime.
Further reading: How to Create an HVAC Sales Commission System That Works
5. Simplify HVAC Tech Applications
Whether your company seeks in-person applications or uses an online form, you want to adhere to one central principle: Make it simple. The last thing you want to do is flip the switch on talent with an inconvenient or complicated process.
Understand how to make the most of mobile job applications, as more people use their smartphones to search and apply for jobs.
According to Glassdoor:
58% of Glassdoor users look for jobs on their phones.
35-44-year-old job seekers are the most likely to search for jobs from mobile phones.
56% of job seekers with a high school education used mobile devices to search for jobs.
Koehler recommends keeping an online application process to three minutes or less. Don’t ask for too much information upfront—Social Security numbers and references can wait. If you use a questionnaire, keep it under five “yes-or-no” questions.
6. Ask the Right Questions
Your HVAC techs perform essential work in your company, helping homeowners troubleshoot HVAC system problems and conducting preventative maintenance on HVAC equipment.
Ask the right HVAC tech interview questions to see how their qualifications line up with the work at your company, such as understanding the basics of heating and air conditioning systems.
Besides knowledge, top techs exhibit traits such as reliability, teamwork, problem-solving and good communication skills. Hire right, so you can build your team with employees who share your company’s core values.
7. Build Community Relationships
Build community relationships to encourage students to consider careers in the HVAC industry. Local schools are a good starting point for HVAC recruitment, says Ron Smith, an HVAC consultant and coaching pioneer who’s owned 24 HVAC companies throughout his career.
“Form a relationship with the leaders of your community’s high schools and vocational schools, and ask if you can speak to the students in group sessions,” says Smith, author of the best-selling book HVAC Spells Wealth. “After building relationships, these groups are more likely to keep you in mind when they graduate from school and are looking for jobs. Your education will help them understand the employment opportunities available in the HVAC industry and can assist in your recruiting efforts.”
Consider offering your own in-house schooling to prep techs for licensing tests, or provide ways for your techs to get the education and training needed to advance their HVAC careers. After all, when your team succeeds, so does your company.
Want to see ServiceTitan in action? Schedule a call with us to learn more about how our software can help you grow your business and attract the best candidates to your vacancies along the way.
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