HVAC Office Manager Job Description: How to Recruit and Retain the Best
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Your HVAC office manager acts as the hub of your team for your residential and commercial HVAC company, scheduling jobs and dispatching technicians for greatest efficiency and profit.
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As the national trade labor shortage continues to affect the HVAC industry, recruiting and retaining quality employees—especially office managers—should be top priority. Hiring the right HVAC office manager ensures your customers remain satisfied and your team works together effectively.
HVAC office managers represent your company to customers and play a key role in customer satisfaction. One study shows 90% of people use customer service as a factor when deciding whether to do business with a company. Conversely, 58% of consumers switch companies because of poor customer service.
Follow these best practices to ensure top-quality HVAC office manager hires, so your HVAC service company can boost efficiency and grow:
Identify Key Traits
Focus on Recruitment
Maximize the Interview
Optimize CSR Training
Enhance Customer Experience
Measure Company Success
Define your HVAC Office Manager Job Description
Before you begin searching for a full-time HVAC office manager, determine key skill sets for your dispatcher and customer service representative positions.
HVAC office managers and dispatchers typically earn $15 to $30 an hour, depending on the company's size and geographic location.
An office administrator or office management job entails multitasking, advanced communication skills, excellent customer service skills, and efficient time management. Applicants must display the ability to work as a team player in coordinating service calls, as they communicate with customers, HVAC service managers, and technicians.
Minimum office manager or administrative assistant qualifications typically include a high school diploma or equivalent, and two years of experience in dispatch or customer service. Depending on the company, some require a bachelor's degree or more years of experience.
Many HVAC companies require applicants to be proficient in computer skills, such as Microsoft Office and Excel, QuickBooks, and cloud-based call booking software, so they can efficiently manage critical data.
Identify Key Traits
Establish behaviors for role
Keep focus during interview and hiring
Before your company starts the hiring process, decide what behaviors you need for the job.
That's the advice of Kathy Nielsen, business development consultant and operations expert at Operations Excellence LLC. In a recent ServiceTitan "Toolbox for the Trades" podcast, she explained the importance of employee assessments and CSR training.
“That’s a big mistake companies make—they don’t first determine what behaviors they want in a role," says Nielsen, who has worked as a CSR/dispatcher, bookkeeper, office manager, and general manager.
For the dispatcher role, Nielsen says you should seek good rule followers who can be taught to dispatch for profit, not just to get someone out to a job as soon as possible.
“I look for dispatchers who are very people-oriented, but don’t overshare,” she says. “I don’t want them on the phone for 20 minutes trying to book a call.”
Decide which traits are the most important for your HVAC office manager, then use that information to help frame your job postings and decision-making during the interviewing and hiring process.
“As business owners, we invest so much money in marketing to get the phone to ring, but if your CSRs are not capturing those calls and seizing those opportunities, you’re wasting your money,” she says.
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Focus on Recruitment
Keep an "always hiring" mindset
Reward employees for referrals
To stay on top, HVAC companies should stay on the lookout for quality employees.
Tommy Mello, host of the "Home Service Expert" podcast, says business owners in the trades should make recruiting top talent a core business function.
“Some people say, ‘always be closing.’ I say, ‘always be recruiting,’” explains Mello, who gives employees $1,500 for a new hire referral.
While many companies focus on online job postings for HVAC office jobs, word-of-mouth through service technicians and other employees is one of the best ways for HVAC recruitment.
“We always tell our employees to be talking to the waitress when they have good service at Chili's, or wherever you take your car and get excellent service,” says Brad Pesek, CFO of McWilliams & Son in Texas. “Even though we may not have a position now, we're always hiring. We teach our employees to always be recruiting for team members.”
His company pays employees up to $1,000 for referrals who get hired, and team members get an annual $2,000 bonus for every anniversary of their referral’s hire date.
“It definitely creates connections and mentorships,” Pesek relates. “Employees want to make sure they keep getting that bonus, so they check in with that person and make sure they’re doing all right. We’ve seen a lot of success with this.”
Recruiting HVAC office managers in a competitive hiring market requires a detailed and compelling job description. Save time writing your job description and make it simple with this customizable HVAC office manager job description template.
HVAC Office Manager
The HVAC Office Manager is a professional member of a franchise team. This individual is responsible for the management of all areas of the financial and accounting operations, which includes accurate and timely financial reporting. This individual is also directly responsible for internal controls, policies, processes and procedures.
The HVAC Office Manager is responsible for planning and organizing the activities of the accounting operations to include budgeting, performing month-end close, assessment of proper revenue recognition, and safeguarding all company assets.
► Primary responsibilities:
Prepares financial statements, including but not limited to, balance sheet reconciliations.
Plans, organizes, and coordinates all activities of the general accounting function to ensure accurate and timely recording and reporting of all financial results for the Business Unit/ organization.
Manages the day-to-day operations of the related general ledger accounts, including A/R, A/P, purchases, and P&L activity.
Implements controls and testing/monitoring, including but not limited to, procurement approvals, inventory testing (including counts and obsolescence), operating and payroll disbursements such as use of petty cash and local bank accounts.
Helps to create accurate budgets that allow for the clear understanding of what must be delivered by our management team to meet organizational goals.
Identifies process improvements and efficiencies, including the implementation of new systems and advises management with regards to resource utilization, tax strategies, and the assumptions underlying budget forecasts.
Manages various systems used in the accounting process and implements enhancements as required by growth and expansion.
Ensures data accuracy and consistency for all related accounting functions.
Maintains current and accurate accounting records and support.
Leads and mentors members of the administrative team including, but not limited to, Administrative Assistants or Accounting employees.
Attracts, develops, and retains competent and committed staff members.
Assists in the audit of the Business Unit’s/operations financial records and works effectively with outside auditors.
Performs special projects and addresses ad hoc responsibilities as requested.
Develops and maintains strong, collaborative relationships with functional and departmental leaders.
Always maintains a professional image by:
Following safety policies and procedures.
Abiding by ALL standards of performance and code of ethics.
Maintaining a courteous demeanor with all customers and associates.
Participates in ALL company-sponsored training classes.
► Required knowledge, skills and abilities:
Minimum of six to 10 years accounting experience, with at least two years management experience
Technically adept in all areas of accounting and financial management including, financial analysis, budgeting, reporting and risk assessments.
Knowledge of and experience with policies, procedures, and sound systems of internal controls.
Quantitative financial analysis experience.
Ability to analyze financial data and prepare financial reports, statements and projections.
Strong computer skills including knowledge of computer financial applications and proficiency in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access.
Proficient use of accounting systems including AP, AR, GL and Inventory.
Background in building a team culture through recruitment, motivation, and training of staff.
Excellent verbal and written communication skills as well as excellent interpersonal skills.
Valid driver’s license and a clean driving record.
Ability to pass a background check and drug screen.
► Educational/certification requirements:
Bachelor’s degree in accounting or equivalent work experience.
► Environmental conditions:
General office environment.
► Physical requirements:
Ability to stand, walk, and climb.
Ability to continually bend, kneel, stoop, stretch, climb, twist, and reach.
Natural or corrected vision to see and focus for close, distance, peripheral vision with normal depth perception.
Motivate employees and attract recruits
Create a positive company culture
Developing a positive work environment and incentivizing team goals motivates employees and attracts potential recruits.
“I think attracting and keeping employees is just like attracting new customers and keeping existing ones,” says Tom Howard, ServiceTitan Vice President of Customer Experience and co-founder of the consulting group Blue Collar Profits.
Employees thrive with instant positive feedback, so his company used ServiceTitan’s automated text messages to alert the entire sales staff every time someone on the team made a sale. In another case, the company instituted a yearlong competition where employees were entered in a drawing and awarded prizes.
A positive company culture interests top-tier talent, as employees want to be valued and rewarded for their work. Find creative ways to motivate and reward employees, and drive success for your entire company.
Maximize the Interview
Ask the best questions to spotlight skills
Determine the best fit for your company
Office managers play a crucial role in the efficiency of your HVAC office operations. Use the interview process to find out whether your applicant is the best fit for your HVAC company's office staff.
Ask the right questions. Open-ended and situational questions give applicants opportunities to showcase their problem-solving abilities and attitudes about customer satisfaction.
While it might be helpful for your CSRs to possess HVAC knowledge, they don't need advanced knowledge of heating or refrigeration—that's where your HVAC installer or HVAC technician comes in. They do need to know how to turn customer calls into new jobs, and coordinate jobs with project managers and service technicians.
Gauge an applicant's proficiency with ServiceTitan's cloud-based HVAC service software, which enables streamlined communication with technicians in the field.
Optimize CSR Training
Set a training budget and schedule
Improve communication as a team
For residential and commercial HVAC companies, employees are their greatest assets. Invest in your employees by budgeting and scheduling an intentional training schedule.
Contracting experts suggest companies budget 1%-2% of total revenue or 3%-5% of an individual's compensation package toward training.
For HVAC office managers, team training meetings improve customer communication.
For instance, at The Happy Outlet in Nevada, customer service representatives meet weekly to review numbers and booking rates. Since the company uses ServiceTitan's call booking software, they listen to two recorded calls at the meeting to determine how CSRs could have better managed the calls.
"The recorded calls are so beneficial to everybody in the office, especially customer service," says Rebecca Tenorio, dispatcher and CSR. "If somebody isn't happy—which rarely happens—we're able to go back and listen to all of those phone calls we've had with that client to see where the miscommunication occurred, or what we can do to improve."
Consider industry sources to enhance training in diverse areas, so your employees improve, grow, and succeed.
Enhance Customer Experience
Personalize a customer's experience
Streamline communication and reviews
Quality HVAC office managers enhance the customer's experience with your company. Increase personalization, and customer satisfaction, by capturing key information and sharing it with technicians or others who make contact with the customer.
With ServiceTitan's customer experience software, CSRs can see if the customer is a homeowner or landlord, and make individual notes about the property. A technician can even bring treats for a homeowner's dog or coloring books for their children.
“The CSR collects the info and then it can be shared with the entire company,” says Vanessa Gonzales, co-founder and co-owner of Albuquerque Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, in a recent ServiceTitan webinar on boosting profit. “The investment that we made in getting a better software that can elevate our customer experience paid off ten-fold."
In addition, CSRs can text customers a bio of the technician coming to their home, complete with a photo, and exactly when the technician will arrive. Once a job is complete, send customers a link to your company’s preferred review site to generate more five-star reviews.
Measure Company Success
Streamline tasks from office to field
Track KPIs to evaluate growth
Give your HVAC office manager the tools they need to increase efficiency from the office to the field.
Use payroll and timesheet software synced with the dispatch board, so office managers know when techs sign off for the day. Simplify payroll tasks, such as tailored pay structures, and automate performance pay or bonuses.
Service agreement software enables technicians to customize customer service agreements and upgrade preventive maintenance memberships, streamlining communication between techs and office staff.
Track return on investment from every marketing campaign with ServiceTitan's home services marketing software, so you can focus your marketing dollars on those that yield the highest revenue.
Use ServiceTitan to monitor key performance indicators, enabling your HVAC company to make data-driven decisions to drive team success and generate growth.