Posted on November 10, 2015
There was recently a thread on "The Wall" of the industry website heatinghelp.com entitled:
"Hiring Mechanics... Is there anyone out there at all these days?"
We posted this response:
It is well documented that there is a national shortage of technicians in the HVAC industry and other major trades. Yet, time after time, companies in our industry continue to actively look for experienced technicians. The truth is, that any good technician with experience is already working for another company. The ones, who are not working, are generally not worth hiring. If they couldn’t make it with one of your competitors, what makes you think they can make a positive contribution to your company? There is a logical step by step solution to the manpower shortage in our industry.
Step 1 is to stop trying to hire experienced technicians. They just aren’t out there. Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. The only answer is to attract new people into the industry, people that have the qualities necessary to be successful and to teach them how to do the job.
Step 2 is to ask yourself what are the qualities of a good technician? The answer is that good technicians have 3 things, strong mechanical ability, good attitude and work ethic and reasonably good people skills. That leads to the obvious question, are people with those qualities out there and if so how can I find them? The answer is that they are out there and through the use of effective employment ads, you can find them.
Step 3 is to write a compelling employment ad and place it in the correct job boards and media outlets for your geographic location. The key to writing a powerful employment ad is to describe the person you are looking for rather than the job. Our industry has a lot to offer prospective employees including high pay, benefits, independent work environment, challenging work and job security. If you write compelling employment ads you will be amazed at how many people will be interested in working for your company.
Step 4 is to screen applicants, for mechanical ability, attitude, people skills, driving record, criminal background and get effective references from previous employers. While this sounds difficult, with a little knowledge and imagination it is all very possible. After screening all the applicants
Step 5 is to interview and hire only those candidates who have the skills, attitude and desire to be excellent technicians. Once you hire the right people,
Step 6 is to teach them how to do the job. Generally, this is done using a mix of field experience plus a powerful online training program like the one offered by hvacredu.net. You might ask, what happens if I train them and they leave? The answer is, what happens if you don’t train them and they stay? In order to do a good job for your customers you must properly train your technicians. To insure that you get a return on your training investment, use a reimbursement agreement for all technicians who participate in your training program.
This systematic approach to hiring was developed, using trial and error, over a period of 14 years in my own business. Virtually every employee in my company was hired using this system. Since I provided you with the road-map detailed above, you can do it your business in a lot less than 14 years, or you can hire us to do it for you. The HireBetterNow Hiring System is being used by many companies around the country. The systematic use of this program, over time, can provide you with the new employees to accommodate growth and also upgrade the quality or your existing workforce.
HireBetterNow.com has teamed up with HVACRedu.net to offer a dynamic new program known as WorkForceUpgrade. The WorkForceUpgrade Program is the best solution for contractors and physical plant operators in the HVACR industry to upgrade the skills of existing technicians and to find, hire and train the right new technicians when needed.
An overview of the Workforce Upgrade Program is as follows:
Assess and evaluate aptitude, attitude and skills. Creation of a customized individual education plan for each employee.
Find, hire and train (on an accelerated basis) applicants that have the mechanical aptitude, work ethic and people skills necessary to become excellent technicians.
We guarantee that if you follow the policies and procedures of the WorkForceUpgrade Program all existing and new technicians will become NATE certified/or your money back.