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November 15, 2018

 

Best Resources for Hiring HVAC Technicians

Discover the best places to look for HVAC hires!

Best Resources for Hiring HVAC Technicians

In the HVAC business, finding the right people to work for you represents a massive challenge. On the one hand, you need employees to grow your business. On the other, if you choose the wrong hire, it could hurt you in the long run. To make the hiring process more manageable, we compiled a list of common questions you might have as you hire your first HVAC techs.

What tools should business owners use when hiring HVAC technicians?

The short answer here: whatever you have at your disposal. Ask around and talk to people you know. While you may not want to poach from the competition, someone you know might know an HVAC tech looking for a change. Social media can help with this, so don’t hesitate to dig in. Get on the forums and participate in conversations about HVAC problems or the HVAC industry in general. The final step? Job sites. Post on all of them.

Which job sites should you use?

Lots of different online job sites exist to help you with staffing issues. Many of them serve as general job listing portals. Indeed is one example. Indeed currently has over 67,000 HVAC jobs listed in the United States. ZipRecruiter is another option. That site features more than 47,000 HVAC open positions. You might also stumble across a site like HVAC Agent which dedicates itself to helping companies like yours find qualified HVAC workers. You could also try a more general site, like Craigslist. Craigslist doesn’t exactly have a sterling reputation for reliability or quality, but you could luck out by placing an ad there, so why not go for it?

Should you use offline job resources?

While online job resources can work effectively, they are not the only answer. Think about branching out and talking to some of the local schools in your area. Consider hiring people who don’t have experience but are willing to learn.

“Finding employees with experience is almost an impossibility, even with $5,000 sign-on bonuses available,” says Scott Merritt, owner of the Columbus, Ohio-based Fire & Ice Heating & Air Conditioning. “We have searched far and wide for the answer to this problem. We had no other choice but to train new technicians from scratch. If you have a good work ethic and a good attitude, we will train you on the rest.” Merritt says that recruiting is a full-time job these days.

How much (if anything) should you pay to promote your listings?

If you want to advertise for an HVAC technician, it will usually cost you something. Unlike other types of advertisements, there is no pay for performance here. Employment website Glassdoor characterizes candidate-hunting as a “post and pray” recruitment model.

“Single job listings posted on a site for a set period of time for a flat fee – regardless of where the job shows up, how many interested candidates click, or what kind of results are delivered as measured by data like applicants or clicks – can be a great way to get your open position online quickly and effectively,” says Glassdoor. “Recognize, however, that with over 40,000 job boards online that come and go on a daily basis – there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure your investment is well spent.”

Some job boards cost hundreds each month to promote your job listings. Others charge per position listed. In either case, you need to make sure you get quality responses to your ads. So, do your research! How many people look for HVAC positions on each site? Is that number increasing or decreasing? How much does it cost? What are the terms of your agreement? Can you cancel at any time?

Otherwise, use your common sense. Try the free sites first. If you still can’t find qualified applicants, start paying for listings.

When making the listing, what should you ask prospects to submit?

As you draw up the listing for your HVAC technician position, think about the qualities you want a new hire to possess. You could be like Merritt above and set out to train your new hires, but that takes time and money. Instead, you could advertise for a licensed HVAC technician so that your new hire can get straight to work with minimal training.

For an HVAC professional, look for one of the following certifications:

HVAC Excellence: This certification has a professional level as well as a master specialist level. An HVAC Excellence Professional has to have two years of experience working in the field and must pass a test in one of the recognized specialties, like heat pump service. HVAC Excellence Master Specialists have earned the Professional designation and put in an additional three years of field experience.

North American Technician Excellence: Also called NATE, this certification is nationally-recognized. While not a legal requirement, techs can demonstrate their working knowledge in air conditioning, air distribution, or gas furnaces.

How important is a well-written cover letter for a job that doesn’t involve any real writing or written communication?

You might not care how well your HVAC technicians write or whether they can write good cover letters, but you probably should. The way a potential hire writes this important document tells you how well they know the HVAC business. For instance, did they spell out acronyms accurately? Did they detail their training? It also demonstrates attention to detail. Should you really hire someone who would apply to a job with spelling errors in the cover letter or make some other glaring mistake? Probably not.

Remember, your reputation is on the line with each HVAC technician you send out on a call. Make sure you hire a good one. Your future as a company depends on it.

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