A good recruiter does so much more than place job ads and send invoices. A good recruiter will form a partnership with you and come up with an in-depth recruiting strategy tailored to your needs. Recruiters are particularly helpful with: Confidential Searches Relocations (Finding good candidates from across the country for your opportunity) Passive Candidates …
Help – Hiring Technicians
Advice, Tips and Help for Hiring HVAC Technicians, Installers and Gas Fitters.
Getting to the finish line with a tech and having them turn down an offer can be super frustrating. You went through the process, decided they would be a good fit and they rejected you. It is really easy to brush it off and say some sort of cliché like “it wasn’t meant to be” …
When you are hiring an HVAC Technician what is the most important thing to look for in a candidate? Is it experience or maybe training? Nope it’s attitude! Experience can be obtained, training can be taught but the right attitude is something that is ingrained in someone. I am not saying that experience/training is not …
A long hiring process can cause you to miss out on Rockstar Candidates. The best techs do not stay available for long, once they have decided it is time to make a move they are usually in with a new company soon. If you get the opportunity to hire a good tech you need to …
If you are Hiring an HVAC Technician a good interview can make sure you select the right one. To make sure it is a good interview you have to ask the right questions, this will not only give you a better idea of how good the tech is but will also show you how prepared they are.
When interviewing a HVAC Technician you need to find out about their:
- Technical Ability
- Customer Service Skills
Use to below questions when Recruiting HVAC Technicians to get the best results. They are not office workers so don’t use standard interview questions that are geared towards someone in an office.I have broken the interview questions into 3 categories:
- General Questions
- Behavioral/Situational Questions
- Technical Questions
It is important to have a mix of all three types of questions but also don’t ask them all grouped together, mix them up within the interview. At the very end I will include a template you can use that is designed with the flow of the interview in mind.
1. Why did you get into the trade?
This is an interesting question that can give you a lot of insight about their motivations and interests. It is also a good one to start the interview with to get the conversation started.
2. Why are you available or looking at new opportunities?
Did they just get fired, do they hate their boss, do they need more money, a different shift, closer to home etc. Their motivations for making a move are important and can be a good indication if they will be a long term fit with you.
3. What do you know about our company?
Did they do some research on you prior to interviewing? If so that is a good sign that they are serious. If not it is an indication that they just need a job and may not care who it is with.
4. Why do you want to work with us?
This gives you a good idea of not only their motivations but what your selling features are to other mechanics for future interviews.
5. What in your previous experience and/or training makes you feel you would be a good fit for us?
6. What are your wage expectations?
7. What shifts are you available for and what is your preferred shift?
8. If selected, when are you available to start?
If they are currently working you want them to say 2 weeks, if they say immediately that likely means they are not going to give their company notice which is a red flag. It may also just mean they know their company has a policy of not accepting notice and they could be available immediately.
9. Why did you leave your previous employers?
If they have routinely been terminated that is a red flag, if the same issue keeps coming up at multiple places that could also be a cause for concern.
10. Have you Ever Been Terminated From a Position Before?
11. Can you supply us with references?
Ask them to e-mail them to you, this will give you an example of their written communication and ability to follow direction. You can also see how serious they are about the job based on how quickly they get the references to you.
12. Do you have a valid driver’s license?
13. Do you have a clean driving record?
14. Is there anything that was not covered on your resume or in this interview that you feel we need to know?
Behavioral and Situational Based Questions
1. Tell me about a situation where you sacrificed safety for speed.
Don’t ask, have you ever sacrificed safety for speed, they will almost always say no, assume they have and see what they say.
2. Tell me about your favorite supervisor or manager that you have worked for, what made them great?
This will give you a good idea of what management style they respond best to, does this match up with your shops supervisor?
3. Tell me about a disagreement between you and another technician on the shop floor, how was it resolved?
4. You are working on a customer site and are late for the job. The reason you are late is not your fault but the customer is irate, how do you deal with them?
5. A Customer is angry about a bill, how do you deal with them?
6. Tell me about a time that you took ownership of a situation or took the lead on the floor without being asked to.
7. A customer job is taking longer than it should and you have somewhere that you need to be, what do you do?
8. What is one safety violation that you see happening often?
9. What can be done to ensure that this violation no longer happens?
10. What safety rule/procedure that is currently in place do you feel is unnecessary?
11. Are there any additional policies, procedures or rules that you think need to be put in place at your current employer to help improve safety?
If possible have a technical person with you for the interview, they can ask probing questions and get a good understanding if the person knows what they are talking about or not.
1. What types/brands/models of HVAC equipment do you have experience with? i.e. What Air Conditioner brands, what size units etc.
2. What types of repairs and maintenance do you have experience with? What type of repair do you specialize on?
3. What are your favorite jobs to do?
4. What are your least favorite jobs to do?
5. What Certification do you have and is it up to date?
As mentioned above you want to have the interview flow and be a mix of general, behavioral and technical questions. Start with some really easy questions, keep in mind the interviewee is going to be nervous so you want a couple that they can answer easily. This will get them talking and more comfortable.
Feel free to use the below for your next HVAC Technician interview. If you are having a hard time finding HVAC Technicians please see our article titled “How to Hire HVAC Technicians” or Contact Us to Get the Search for ROCKSTAR HVAC Technicians started.
1. Why did you get into the trade?
2. Why are you available or looking at new opportunities?
3. What types/brands/models of Equipment do you have experience working on?
4. What types of repairs and maintenance do you have experience with? What type of repair do you specialize on?
5. Tell me about your favorite supervisor or manager that you have worked for, what made them great?
6. What do you know about our company?
7. Why do you want to work with us?
8. Why did you leave your previous employers?
9. Have you ever been terminated from a position?
10. What are your favorite jobs to do?
11. What are your least favorite jobs to do?
12. Tell me about a disagreement between you and another mechanic on the shop floor, how was it resolved?
13. You are working on a customer site and are late for the job. The reason you are late is not your fault but the customer is irate, how do you deal with them.
14. A Customer is angry about a bill, how do you deal with them?
15. What is one safety violation that you see happens often?
16. What can be done to ensure that this violation no longer happens?
17. Tell me about a time that you took ownership of a situation or took the lead on the floor without being asked to.
18. A customer job is taking longer than it should and you have somewhere that you need to be, what do you do?
19. Tell me about a situation where you sacrificed safety for speed.
20. What safety rule/procedure that is currently in place do you feel is unnecessary?
21. Are there any additional policies, procedures or rules that you think need to be put in place at your current employer to help improve safety?
22. What Certifications Do you Have and are they valid/up to date?
23. Do you have a valid drivers License?
24. Do you have a clean driving record?
25. What in your previous experience and/or training makes you feel you would be a good fit for us?
26. What are your wage expectations?
27. What shifts are you available for and what is your preferred shift?
28. If selected, when are you available to start?
29. Can you supply us with references?
30. Is there anything that was not covered on your resume or in this interview that you feel we need to know?
Hiring HVAC Technicians is tough. For a super short cut used a good HVAC Recruiter, Rockstar HVAC and we will find you qualified HVAC Techs ASAP, if you are a do it yourself type then keep reading, I will give you the 7 step process we use to Hire HVAC Techs.
- Define the Role
- Find the Techs
- Interview the Best
- Select the Best of The Best
- The Offer Stage
- Constant Contact
- On Boarding
1. Define The Role
It is very hard to find something if you don’t know what you are looking for, too many companies skip this step and it costs them time and often ends up resulting in a bad hire.
There are lots of different kinds of HVAC Techs out there and what might be a Rockstar for someone else is not a fit for you. Sit down with your team and define what it is you need, including:
- Certification Required
- Additional Certification You Would Like to Have
- Scope of the job – Installation vs. Nice to Have
- Soft Skills Necessary – Customer Service, Organization etc.
- Specialties Needed – What does your company do a lot of i.e. do you mostly work on Carrier Products, if so it is important that they have experience working on Carrier Products
- Specialties that you don’t need – Don’t pay extra for a technician that has a specific type of Gas License if you don’t need that
2. Finding Technicians
Finding the HVAC Technicians to hire is the hardest part of the process and typically why a lot of companies enlist the help of a Recuiter like Rockstar HVAC. For an in depth guide on How to Find HVAC Techs to hire see our article on How To Find HVAC Techs. To give you a quick overview, here are the 5 main sources you can use:
- Posting On Job Boards
- Trade Schools
- Use a Recruiting Firm
More details on how each of these can be used is found in the article mentioned above. This is the hard part and where you may need to use a professional but it can be done.
3. Interview The Best
When you complete your search to Find HVAC Technicians, sit down with all of the resumes you have and schedule interviews with the best ones. You will ideally get all of the interviews scheduled over the course of a couple of days so that you can easily compare each candidate. A lot of the applications you receive are going to be garbage, delete them, those that look like they have the best experience, invite them in for interviews. Things to keep in mind when choosing who to interview:
- How pretty a resume is doesn’t matter, you need a Technicians who is good at repairs, their Microsoft Word formatting skills don’t matter
- Experience and Training are the most important things to look for on a resume
- Look out for gaps in employment and candidates that switch jobs too often
Tips for a successful interview:
- Try to have a technical person with you – They will be able to ask more in depth technical questions and should be able to tell you if the person knows what they are talking about
- Use the same set of questions for every interview so that you are grading each candidate on the same answers
- For a good set of Questions to ask a HVAC Tech Mechanic see our article ’28 Interview Questions to Ask a HVAC Technician’
- Save the answer sheet to compare against the next round of interviews, if your hire this time worked out well you will want to be able to go back and see what their answers were
- Sell the Job – HVAC Techs are in High Demand, make sure you give them reasons to choose your company over somewhere else. Be honest with this, tell them why you like working there.
- Give them a tour of the shop or show them the service trucks so they can start visualizing themselves in the job
- Ask them to send you references via e-mail
4. Select the Best of the Best
While finding the technicians may be the toughest part, this is the most important part, make sure you select the right candidate. When comparing the candidates you met with make sure you refer back to Step 1 – Define the Job and ask ‘Does this Technician Fit What we Need.’
Wants and needs are different things, way too often people hire the Technicians they like the best. The ‘like’ factor is a real thing but it shouldn’t be. Just because you have the same interests as a candidate and really hit it off does not mean they will be a good employee, that just means they might be a good friend and I have a bunch of friends who I love but would never hire.
Evaluate each as a potential employee not as a person you want to spend more time with.
Speed is another issue that comes up a lot, while selection is an important step it is also one that needs to be done quickly. Good technicians do not stay on the market for long, you have to move quick before your competitor does.
But I only interviewed one Technician, I need more to compare them to! This is something that I hear all the time and it can be a killer. With the mass shortage of HVAC Techs out there it is likely that you might only get 1 or 2 to interview.
If this happens compare them to the staff you already have, if they compare favorably or similarly to them they will probably make a good hire? One trick that works well is have your own internal mechanics answer your interview questions, how do their answers compare to the person you just interviewed?
If all else fails compare the candidate against the job description, if they tick the boxes, make them an offer.
5. The Offer Stage
This is the most delicate part of the process, you need to make sure your offer is good enough to get accepted but not so rich that it puts your company in financial trouble. Things to consider when making an offer:
- What do your other techs earn?
- What are the Average Pay Rates in your Area
- What is the Candidate Earning Now?
- What is your cost/profit margin?
When making an offer it should be higher than what the technician is earning now but not so high that it hurts your company or causes issues with other technicians. You can tell them all you want not to talk about pay, it will come out and when it does it shouldn’t cause a rift.
Do not try to low ball a candidate to get the negotiating started, most don’t like playing games, give them your best offer that you feel is fair and let them know that it is a take it or leave it offer.
A recruiter (head hunter) can really help here as they should have a good relationship with the tech and will know at what rate they will accept and at what rate they walk.
6. Constant Contact
This is the part that most of us suck at but it is essential in making sure the person actually starts. If you do all the work above and don’t stay in contact you are asking them not to start.
Give them a day or 2 to think about the offer and then follow up asking if they have any questions. Once you get acceptance of the offer stay in contact with them until they start. Try to call once a week (less if the start date is a couple of months away.) This shows them that you care and that you are excited to have them on board.
Do not call them just to say ‘you are still starting right?’ you do not want to look desperate. Have a question or two to ask and make sure they have all the info they need to start i.e. start time, what to bring on their first day etc. Questions you can ask to keep them on board:
- How did it go handing in notice?
- When would you like to move your tools into the shop?
- What is your uniform size so that we can have it ready for you when you start?
- Do you have any upcoming trips or appointments that you need booked off ahead of time?
- If they are relocating – how did it go with the move? did you find a new place ok?
- Do you have any questions prior to when you start?
If you don’t like the phone this can also be done via e-mail or text so long as the technician is responsive to e-mail.
This is another area that a good recruiter can really help with. They know they have a commission coming if that mechanic starts so the good ones are usually pretty good at protecting that.
7. On Boarding
First days are important, don’t screw them up. Make sure the technician knows where to go, who to report to and everything is ready for their first day. Before your technician accepted your offer they probably turned down a couple of others. If their first day, week or month doesn’t go great they may just pick up the phone and see if those other offers are still available (they will be.) All your hard work goes out the window if you don’t treat your techs right.
I hope this guide helps, if you are in the need of HVAC Techs ASAP, give us a call (833-762-5787) and we will get a search started for you immediately.