We’ve all heard stories from friends in the dating game (or you may have experienced it yourself): you’ve been speaking with a great girl (or guy) for a couple of weeks and then out of nowhere, radio silence. No more phone calls, texts go unanswered, missed meetups, calls go straight to voicemail, well you get the point. The popular term for this is called ghosting; cutting ties with someone when you no longer want anything to do with them- harsh, but a sad reality.
Ghosting hasn’t just taken over the love world; companies across North America have increasingly experienced this growing phenomenon.
The job market is hot and a candidate-driven market, particularly in the skilled trades, such as HVAC/R. Service Technicians and Installers know they hold the power and what were acceptable hiring job practices five or ten years ago, are no longer true today. Companies on average now experience 20 – 25% of candidates suddenly disappearing from the hiring process, even if a job offer has been rolled out.
Here are seven simple tips your company can do to avoid this:
- Time Kills Deals…And Hires
The #1 reason applicant’s ghost employers are long hiring processes. Reduce the number of interviews required to ideally just one, but no more than two. Technicians, Installers, and/or Subcontractors should meet with the Service Manager/Hiring Authority, and if possible, have a lead Technician present at the interview as well so a hiring decision can be made quickly, if not on the spot. With a shortage of skilled HVAC candidates, Technicians are often leaving one interview to walk across the street to another company and leave with a job offer in hand. Remember, top talent is often employed, so be respectful of their time and reduce the amount of time they have to take off work to interview.
If a Service Manager is on vacation or out of the office, have a contingency plan in place to keep the hiring process moving and the candidate interested. Have HR, a Lead Technician, or another Manager complete a phone interview in your absence. Candidates have many options to them and you want to make sure your company has a fighting chance as being an employer of choice.
2. Responsive Hiring Process
As the saying goes, strike while the iron is hot. Responding to qualified candidates the day they apply, and setting up an interview quickly will make sure your competitor’s don’t get to them first. Consistent communication using a variety of means (phone, text, email, LinkedIn, etc.) throughout the process will keep the candidate warm and engaged.
Provide them with information on who they will meet during the interview, set clear hiring timelines so they know how long the process will realistically take, and more importantly, get feedback and check their ‘pulse’ throughout the process. Don’t assume all is good with them; ask if they have any concerns (i.e. cost of benefits, geographic service coverage, etc.) about the position or company and answer them right away.
3. Set Aside Your Ego
Consistent communication through phone, text, and email with candidates throughout the process will keep them ‘warm’ and interested – plus, it lets them know you are serious about their candidacy. If you don’t hear back from an otherwise engaged candidate, don’t be so quick to write them off. Pick up the phone or send a follow-up email to make sure they are OK.
Remember, HVAC professionals and top-notch applicants are bombarded by messages on a daily basis; they may have missed your message or got tied up, so don’t take it personally.
Experienced technicians have multiple options, that’s a fact. Make sure you’re transparent about the job and what your company offers. In other words, why should techs choose your company over other potential employers? Common factors that are strong determinants when choosing one offer over another include:
- What are the wages?
- Are there any additional perks or bonuses (i.e. SPIFFs, commission, etc)?
- When can they start?
- What benefits do you offer and how much does it cost?
- Do you offer a retirement/pension plan?
- Do you offer year-round work or guaranteed hours?
- What is the geographic service area?
- Do you offer ongoing training/apprenticeship opportunities?
5. Employer Brand Image
Who your company is, your values, culture, and vision should be reflected not only in your job description but across your website and social media platforms. The industry is tight and word of mouth spreads quickly; potential candidates will not only speak with others in the trade, they will check out your company’s Google reviews, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc., to see what clients and other employees are saying about your company and what it’s like to work there.
6. Get Real with Your Job Description
Be accurate with the job title, what the position entails, and what the working environment will be like. There’s no point trying to sugarcoat the job or over-promise (i.e. career advancement opportunities when there is none) because a new hire will quickly find out from fellow colleagues and may not return from their lunch break.
7. Your Approach
Avoid sending salesy, spammy, or generic messages to reach out to top talent – they know their worth and will not react positively if your message does not fit their experience.
Focus your candidate sourcing first on boomerangs (former desirable employees that you want to see return) and employee referrals as there is already a pre-existing relationship and they are less likely to ghost you.
When that fails, using a Recruiter to source top talent across multiple platforms can help fill your HVAC job openings. Data has shown candidates from certain sources are less likely to ghost a Recruiter; most likely because they know a Recruiter can help them throughout their career.
If your company is hiring HVAC Service Technicians, Installers, Fitters, Subcontractors, or Management and in need of help, we can help. Rockstar HVAC is dedicated to recruiting HVAC professionals across North America and has successfully partnered with small and large companies for their hiring needs. Give us a call at 1-833-937-3546 or check out our website at www.rockstarhvac.com for more details.
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