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.