“I NEED HELP! Proven Methods to Find and Keep Experienced Residential Technician, Plumbers and Electricians” was a free morning educational seminar given January 23 at AHR Expo 2018. The seminar was presented by the Women in HVACR organization, and presented by Trevor Flannigan, COO of HomeServiceChats.
Flannigan is a big fan of FaceBook as a recruiting tool. While it doesn’t narrow down prospective employees by keyword, it does have tools to match a recruiter’s hiring needs. It is both inexpensive and allows the user to target their search by geography.
To reach out to prospectives, Flannigan suggests using video. Videos should be hosted by your company’s FaceBook page, not your personal page. Assign an office employee to maintain the post and its responses.
Craigslist and LinkedIn are also solid recruiting tools. A 30-day post on Craigslist is $400, but it will typically not find employees with technical service skills. Use it to find your office staff, accounting and general managers.
The advantage of LinkedIn is that you can better tailor your company’s profile to attract talent. Also, you can ask others in your network to share your post.
Supply houses are a great place to put up posters to attract those valuable employees with technical skills. Make sure the posters look professional, and that they talk about positive aspects of your company culture. Be sure to mention any recruitment bonuses your company may offer, such as “Work X number of days, receive $X amount of cash.”
Buy lists of licensees and/or recent technical school graduates. Direct mail has a surprisingly good success rate at making that all-important initial point of contact.
Try to put yourself in the shoes of your prospective employees. How is a potential employee who wears a uniform and has calls from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm supposed to show up for a 2:00 pm interview far outside his call zone?
People quit bosses more than they quit companies.
Be proactive when it comes to hiring. The fastest way to find yourself with a sub-par employee on your hands is by rushing the process when you’re desperate for new help. Establish a hiring pipeline. Set up coffee dates for just a chat with potential recruits. Meet one or a couple after work hours just for an informal talk. Then, when you are actually in a hiring mode you’ll already be a step ahead.
Build a recruitment business within your business. Start by defining goals. Determine who will do it. The owner or general manager are best, because they know the business inside-out. (The founder of HomeServicesChat.com still does it for his business.) Whoever is in charge, they need some system in place to hold them accountable.
Try to think of prospective employees as customers. If people contact you wanting to work with you how long are you going to wait to contact them? Three days? Three weeks? No! Call them that day, because you want to get to know them. Why else do you have a careers page on your website?
Then there’s empathy. Don’t get upset if the person applied three weeks ago to your position but isn’t available now. Both sides of the hiring equation are important. Make sure the front desk staff is as courteous to prospective recruits as it is to your prospective customers, and that there’s a designated quiet space to conduct interviews.
Too many contractors think that because certain practices are common in the industry there’s no point in trying to do better. Case in point: the best time to hire is in the off season. Yes, this will confuse your current staff, but explain to them that you’re taking this down time for training and getting the new recruits orientated. That way when the busy season starts they will be able to hit the ground running.
And always remember: people quit bosses more than they quit companies.