The nationwide demand for HVAC technicians continues to increase due to new building construction, the retrofitting or replacement of old systems, and evolving environmental laws. There is a predicted 3.3 percent annual growth through 2021 in the commercial HVAC/R sector and the residential market is expected to exceed that of the commercial market. BLS projects a 15% increase in openings for HVAC technicians between now and 2026, more than double the average rate of growth for all occupations nationwide. If you own or manage an HVAC business these are concerning numbers when it comes to hiring.

There are around a half million Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers in the U.S. and in our current job market, these technicians want more than just a higher wage; they are also looking for a company that is innovative and able to offer better tools, reliability and steady work. It has been found that ninety seven percent of technicians are open to taking another job at any time, that number is staggering.

I encourage any owner or hiring manager to consider the following four ways to modify your recruiting and hiring efforts in order to find the right technicians for your business as the HVAC industry continues to grow.

Speed counts

Technicians have many job options out there and it is not uncommon for them to get more than three solicitations per week about work opportunities. In order to be competitive, your hiring process has to be extremely efficient. If your process of evaluating and converting candidates takes too long for ready to work prospective hires, it can mean the difference between acquiring a great new employee and losing them to a competitor whose hiring process is faster and more efficient.

Think outside the box

As the demand for HVAC technicians continues to grow, you will need to find new ways to expand your search for a talented workforce. One such way to do this is by looking at talent pools that are adjacent to the HVAC industry. Look at markets where the labor force may still require training for technical skills, but where they may already have intrinsic skills such as service orientation and temperament. Candidates that possess these harder to train, intrinsic skills can offer real growth potential in an industry struggling to meet hiring demands.

Create a referral program

The best technicians have a tendency to be effective at identifying their own skilled peers. A referral program can provide you with direct access to a large pool of talent through a cost effective, peer based recruiting channel. Developing a referral program takes a significant amount of up-front work and a deep understanding of acquisition cost but experience shows that referrals become a source of many of the best, most talented HVAC techs.

Don’t settle

The quality of people you hire will drive the success of your business. Even with the ever growing demand for technicians and a shrinking talent pool it is necessary to keep in mind that the service that your techs provide to clients is what your business reputation and brand is made up of. Keep your standards high, look for those amazing employees who find it personally fulfilling to provide exceptional service to clients. The investment made in great technicians will always benefit your business in the long run.

Centratel is an elite national telephone answering service located in Bend, Oregon. Centratel’s HVAC Answering Service assists hundreds of heating, ventilation and air conditioning businesses during and after-hours, throughout the United States and is, by a variety of statistics, the highest quality answering service available among the approximately 1,500 services nationwide.

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