You’ve built a thriving electrician business but can’t keep up with the phone ringing off the hook? It’s time to start staffing up to meet demand! Electrician hiring is its own skill set, but this complete handbook will help you master it.
If you’re hiring your first employee, or you’re growing your team even larger, we’re here to discuss how to build a world-class team of electricians.
With this electrician hiring guide in your hands, we’ll show you:
- How to write an effective electrician hiring ad
- Where to look for potential electrician candidates
- Interview techniques to reveal the best fit for your electrician business
- Best practices in onboarding and integrating new hires into an existing team
- When to coach underperformers and when it might be time to cut ties with an employee
Now, let’s discuss how to make the best electrician hiring decisions for your business.
Know When It’s Time to Begin Electrician Hiring
For those looking to hire your first employee, there’s a few housekeeping items to sort before starting.
Most importantly, you need to be legally ready to offer employment. In the U.S., your business needs an EIN (Employment Identification Number). If you operate in Canada, you’ll need an SIN (Social Insurance Number).
After submitting the required paperwork and getting government clearance to hire, ask yourself these questions:
- Are existing clients happy with your services?
- Are you or current employees feeling overworked?
- Do you have a proper electrician hiring process in place?
- Do you have enough resources to properly train a new electrician?
- Is your business growing fast enough to put another full-time electrician to work?
- Can your business withstand the short-term profit loss that comes with training new employees?
These questions will help demonstrate if you need the help, and if your services are scalable, before you begin hiring additional employees.
Be prepared for the additional responsibilities associated with onboarding new employees.
These responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- Putting the new hire on payroll
- Brushing up on current human resources rules
- Satisfying local government requirements for hiring a new electrician
Even if you’ve hired employees in the past (or if it’s been a while), it’s important to stay current on local rules and regulations concerning hiring.
How to Find and Hire the Best Electricians
Once you’ve decided it’s time to begin hiring electricians, you need to know where to look for the best candidates.
Attracting the right electricians to work for your business is like marketing your business to potential clients.
1. Use Marketing to Attract the Best Candidates
Marketing your electrician business to potential candidates mirrors the messaging you’d use with potential clients. Competitive rates still apply, only now these are in the context of compensation.
Plus, you can spotlight career advancement opportunities and your healthy organizational culture when framing your electrician hiring ads.
Generate attention for the positions you’re looking to fill with:
- Social media posts about open positions on sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram
- Showcase great reviews that confirm you’re a reliable business with happy clients
- Build on a strong social media presence and website to build trust and reputation
- Distribute door hangers and post flyers on local bulletins in community centers and local trade schools
Your credibility will be verified by qualified professionals doing their due diligence. You’d expect nothing less from top-tier candidates. So create a searchable collection of great content across the web (if needed, hire an intern or part-time freelancer).
2. Advertise Available Positions
When it comes down to it, be explicit in what you’re offering as part of your employment package.
Smart electricians searching for their next career opportunity want a simple list of perks to differentiate offers between potential employers. Make sure you create a punchy list that stands out against other job ads in your area.
Here’s an example of an effective hiring ad that you can steal and modify to make your own:
Are you a certified electrician? How would you like a better job with a friendly electrician business? Here are 17 reasons you should work for [electrician business name]:
- Get paid weekly.
- Health insurance.
- Our clients love us.
- 401k retirement plan.
- We focus on quality work.
- Holiday AND vacation pay.
- We’ve never missed payroll.
- Access to full-time mechanics.
- We speak English and Spanish.
- In-house equipment maintenance.
- We’re friendly and easy to work with.
- You get to use NEW equipment every year.
- The harder you work, the more money you make.
- Our electricians have been with us a long time.
- We’re a fast growing business and post positions internally first.
- We offer on-the-job training to help you continue growing towards master electrician.
- We offer a clear career path with many opportunities to move up as you learn new skills.
Call XXX-XXX-XXXX to start your new job with [electrician business name]. Positions fill up FAST, so call today!
An electrician hiring ad like the one above casts a wide net for the type of professional you’re hoping to attract.
3. The Subtle Art of Finding Great Candidates
Sometimes, the hardest part of hiring is knowing where to look for candidates. The key is to identify the type of professional you want to welcome into your business.
If you’re open to apprenticeships, or fresh-faced recruits, put some flyers up in the cafeteria or bulletin area of local trade schools. Each semester, there will be a fresh crop of hungry and skilled tradespeople looking to get their feet wet in the real world.
Also, if you have a close relationship with your vendors, then speak up! Even if your vendor doesn’t directly have someone that fits the bill, they might know someone looking for an opportunity.
It’s true, networking and referrals are the most important tools when creating a great team of electricians.
Even including a small blurb that mentions you’re hiring on normal advertisements could yield a few prospects. You never know who clients know. Suddenly, you’ll get calls from neighbors, nephews, daughters, and even grandchildren of clients.
And who knows, even clients themselves might turn into prospective candidates. You don’t know until you ask, so just start asking.
The Importance of Avoiding Favoritism in Electrician Hiring
Avoid offering positions to friends and family. If you’re in the early days of building out a team of electricians, you’ll likely want to steer clear of anyone with personal connections in your life.
All too frequently, close acquaintances can undermine your authority and expect special treatment.
“Time off, missed deadlines, coming in late, going home early, or even a higher level of authority and decision making than their position would normally allow are just a few of these potential expectations that come to mind,” notes Brad Egeland of Zenbusiness. “It can end up costing you clients if you’ve trusted important work to them that they let fall through the cracks.”
Once you have an established team and developed experience coaching and mentoring employees, then cautiously consider adding family and friends to the ranks.
4. A Word on Interview Preparations
So your ads have generated quite a response from great candidates.
Before setting a date and time for a phone interview, you may feel inclined to do a quick Google search on the candidate.
An unfortunate cost of doing business these days is some people feel that hiring an individual means you approve of all behavior on and off the clock.
And you certainly don’t want the townsfolk with pitchforks at your door because you didn’t research a potential candidate.
But do not do that! “Viewing a candidate’s social media profiles, especially before you meet the candidate in person, could subject your organization up to a discrimination lawsuit,” explains Diane Faulkner, an expert in human resources and labor laws.
This is one of those instances where ignorance is bliss. Plausible deniability in electrician hiring practices is the safest bet here.
Electrician Hiring: How to Conduct a Great Interview
There’s a considerable stack of great-seeming candidates collecting in your inbox. Now, it’s time to whittle that stack down, because you don’t have time to see every single one face-to-face.
Step 1: Conduct Quick Phone-Screen Interviews
The purpose of a quick phone screen before setting up an in-person interview is to sort out those that obviously won’t fit with your electrician business.
This isn’t a replacement for a full interview, so there’s no need to be exhaustive in your questions. Here’s a quick list of ideas to ask each candidate:
- What electrician experience do you have?
- What licenses and certifications do you have?
- Have you apprenticed and become a journeyman?
- Why do you think you’re a good fit for our company?
- Are you interested in becoming a master electrician?
- What unique skills or interests would you bring to the team?
Again, this phone screen isn’t a replacement for a full interview. This will just give you a good sense of how serious a candidate is about the position.
Once you reach the end of your questions, ask if they have any of their own. If you have a good feeling about this candidate, then schedule a time to meet in person for a full interview.
Step 2: Hold an In-Person Interview
Now, you’ve sifted through the interested applicants, and narrowed it down to potential candidates. The in-person interviews are where you really get to know how well each person will fit within your electrical business.
And there’s plenty to learn about each person even before anyone opens their mouths.
- Are they punctual?
- Do they have a professional attitude?
- Are they clean and appropriately dressed?
- Do they have the necessary electrician credentials?
Here’s a selection of questions to pepper in to your interview:
- Why do you want to leave your current job?
- What types of tools and equipment have you worked with and for how long?
- Why are you excited to work for my electrician business?
- What would you bring to the business?
- In the past, how have you handled a situation where a client was wrong or upset you?
- What makes you different from the other electricians applying for this job?
- Can you drive manual transmission? (if applicable)
- Pitch me an upsell service on a job.
- Are you legally able to work in the United States, or do you have/need a visa?
- Could you give me four references – two professional, two personal?
Don’t feel the pressure to offer anyone a job on the spot, even if you’ve really got a good feeling about certain candidates. Give yourself the courtesy to meet all the candidates before making any final decisions. This is helpful when you’ve only got a few positions to fill.
That said, be sure to extend an offer within 48 hours to those you feel most strongly about.
Pro Tip! Hiring an eager, newly experienced electrician does have its pros and cons, but make sure you have the necessary resources to train them.
How to Make Great Electricians Want to Work for You (and Keep the Ones You Already Have)
Finally, you’re ready to offer employment to those great candidates you found, but before you do, make sure you know what a competitive offer looks like.
After all, great employees are hard to entice, and accidentally lowballing an offer to a great candidate may make them run straight to one of your competitors.
These are some of the best electrician hiring tips to make great candidates want to work for you:
Properly Pay Your Electricians
Sounds simple, right? Well, you’ll actually need to balance many factors into that final amount.
- Expected workload
- Candidate experience
- Service location
Also, don’t forget that compensation includes more than just that number on a bi-weekly check.
Benefits packages and other employment perks can help create an atmosphere that candidates would jump to enjoy.
Also, leadership plays into the desirability of employment at your company. Are you a servant leader? Do you strive to always better yourself for your team? Do you obey all overtime regulations when scheduling and dispatching?
Often, the best electricians seek great leaders even more than the maximum amount on their paycheck when choosing a place to work.
Give Electricians the Right Perks and Benefits
Speaking of those perks and benefits, here’s a few you could offer as part of your employment compensation package:
- Gain a reputation for providing quality electrician services
- Reward your team’s loyalty with annual raises beyond the standard cost of living adjustment
- Offer perks they can’t find anywhere else (i.e. snacks, swag, recognition awards)
- Give your team a piece of your success (i.e. performance pay like spiffs or commissions for upsells)
- Cultivate a healthy organizational culture that keeps your employees engaged, encourages them to help each other, and feel heard
- Provide a clear career path for your electricians to demonstrate advancement opportunities
When your team feels properly compensated, appreciated, and recognized, they’re less likely to leave you for one of your competitors.
When It’s Time to Coach an Employee or Part Ways
Not everyone is going to be a perfect fit. And even that flawless sounding candidate might struggle aligning with your current culture.
As a leader, it’s up to you to understand when it’s time to coach an employee. Also, you’ll need to develop the skill of knowing when coaching just isn’t working.
Here are a few items to check before having any hard conversations:
- Has this employee been given clear and direct expectations?
- Have they been trained appropriately on all matters pertaining to their role?
- Do you see any improvement from the day you hired them?
- Is this a matter of a role mismatch or a culture-fit issue?
- Are they receptive or resistant to coaching?
- At this point, are they costing your company more than they’re contributing?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll have a good idea on the value in coaching this team member. Or, unfortunately, it might be time to part ways.
Terminating employment for a team member is never fun. If handled poorly, it can cause a negative morale ripple effect across your remaining team. However, leaving a toxic employee in place can also create a negative work environment and cost clients as well.
While it is always best to salvage a working relationship with an employee, know when to cut your losses.
How to Performance Manage an Employee
Be sure to exhaust all tools available to you before terminating any electrician employee:
- Create a performance improvement plan for the employee in question
- Identify key checkpoints with quantifiable metrics for improvement in the short term
- Perform weekly one-on-ones during this coaching process
- Refrain from openly discussing the performance coaching with other members of staff
- Make sure the coached employee feels supported by leadership
- Set a specific date in the near future to discuss progress or next steps
When it comes down to it, treat the termination process as a solemn duty. The outgoing employee deserves respect even when they’re being fired. Your remaining members of staff will appreciate your tact, and may view you as a more dependable leader in the process.
BONUS: Hire the Best Executive Assistant or Office Manager for Your Electrician Business
A tough decision for any service business is deciding when to hire your first administrative staff member.
It’s difficult because this person doesn’t directly perform the services you’re advertising. So the cost to value for an admin position can make it hard to know when your business is ready.
Before hiring an executive assistant or office manager, think about how much time you spend doing office work… How many hours do you spend answering phones, responding to emails, or updating client information in your electrician software?
Now, think about the average office manager wage in your area. For the sake of this example, we’ll say it’s $14 an hour. Executive assistants or office staff allow you to spend more time growing your business. With that time, you can:
- Sell more work
- Serve more clients
- Focus on reaching goals
Ask yourself: How valuable is your bandwidth to focus on business growth?
How to Find and Manage an Executive Assistant
The search for excellent administrative staff means you’ll be looking for slightly different qualifications. You’ll want an assistant that is:
- Friendly and personal (in-person AND by phone)
- Tech-savvy (needs to be able to use your electrician software)
Since an assistant or manager will spend their days in the office, make sure the candidate is a natural conversationalist and brightens the mood in the office just by their presence.
And to keep them on task, make sure you circle up with them every morning. During your daily chats with your executive assistant, be sure to ask these key questions:
- What did you get done today?
- Is anything preventing your progress?
- What is on your list to get done tomorrow?
These questions will help you pinpoint how your executive assistant or manager is doing as well as anything they’re struggling with or need to get done.
And give your office staff the best tool to grow your electrician business. See how much FieldEdge can help with a FREE personalized demo today!
Use This Electrician Hiring Guide to Start Hiring the Best Employees Now!
Our electrician hiring guide educates you on how to find, hire, and keep the best employees for your business.
Hiring a new employee can seem intimidating. So use this guide to help ease you through the process of finding the best candidates.
This guide ensures that you’re:
- Asking the right questions
- Attracting the right candidates
- Hiring the best candidates for you
- Following the right steps for new hires
Now, get out there and start hiring the best employees for your electrician business!