As an independent HVAC contractor, you may find that your workload has become too much to handle. You’re probably working later and spending less time with your family and friends. If this sounds like you, it’s probably time to hire your first HVAC employee.
What an exciting milestone for an entrepreneur!
But how do you go about this sometimes stressful employee search? There’s a shortage of skilled workers today in all fields. Relax – just use these 5 easy-to-follow strategies to help you crush your first hiring event.
Let’s take a look at the following game plan to make sure you score with your first hire:
- Confirm you are ready to hire your first employee
- Nail down the exact qualifications you want in your first employee.
- Write a descriptive job ad that covers all the basics.
- Identify where to post your job ad
- Prepare yourself with interview questions to not only discover a candidate’s qualifications, but their character and work ethic
1. Making Sure You are Ready to Hire your First HVAC Employee
Before you hire your first HVAC technician, you need to be sure you’re ready to start the process.
This means you need to be covered from a legal perspective. If you’re in the United States, you’ll need an EIN (Employee Identification Number), and if you’re in Canada, you’ll need an SIN (Social Insurance Number).
Once you’ve ensured that can legally add somebody to your team, answer these questions to find out if it’s time to hire new HVAC technicians:
- Is your HVAC business growing fast enough to put a full-time technician to work?
- Do you have enough resources to properly train a new HVAC technician?
- Are your clients happy with your services?
- Can your business withstand the short-term profit loss that comes with training new employees?
- Do you have a proper hiring process in place?
- Be prepared to manage your new employee, put them on the payroll, and fulfill your government requirements for hiring a new HVAC technician (check your local laws to see what those are).
If the answer is yes to all of these questions, then you’re ready to hire a new HVAC technician.
2. Identify What You Want In Your First HVAC Employee
Before you can start the hiring process you need to figure out what you want in an employee. Do you want a vocational grad looking for his first job in the field? Or do you want someone with more experience who can help you with more difficult jobs?
Write down an exact job description complete with a pay range. Make sure you do your research on what an HVAC employee makes in your area!
Of course, you also have to consider your budget. How do you make sure you are hiring the best employee within your budget? What type of benefits will you offer?
You may not be able to afford the salary of a highly experienced HVAC tech as your very first hire. That’s okay! A new technician is often eager to learn and you can easily train them on your processes and systems. Their skills and knowledge will continue to grow alongside of your business.
3. Create a Killer Job Ad To Attract The Best Talent
What does a great job ad look like? Start by reading hiring ads from your competitors or HVAC connections. You may find some inspiration from what others are doing!
Then take the job details you wrote in step two. What job titles and skill requirements are aligned with what you wrote? Write a full description with what you find in your research!
Now you have researched job postings and have written exactly what you are looking for, you’re ready to start creating ads. Here are several tips for writing a job ad that really stands out among your competition:
- Match your job title to keywords you think a potential candidate will use
- Are you hiring for an HVAC apprentice, or an experienced HVAC Technician?
- Summarize your company
- Answer the question, “Why would someone want to work here?”
- Describe the job’s benefits as concisely as you can.
- Point out benefits such as paid time off, bonus pay, etc.
- State the job’s requirements clearly
- Close with a strong call to action to get your first HVAC employee to apply
- Your phone number or business email address will suffice
- Focus on the formatting – make sure you use bullets and sections
- This is very important because a job seeker will scan tons of jobs. You want them to stop on yours!
Take a look at some sample HVAC employee ads from Indeed here. You can use these to help create your own.
4. Where to Post Your Hiring Ads
Where should you post your ads to find your first HVAC employee? That depends on several factors such as your budget and location.
Here are a few popular hiring ad placements:
Major Employment Sites
Today, most job seekers turn to the internet to find their next opportunity. Online job boards and sites should be the first place you share your new hiring ad!
These are the largest sites that share jobs listings in many categories. These are a good way to get the word out, and cost varies.
Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are alternatives to the larger sites. You can list on both of these for cheap or free in your local area.
- Facebook: Though Facebook’s job board was recently discontinued, you can still post a job ad on your company’s Facebook page which doesn’t cost you anything.
- Craigslist: A job posting on Craigslist costs $25 per category. It’s a less popular option, but job hunters still land jobs on Craigslist every day.
Trade schools are another great place to seek out potential hires. This is particularly beneficial to an HVAC employer looking for someone new to the field that they can train.
Most trade schools have online or physical job boards for students to reference, they also may hold job fairs at the school.
Many schools will partner with local HVAC companies that can place their students after they complete the program. It’s a good idea to contact the local trade schools in your area to see if you can participate in any hiring programs!
There are several HVAC sites that host their own job boards or help you to find job opportunities. This is another avenue to find qualified applicants. Here are a few of the popular sites:
Our advice? Post your job on numerous job sites and reach out to local trade schools so you can widen your pool of quality applicants.
5. Prep for Interviews
Once a qualified candidate has submitted a resume or filled out an application, it’s time to interview.
How do you make sure a candidate will be a good fit for your business? The interview process is crucial to getting to know each candidate!
Keep reading for a few interview prep tips, but also be sure to check out our complete hiring and interview guide here.
- Phone screening helps save time and eliminates unqualified applicants. During the screening, ask a few questions to see if the interviewee has basic HVAC skills.
- Next, before interviewing a candidate face-to-face, use the qualities you identified earlier and plan questions that will show whether the candidate is a match. Having a pre-planned list of questions will help the interview go smoothly!
- Before you make an offer, be sure to call references, conduct a background check, and screen for drugs.
If you feel that the candidate is a good fit after the interview process, it’s time to extend an offer!
Want Your New Employee to Hit The Ground Running?
Once you have your first hire, how can you make sure they are set up for success? Here are a few onboarding tips:
- Develop an onboarding plan with check-in meetings and ride-alongs.
- Have the new employee shadow you until they are comfortable working alone.
- Draft measurable goals to attain right from the start.
- Give regular, positive feedback to encourage the new employee.
Another way to make sure your new hire gets off on the right foot is to arm them with service software. Using this tool, HVAC technicians know exactly what equipment customers are using, can easily upsell services and quickly take payment onsite.
See how FieldEdge can further your employee’s success! Book your FREE personalized demo today!
Time to Implement these 5 Strategies
Today we learned five steps to hiring your first HVAC employee. With these suggestions you’ll be ready to start the process! Here’s what we covered:
- Make sure you are ready to hire an employee
- Identify what type of employee you would like to hire.
- How to create a job ad that potential hires will read and apply to.
- Where to post your job ad and other strategies that may help in your search.
- The interview process and what types of questions to ask a candidate.
When you take advantage of these steps, you’ll hire your first HVAC technician in no time!