Top 9 HVAC Hiring Mistakes Most Companies Make

Hiring is a challenge with many factors at play, but you can simplify the process of finding the right candidate by avoiding the biggest HVAC hiring mistakes most companies make.

By recognizing the most common HVAC hiring mistakes, you can hire the best qualified employee and save countless hours in your search. 

In this article, you’ll discover the biggest pitfalls to avoid when it’s time to hire your next rockstar employee and will allow you to: 

  • Assess the candidates fit by limiting the number of people in the interview process
  • Write clear and accurate job descriptions to attract the best candidates
  • Entice potential hires with more than just monetary compensation
  • Prepare you to ask pertinent interview questions that are open ended
  • Discover the benefits of not rushing the hiring process, nor spending too much time dragging the process out

1. Involving Too Many People in the Process

In order to avoid involving too many people in the process, it’s important to limit the number of interviewers and candidates. Through phone screenings and research, you can narrow down the field as much as possible so you don’t make this HVAC hiring mistake. There’s no need to waste valuable resources on an  unqualified candidate.

Involving too many people in the process  makes the decision increasingly challenging and can be counterintuitive. 

The ideal number to include in an interview is no more than three. Having more than that can be intimidating to the candidate. From the HR side, the more staff you include, the more divided opinions you will get. Three or less allows for more eye contact and a more comfortable experience. 

Remember, the object is to discover if the candidate has the skills and personality to be a good fit. Too many people firing questions can be confusing and lead to a chaotic interview. 

2. Writing Vague Job Descriptions 

When job descriptions are unclear, or even inaccurate, a whole host of problems arise:

  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Disappointed candidates
  • Confusion during onboarding process 

To avoid this common HVAC hiring mistake, write accurate and clear job descriptions. A quality job description uses clear language and states the basic requirements and responsibilities of the open position.

Also, consider including a company description as well as the company values. This allows candidates to decide if they are a good fit with the business (and vice versa). 


3. Using Compensation as Sole Incentive

Did you know, 53% of employees in a recent study still rank overall compensation as their top reason for employment? Plus, work/life balance isn’t far behind at 30%.

Compensation is important when trying to deliver the best talent but it’s not the end-all be-all. Career progression and company culture also play important roles in attracting the right applicants. 

4. Not Checking References

Sometimes, employers like a candidate so much that they decide to hire them without checking their references. This is particularly common with referrals.

There’s a lot of polished candidates that can nail the interview and then fall flat when it comes to job performance. References are important because you can get a feel for a person’s work ethic and problem-solving abilities from former colleagues. 

5. Asking Tired Interview Questions

Asking the same old interview questions doesn’t really help you decide if a candidate is a good fit for your business. 

Common questions are usually answered with common responses. That’s all these questions may accomplish is whether the candidate has prepared for the interview by doing a Google search for “typical interview questions.”  

Here are a few questions NOT to ask in an interview:

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses? This question is too open ended and you’re unlikely to gain any insight from it. They will likely have a canned response on turning a weakness into a strength. 
  • Tell me about yourself. Again, too vague. Ask them about their hobbies and how that can relate to the job. 
  • What are you currently earning? This is usually super awkward and will also probably result in a canned response (If the situation is right for both of us I’m sure we can agree on compensation). It’s also illegal in certain states. Ask instead if they have a salary range in mind. 
  • Where do you want to be in 5 years? This is just another question asked to gauge whether they plan on working at your company for a while or if they hop from job to job. Easily identify this with their resume.
  • Why should we hire you? This comes across as a bit hostile and will probably make the candidate uncomfortable. Ask this question instead: What experiences and skills do you bring to the table for the position?

Instead, concentrate on behavior-based questions to gain real insight into a potential employee. These personal stories will allow you to see how a candidate works with others with such challenges as dealing with budget constraints or resolving  team conflicts. 

Solid questions include:

  • Tell me about a time that you faced conflict with a team member. How did you handle that situation?
  • Describe a time where you needed to gather information from a coworker that wasn’t very responsive. How did you deal with that?
  • Give me an example of a time that you had to deal with an angry client or customer. How did you resolve their issue?


6. Hiring at an Inopportune Time

How do you know it’s the right time to bring on another full-time employee? There are a lot of factors to consider: 

  • Adequate budgeting for hiring and training a new hire
  • Ample work to bring on a new staff member

If you are a small team,  it may be best to hire an apprentice or part-time help before committing to a full-time, long-term salary.

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7. Rushing Hiring Decisions

Rushing your decision is one of the most frequent HVAC hiring mistakes made during the hiring process. This may lead to an employee who may not be a fit, which can lead to a decline in company growth. 

When a spot becomes vacant (or your team is working overtime), you may feel the need to immediately hire. While filling the spot is of primary importance, this does not mean you should ignore a careful background check and follow the full hiring process. 

When you take your time to hire, you will increase the chances of finding and retaining the right new hire to make an immediate, positive impact on your team. This saves your business time, money and valuable resources. Plus, you’ll set the company up for long-term success.

8. Dragging Out the Process

When the hiring process is drawn out, you’re bound to lose great candidates. After all, a complex hiring process will cause candidates to lose patience and interest in the position.

In fact, 60% of recruiters acknowledge that they regularly lose viable candidates before even scheduling an interview. 

9. Passing on Overqualified Candidates

When a recruiter spots a candidate who is overqualified, this usually leads to discounting them. However, discounting candidates is one of the biggest HVAC hiring mistakes. Don’t skip over candidates based on the assumption they’ll become disinterested in the position or ask too much compensation.

You may just get more bang for your buck with a seasoned HVAC technician. Many times an overqualified candidate may just want a better work/life balance. Alternatively, they may be seeking a different type of position from where they’re currently employed.

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Avoid These HVAC Hiring Mistakes and Land a Winner

Understanding all the HVAC hiring mistakes we covered will help you to make the best choice for your business.

Remember, hiring the best techs boils down to:

  • Eliminating the right candidates in the beginning so you can focus on the most qualified
  • Asking the right questions in an interview to discover if the candidate is a good fit
  • Making the best hiring decision, at the right time, after a careful employment process

With this expert advice, you’re sure to avoid these common HVAC hiring mistakes and pick the best technician who is the perfect fit for your business! 

Related: Fix HVAC Business Issues by Answering These 5 Questions


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