So how do we communicate how different HVACR is from the stereotype that has plagued us for decades? We must start promoting ourselves as an industry of well-paid professional craftsmen, not tradesmen. One of the best ways to make your company stand out is by showing prospective employees that you are a High-Performance HVAC™ organization, and what that means for your team members and your customers.
Start by painting a picture of what a day in the life of a service tech, comfort specialist, or installer looks like working for a company with a High-Performance culture. You must show them how you are different. Also show how there are clear paths for advancement within your organization.
To attract Gen Z’s and Millennials, you also need to structure your company so it can accommodate varying work-life balances. I’m not suggesting you coddle employees. Just the opposite: find out what motivates a prospective hire, and make the position work for both of you with clear, written expectations.
A Different Pond
A contractor recently shared with me that he rarely hires techs from other companies, and how he knows candidates fresh out of trade school typically have to be retrained. Instead he “grows his own,” and takes advantage of every opportunity to look for talent outside our industry.
His favorite sources include car dealerships, both in the showroom and the shop, and other in-home service companies. The bottom line is we have to learn to “fish in different ponds.” HVACR can be taught. Other attributes like a great attitude and people skills are harder, often impossible to teach.
We can solve this workforce crisis. It will need the industry to take a formal approach by marketing ourselves as a place where people want to work. We also need a grass roots effort by each and every one of our 50,000 plus HVACR service companies to reach out to non-traditional segments of our population to show them the great opportunities in this great industry!