Unless you’ve been in a cave for the last 12 months, you’re keenly aware of the unique status of the US labor market. The TLDR: it’s an employee’s market.
The Great Resignation (as it has been coined by some), coupled with many years of declining trade skills and development, has left many HVAC businesses scrambling to keep up with demand. In order to grow, HVAC service and supply companies must get creative in attracting (and retaining) critical talent, and we’ve put together a list of considerations you can put into action right now!
#1: Define, Create and Promote Culture
Once upon a time, work was just something you did for 8 hours per day in exchange for financial compensation. Now, employees look for so much more than a paycheck. Candidates seek workplace cultures with shared values and a sense of purpose. They want a place where they can grow, earn opportunities through hard work and maintain quality of life.
Businesses need to use their megaphones (website, social media, recruiting pitches) to differentiate themselves to candidates. Openly communicate what makes your workplace attractive. Encourage employees to share content on social media or leave reviews on Glassdoor. And if there’s nothing to promote, the issue may be the lack of definition or intention in culture building. As a business leader, it’s important to think about this in terms of “what type of company would I want to work for.” The bottom line: you must sufficiently invest in your people beyond just competitive wages, then show the world how you do that.
#2: Remove Friction from the Application Process
We all remember a time or two when applying for a job felt like a marathon: resumes, questionnaires, personality tests, screening and pre-screening calls, background checks, etc. What businesses get the most applicants? The ones who make it easy to apply, of course.
This isn’t to suggest screening and evaluation isn’t important, but make sure the initial steps in the application process are easy. Allowing job candidates to get a foot in the door with very little effort means you’ll have a larger pool of applicants from which to choose. Sure, it means a little bit of extra work on the recruiting side, but that difference can separate your company from the competitors.
#3: Build a Network
Being active in your community is a competitive advantage. Join local associations, support community events and businesses and build a reputation that creates inbound demand for employment. If you have the resources, host local events such as job fairs. Engage with trade schools in your area and establish a pipeline for talent. Your brand as an employer is equally important to your customer-facing brand, so make sure to invest in it. In fact, the top recruiting tool can be your own employees simply by making their experience one they enjoy sharing publicly.
#4 Get Creative
We can think of few mediums more boring than a help wanted ad. Punch up your recruiting efforts with either in-house marketing talent or an assist from an outside group. Write ads people actually want to read. Remove the mystery about what it’s like to work at the company. Show your team’s or brand’s personality to ensure you attract talent looking for that type of culture.
The competition for talent has never been fiercer, so “business-as-usual” won’t cut it in recruiting. Don’t be afraid to try and test different things. Above all, don’t hesitate to share what makes your business unique. It probably won’t be for everyone, but the transparency will help lead you to the ideal candidates.