There are so many factors that make having a successful HVAC recruitment strategy crucial. Slow and inefficient processes can delay recruitment or leave you with a revolving door of ill-fitting candidates.
Collectively, this can all cost you time and money, slowing down your overall operations and limiting your potential.
Here, we’ll lay out what makes an effective strategy for successful hiring in HVAC, and facility management staffing.
Assess Organisational Needs
Before you begin your hiring operations, you need to know where you’re setting your sights. Take the time to evaluate your business, looking objectively at what skills your team possesses andwhat certifications they hold. This could be done by reviewing any CV records you may still hold for your staff, or by talking with your staff themselves and their line managers.
Looking for weak spots in your team’s skills, perhaps even compared with what you know your competitors are capable of, will help you set criteria for hiring your new staff.
Define Your Recruitment Goals
With potential skill gaps identified, you can set goals for your recruitment. For successful hiring in HVAC, these should be based on what you want new hires to be able to add to your team, as well as what you want your team to be capable of as a whole by a given date.
For example, you may want to have a certain portion of your team certified in a particular skill or trained to a set level by the end of the year, and plan to hire in these skills.
Know Your Audience and Define Your Employer Branding
When you begin the process of looking for candidates, it’s crucial to remember that you’re selling yourself to them too. The interaction of candidates with potential employers is a two-way street, and they’ll be trying to gauge you as much as you are them.
So, before you begin looking, take time to consider your target audience and what their interests, might be, and what they’relikely looking for in their next role. Use this to brand yourself as an employer that appeals to these ideal candidates. Getting your employer branding right is crucial to any successful HVAC recruitment strategy and will help you attract the best talent. Need more insight on how to find the right talent for your HVAC and FM company, check out our blog post on finding the best HVAC and FM talent for your organisation.
Pick Your Recruitment Channels
There’s an array of options open to you when it comes to recruitment channels, including job boards, word of mouth/recommendations, internal recruitment, and agencies, and picking the right one first time could save you a lot of work.
Job Boards – Online job boards such as Indeed or the jobs section of LinkedIn allow employers to post jobs in a highly trafficked space, where candidates can easily submit applications using their CVs. You can then filter through submissions and reach out to any suitable applicants. Some of these services do involve fees, however.
Word of mouth/recommendations – Often, one of the most trustworthy sources of potential candidates is recommendations from people in your network. By asking around, you might come across some candidates you would likely otherwise miss, who come with an added guarantee.
Internal recruitment – Before looking outside your organisation for new talent, make sure that the role you’re looking to fill couldn’t be filled by someone you already employ, even if they may require training to bring them up to scratch. This could save you time and money by simply investing in someone already familiar with your organisation.
Agencies – Working with a recruitment agency is often the fastest way to fill your vacancies. Agencies come with their own set of tried and tested processes, a pre-built database of potential candidates, and years of experience in whittling down pools of talent to the few that will fit your business best.
Streamline Your Application and Selection Processes
A key mistake often made in the creation of an HVAC recruitment strategy is overlooking the application and selection process or allowing it to become too long-winded for its own good.
Drawn-out or complicated application processes will put candidates off before you even hear from them. Make sure your application process is easy and efficient. Focus on collecting their CV, perhaps a cover letter, asking at most two or three additional, short questions that don’t force candidates to repeat information already likely on their CV, and, if you feel it’s applicable or necessary, asking them to complete a short task. If you do set a task, make sure it’s not too time-consuming. Remember that candidates are likely still working a full-time job and won’t often appreciate being asked to essentially work for free.
The information you collect at this stage should help you streamline your selection process, as getting bogged down in detail when selecting candidates for interviews allows time for potentially perfect future employees to find other roles.
Lay Out an Effective Interview Process
A key facet of effective HR in the HVAC industry and productive hiring processes is a good interview strategy. Before inviting candidates for interviews, refer back to your initial skills assessments, and the gaps that you identified. Use this information to help you determine the questions you ask interviewees, and what data you’re looking to collect.
Try and refrain from subjecting candidates to interview after interview, as this can fatigue them and cause them to either withdraw their application or simply lose interest in your company and stop responding.
Onboarding and Training
Where many employers fall down in their efforts to create an effective HVAC recruitment strategy is by assuming that once a candidate has accepted your job offer and begun working for you the process is over. At this stage, you’re still figuring each other out, and getting your onboarding and training wrong can cause your new hire to leave prematurely or result in them struggling to grasp their new role and slowing others down as they try to keep up.
It’s important that your new employee feels welcomed, and that they have all the tools and skills they need to be comfortable in their new role. Take the time to introduce your new team member to their colleagues, and schedule regular catchups in their first few weeks and months to address any issues as they arise. This is especially important as well-being is an increasing focus for new employees as we move into 2024. Make sure to keep an eye on other HVAC and FM industry trends with our recent blog post.
Legal and Regulatory Compliance
In order to ensure successful hiring in HVAC, you need to be certain that all of your new employees are legally certified to carry out the roles you’re hiring them for or consider whether you’re comfortable paying for them to be trained up to the necessary standard. You also need to be sure that you’re hiring and onboarding procedures follow relevant HR protocols, as any hints of bad practice could land you in hot water.
A suitable recruitment agency should be able to help you ensure legal and regulatory compliance at all stages, especially one that specialises in the HVAC and FM industries.
Continuous Improvement and Feedback
As you repeat the hiring process to meet the ever-growing needs of your business, do your best to fine-tune it. Make a note of what works each time and what could be improved upon. The collection of hard data can be especially useful here. For example, you could consider the number of applicants you got for a past role and compare it with the number that you deemed suitable for an interview. If you find there’s a large discrepancy between the two, it may be that your job description is too broad, or you’re listing it in the wrong place.
There are a few key elements to creating a successful HVAC recruitment strategy:
Remember it’s a two-way street – Don’t forget that potential candidates are assessing you as much as you’re assessing them. Make sure that you create a work environment, job advert, and company branding that appeals to potential employees.
Consider your channels – Contemplate where you post your job advert. Taking too much of a scattergun approach could get you lots of leads, but possibly very few of the right quality if you’re looking in the wrong places.
Streamline your selection and interview processes – Don’t cause unnecessary backlogs at crucial stages that could put candidates off, hold up your team waiting for their new helping hand, or allow so much time to pass that candidates find other roles in the meantime.
Don’t lose it at the onboarding stage – Even if you’ve nailed your recruitment process and got the ideal candidate lined up, you can still let your new hire slip away with poor onboarding. Make sure new hires feel welcomed and have everything they need.
Optimise – Every time you go through the recruitment process with a new candidate, recognise what worked and what didn’t, and learn from it. Try also to collect as much data as possible, as it can help you make objective decisions.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by recruitment for your HVAC or FM business, why not ask for help? At HVAC Recruitment, we specialise in recruiting services for the HVAC and FM industries exclusively and can help you through the entire process, meaning you find the right candidates for your role with ease.