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Your Business Toolbox: Recruiting and Retaining Great Employees

Recruiting and Retaining Great Employees: 
Your Business Toolbox for Today’s Economy Part 2

Why are we having trouble finding qualified workers in our industry?

We are facing a unique situation in the U.S. and unfortunately, there isn’t a single reason with a simple solution. Take a look at some of the factors below:

► With thousands of "Baby Boomers" reaching retirement age every day, we find ourselves in the bottom of a demographic trough with millions of people potentially leaving the workforce every year.

► Young people are being encouraged to ignore the skilled trades and pursue a college degree instead.

► We are facing competition for skilled workers from other industries such as manufacturing and transportation. 

► Many experienced people from our industry are retiring and taking that knowledge with them. 

These factors have resulted in fewer skilled workers being available and longer times required to locate them and bring them on board to our companies. 

In just one year, the average time required to hire a Service Technician has increased by 76 days to almost 6 months, and the time required to hire an installer has increased by 47 days to over 5 months.1

If you want to be successful in this environment, your recruiting efforts need to become better than everyone else’s, and you need to provide a great place to work so you can become the Employer of Choice.

What are the standard practices in recruiting? 

Today’s successful standard practices include:

BDR’s recommended recruiting process:

Successful recruiting is a process. Not just a single action event, it contains multiple steps with a logical flow:

1. Review and update the job description for the position.
2. Create the employment ad, screening questions, and interview questions.
3. Post job opening to all relevant job boards and social media sites.
4. Screen incoming results.
5. Do a job fitness assessment on key potential candidates.
6. Conduct an initial interview over the phone. 
7. Conduct a first in-person interview.
8. Conduct second in-person interview that includes staff members.
9. Verify past employment and references. 
10. Provide written, detailed job offer to candidate.
11. Conduct a drug screen and background check. 

What are today’s keys to recruiting great candidates? 

Generally, people want to work for the best companies. Below are a few keys that will communicate to potential employees that your company is among the best:

•  Paying top wages for each position.
•  Providing a great benefit package.
•  Having a fleet of modern, attractive vehicles.
•  Designing and installing the highest quality heating and cooling systems.
•  Having outstanding labor management practices—staying busy year-round.
•  Developing and maintaining a great company culture and industry reputation.

Avoid common hiring mistakes:

Dealers make several common mistakes when hiring, including:

► Failing to possess a clear, precise understanding of the duties for the position they desire to fill. 

► Advertising the job opening incorrectly. Advertising should be nationwide and must mention the pay rate or income potential.

► Neglecting to move candidates through the hiring process quickly enough.The best candidates are not waiting for you to decide on hiring them. They are actively searching for the right job and are in high demand. Waiting “a couple days” can be the difference in acquiring a candidate or losing them to a competitor.

► Developing an emotional attachment to a candidate. Emotional attachment causes hiring managers to overlook the candidate’s shortcomings. Utilize unbiased tools such as personality and skill assessments to filter out candidates before face-to-face interviews. 

Retaining employees:

Similar to customers, we want employees to stay with us for a long time. It requires a great deal of time and money to acquire a new employee. The best way to keep them long term is through great communication and a high level of caring.


A recent survey by Salary.com revealed that the #1 reason people leave a company is due to a bad relationship with their direct supervisor! 


“The #1 reason people leave jobs is because they fail to connect with their bosses as leaders and as people.” - The Real Reasons Employees Leave, by Jim Welch

Some of the strategies to keep your quality employees include:

► Setting and communicating a consistent career path.

► Continually and clearly communicating appreciation both visually and verbally.

► Providing smaller, more frequent raises based on predetermined achievements.

► Having a great benefit package including: 

► Cultivate a fun, positive work environment: If it’s fun, it will be done.


Don’t let a tight labor market slow you down. If you take the time to update your recruiting practices, avoid common hiring mistakes and commit to retaining your new team members, you’ll be better equipped to stay ahead of the competition. 

About the Author: 
Aaron Schuh is a BDR Trainer and President of Recruit4Business. He is a SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources) and SHRM-SCP (Senior Certified Professional) in the HR field. Aaron has conducted countless seminars on employee management and recruitment, driving profitable growth for his clients’ businesses.


About BDR:
BDR is the premier provider of business training and coaching services to HVAC contractors. BDR is an authorized training provider for International Comfort Products.