One of the top reasons customers stop using a service company or contractor is employee indifference. If a customer feels disrespected, uncomfortable or ignored by their HVAC technician, chances are good that they’ll go with another company next time. This is why the right employee can make or break your business.
Hiring the Right HVAC Technician
Hiring for such a technical position means that many of the skills needed can be taught to an employee who is willing to learn. What can’t be taught is a positive attitude and a desire to work for the good of the team. Here are 5 tips to help you find the right HVAC technician:
1) Develop a Clear Job Description
How can you expect a potential employee to get the job done if you’re not even sure what the job is?! In order to find the right person for the job, you need to develop a clear picture of exactly what the job responsibilities will be. The job description is essentially a blueprint for the type of person you’re looking for, and will also help eliminate candidates that would not be a good fit.
2) Determine Experience Level Needed
There is much debate in the HVAC industry about desirable experience level. Some would argue that years of experience make for a better-trained employee. However, the consensus seems to be that you can’t teach old dogs new tricks. A veteran technician will come with experience, but may also bring along bad habits and a lack of ambition. The sweet spot is an HVAC technician that has received training classes but is still fresh enough to be molded into the kind of employee that you need.
3) Ensure Legal Compliance
Be sure the HVAC technician you’re considering has been certified and properly trained. Each state is different but might require a specific license for HVAC repair. Proper training and state certification will ensure that your technician understands how to install HVAC systems correctly according to building codes.
4) Check Background & References
So you met a great candidate and you feel good about them joining the team. Do you hire them on the spot? NO! This is business, and sometimes your gut instincts will be wrong. Always check the criminal background and references for potential employees. This may save you from being unpleasantly surprised down the road. If you’re unsure of how to get an unbiased opinion from former employers, the best way is to ask the applicant rate themselves and then ask the previous employer to agree or disagree with their rating.
5) Consider a Probationary Period
A probationary period can be very beneficial to both the technician and the management. This period (often 3 months) allows for initial training and on-the-job experience, with no commitment from either party. This allows you to see how they interact with customers, what their work ethic is like in real life, and how much they still need to learn.
Your Most Valuable Asset
Once you’ve gotten through the gauntlet and hired a great employee, focus on making their experience at your company the best it can be. Don’t give them a reason to leave or seek out better opportunities. Offering a positive work environment, upward mobility and attractive perks can make a new employee your most valuable asset.
Contact Us to learn more about hiring the right technician, or read our most frequently asked questions for more information about proper HVAC training.
The Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) industry is booming. It’s a great time to start a career in this field and can open many doors for you. Adequate training is obviously necessary, but beyond that, what will give you an edge?
A Changing HVAC Industry
The HVAC industry is in a period of growth and evolution. New innovations are creating opportunities for expansion, but the industry itself is in a period of transition.
With more jobs available than skilled talent, it’s vital that HVAC professionals receive the training they need to excel on the job and pick up where the retirees leave off.
1) Technical and People Skills Will Net The Highest Pay
It’s not enough to know how to fix an HVAC problem. If people aren’t comfortable with your demeanor or happy with your attitude, you’re going to lose business. Making pleasant, personable conversation is vital to put your customer at ease. Your goal should be to make your customers feel a sense of loyalty to you, and that simply won’t happen if they don’t like being around you.
2) Good Jobs Will Require Hands-On Experience
More and more HVAC technicians are only hiring new techs who have had hands-on training. The experience gained from such classes is invaluable in real-world situations. While these techs may still need to learn the ropes, they’ll know the basics.
3) Online Reviews Will Be Key
The minute you leave a customer’s home, they have the option to leave feedback on your service. Based on your behavior and work, that review will either help or hurt your bottom line. In general, people will leave a written review when they are very pleased with the service, or very displeased. Once posted, other customers looking for similar service will have access to it. Negative reviews should be handled with maturity and viewed as a way to improve your service.The customer is the only one who can delete that bad feedback, so responding defensively won’t do you any favors.
4) Business Must Be Mobile
Your service should be as mobile and reliable as you are. Your customers should be able to pay over the phone, with a mobile card reader, or through an app. Keeping your accounting on the cloud maximizes flexibility for the customer and gives you instant analytics, scheduling information and accounting status.
5) Speed and Quality Will Win The Day
The prevalence of gig economy means that most millennials who own homes expect on-demand service and rarely tolerate waiting for more than a day. This means that expectations are extremely high for both quality of service and turnaround.
Set Yourself Up For Success
Incorporating these practices into your approach will make a huge difference to your success as an HVAC tech. The job is dramatically different than it was 20 years ago, and it’s important to adapt to the changing times. If there is one common theme for the HVAC industry trends in 2018, it’s that technology is influencing the trade and customer expectations. Incorporating new technology, striving for efficiency and creating personal connections will only help you reach success.
Contact Us to learn more about HVAC training to take the next step towards a new career, or see our student testimonials to learn more about what the course can do for your life.
While the trades decreased in popularity in the last 20 years, they’ve recently seen a resurgence in popularity. This is due in part to the stark reality that a college degree does not necessarily equate to a satisfying or well-paying job.This means that finding HVAC talent is a long game, but if you want to be really proactive, you should arrange to target your business to skilled, trained employees.
Adapting to HVAC Industry Growth
Droves of baby boomers are leaving the industry in favor of retirement. Despite projected industry growth, the departure of retirees will result in a talent shortage of more than 120,000 employees by 2022. Managers will be fighting a dual battle, attempting to fill vacant retiree positions, but also needing to fill new jobs created by increasing demand.
Attracting Skilled Employees
What does your business have to offer that others can’t? That’s a crucial question to ask yourself before initiating the hiring process. Obviously, pay structure and benefits are a top concern for employees.
Encourage Continued Education
An employee who continues to seek further education and HVAC training once employed is exactly the type of motivated worker you want on your team. Encourage continuing education for all new employees, both as a way to encourage a more skilled workforce, but also to emphasize the need to adapt to new technology. Research training courses with long-term credibility and an instructor with a proven teaching method.
Once you’ve found an ideal employee, you must retain that talent. Employee turnover is costly, in some cases more than a year’s salary for highly-skilled roles. Advertising a position, interviewing, training, and impact on the team are just some of the expenses involved. Like any long-term relationship, you must continue to put in the effort to keep that “special someone” around.
One reason an employee might move on is that your company lacks upward mobility. Without opportunities for growth, an employee who strives to go further and position themselves more favorably faces frustration if there is a lack of new challenges and responsibilities. Attract talent and retain key employees by offering opportunities for professional growth.
Adapt and Evolve
As technology evolves, so does the workforce driving it. Today it pays for management to be observant, flexible, and quick. It hardly matters whether or not you welcome or accept these changes since they’re happening with or without your permission. It’s in the best interest of the industry on a whole to embrace and adapt right along with your workforce.
Contact Us to learn more about how to pursue a career in HVAC, or find highly trained technicians for your business.
You’ve heard it here first–The state of Texas will soon be rolling out a new HVAC Technician Certification Exam! Being state certified will allow technicians to be elevated in status, and will enable cutting a year from the usual time it takes to qualify for the air conditioning contractor exam.
Why Take the HVAC Technician Exam?
Certification programs ensure the professionalism and competence of HVAC technicians by providing a measurement of skill and knowledge. Employees who seek certification learn to appreciate the importance of adhering to certain professional standards, which makes them more attractive to employers and customers alike.There are many additional reasons to become a certified technician, but here are the top 3:
Becoming state certified makes you a more attractive candidate for a new job or in-house promotion. Employers like to see ambition and dedication since these traits often translate to hard work and efficient workflow.
The training you received years ago may not be so relevant anymore, or may be perceived as outdated. Becoming state certified shows that you have the knowledge and expertise necessary for even modern technology.
Make More Money
Getting certified shows a level of seriousness that can motivate employers to invest more in you. It’s expensive to train new employees, so if you show that you’re pursuing avenues of self-improvement, your employee should offer incentives to keep you with their company.
Exciting Things Ahead
Currently, it takes 4 years of experience to sit for a contractors license exam, but soon a technician with 2 years of experience will be able to take the state certification exam. After holding that for 1 year, technicians will be eligible to take the contractors exam on the 3rd year. This exam will streamline the certification process and enable motivated technicians to get to work faster.
Chris Walters has worked in the HVAC industry for more than 40 years and now teaches HVAC training classes. He was proud to help develop the new state exam and study guide, and he looks forward to helping technicians prepare for this milestone event.
To learn more about becoming an HVAC technician or preparing for the new state certification exam, Contact Us.
If you want a career outside the confines of a boring office job, it may be time to check out a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) certification program. HVAC training should prepare students for positions at both the commercial and residential levels of HVAC. You should learn how to install, maintain, and repair essential temperature control equipment.
Advantages of Trade Careers
In the past 20 years, trades careers have taken quite a beating. With the rising popularity of the internet and banking careers, job paths considered to be blue collar became less desirable. Only recently has the shortage of trades workers come to light, with a high demand for experienced tradespeople. With strong salaries reported across the board, there’s no better time than now to consider HVAC classes. Here are a few things to look for:
Internet learning has been very beneficial to some, but for HVAC training, you need to get your hands dirty. Students in a class setting will develop the real-world skills necessary to handle the various issues that can occur in heating and cooling systems.
Many people considering HVAC training courses are changing careers and must keep their jobs during training. Therefore, a class schedule that offers flexibility is a must. Evening classes can allow you to keep your income while getting the training needed to start a lucrative new career.
Testimonials and reviews can give a lot of insight into what to expect out the training experience. Reading reviews and recommendations can help you determine how much value you’ll get out of the program.
The best teacher will be one with extensive experience in the field. Training should replicate actual conditions, with real AC units and ventilation systems to work on. Students should keep in mind that as technology changes, they will also have to keep up with those changes. Continuing education and training will be vital to staying relevant.
What Good HVAC Training Courses Offer
A training course that centers around hands-on experience means that upon completion, you will be able to get started in your chosen career. The trades industries need highly skilled workers, and knowing that you have that experience will prove invaluable. Are you interested in learning more about careers in HVAC and exploring whether this is the right career path for you?
Contact Us today to visit a class and see what sets The Training Center apart from other programs.
Do you wonder how you ended up in your current profession? When you think about work, are you bitter or resentful? You’re not alone. Many people stuck in a career that’s not right for them are left feeling unfulfilled. Perhaps you’re not as successful as you’d like, or justs not doing a job you’re proud of. Whatever the reason, it may be time to find a new career.
Do You Need a New Career?
Your job shouldn’t feel like a prison sentence. It’s never too late to make a change or reverse course. Regain a sense of control by coming up with a plan. Determine what field you’re interested in, like HVAC, then come up with action steps, like HVAC training, to make it happen. Finding a rewarding career is the key to avoiding these habits:
You Dominate Conversations With Complaints
If every dinner conversation veers into negative commentary about your day at work, it might be time to find a job that you love talking about. It’s great to talk about your professional challenges, lessons learned, and the day’s highlights. If all you can dwell on is how much you dislike the process or people you work with, it may be time to move on.
You Daydream About Retirement
There’s nothing wrong with dreaming of retirement, but if you’re decades away, you may need a new career. The saying, “A watched pot never boils” comes to mind. If you’re just waiting for retirement, you’ll miss out on everything you could be achieving.
You Can’t Sleep
Do you have difficulty getting to sleep, or you wake up during the night with worries about your job? Sleep is crucial to your health, and job stress can be a cause of poor sleep patterns. Unfortunately, this can make a difficult situation worse. Being tired all the time can make the simplest task seem difficult.
You Dread Mondays
Do you dread Mondays? Feel like Friday can’t come soon enough? It’s normal for everyone to have the occasional bad day at work, but if you consistently dread the beginning of a work week, you may be in the wrong business.
Workplace boredom can be the result of your brain not getting enough stimulation, or it could be the result of an “I’m so over this” attitude. The key to banishing boredom relies on leveraging all the experience you’ve accrued to tackle a new and different opportunity that can bring you satisfaction.
If you’ve made the decision to leave your current career behind, be smart about it. Decide what you want to do next and put your plan into action before offering your resignation. If your new career requires training or education, you may need to keep your current position until that’s completed.
A Bright Future
Throughout your career, there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself in a role that takes more from you than it gives. If it has become clear that you’re surviving – not thriving – at work, it’s time to make a change. While this can be a scary time, having a plan can give you stability and motivation to follow through. Think of all the months and years you’ve saved yourself from working in a job you hate. The future is bright and you’re on your way!
Contact Us for more information about the in-demand field of air conditioning & heating.