Employers: Don’t get caught in this pandemic twiddling your thumbs, sitting idly back, and praying for the best.
Nowadays, you can’t turn on the news or speak with family, friends, or colleagues without hearing or speaking about the latest COVID-19 update. From lock downs, social distancing, long lineups at the grocery store, shortage of disinfectant supplies, to the latest ‘numbers’; the corona virus has affected everyone and the global economy.
Large and small companies from all industries are facing different types of unprecedented challenges. Nonessential businesses have been ordered to shut down and where possible, have employees work from home. With everything online and the ease of technology, this may become the new norm. But that’s another topic for another time.
Essential services, such as HVAC or other skilled-trade related industry, have been mandated to remain open. That doesn’t mean they have not been affected. Speaking with companies from all across North America, whether it’s in residential, commercial, or industrial HVAC/R, I hear so many stories of reduced staff, difficulty procuring required safety equipment (i.e. masks, hand sanitizer’s etc.), new operational and customer procedures, adjusted hiring policies, and even more difficulty finding qualified Technicians.
While there is a lot of uncertainty and stress, below are several things business owners, managers, and employers can do to ensure not only that the business survives, but, comes out of this pandemic ahead of the competition.
Now more than ever, employees need a strong leader. Communicating on a regular basis with your employees, whether through phone or email, is important. Regardless if employees are laid off or still working, touch base with them to make sure they and their family are OK and healthy; be transparent and keep them updated on the direction of the company and the measures being taken to ensure their safety and overall wellbeing. You will be surprised how much this means to your employees.
When this pandemic is over and the world has returned to some sort of ‘normalcy,” employees will remember what their company did for them and how they made them feel (i.e. secure, reassured, informed, etc). As we know, the industry is small and everyone talks – word will get around and it’s better for it to be positive than negative.
Busy with managing service calls and didn’t have time to give some TLC to your Google reviews or social media pages pre-COVID? Now is the time to respond to your Google reviews – both the negative and positive. Expand your market reach and customer awareness by posting and sharing articles or trade-related tips, and promoting your company services on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Try your hand at writing blogs to share on your company website and across your social media platforms. These blogs can be about your experience, funny/outrageous trade or customer stories, your journey in the trade, or helpful advice to other trades people.
Between building your social media presence, answering Google reviews, writing trade-related blogs, and continuing your sales efforts, they will help enhance and increase your company brand recognition with both customers and potential employees.
Maybe now is the time to research and look into a new maintenance program, payroll, automating service reports/documenting projects, eliminating paperwork etc. Looking into ways to streamline your operation and creating a faster and more efficient process could save the company time, money, and increase productivity. Keeping up to date with the newest industry and trade technologies will help give your company a competitive edge.
TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT
Keep your employees up-to-date with the latest industry trends, technologies, and standards. Share relevant HVAC news and any manufacturer equipment updates. Take a look at what safety, trade-related, and manufacturing training and certification programs are now being offered online. Investing in your employees improves their technical skills set and knowledge, and enhances your company’s professional reputation.
Re-vamp and streamline your hiring procedures. Gone are the days of multiple interviews and unnecessary hurdles candidates were to made to jump through. With a shortage of qualified HVAC/R Technicians and Installers, it’s even more important to make your process as smooth and fast as possible, and hopefully, eliminate a potential star candidate from ghosting you.
To maintain social distancing measures and continue recruiting in a safe manner, you can:
- Conduct phone or video interviews (i.e. Skype, FaceTime, Zoom etc.)
- Avoid shaking hands (or having any physical contact) and maintain at least 6 feet of separation between each person involved
- Wash hands frequently, ensure the space you will have the interview in is clean, sanitized and has hand sanitizers readily available
Depending on the American State or Canadian Province you are in, your company is either busy, experiencing slower than normal seasonal business, or at a complete standstill with residential/construction projects shut down as part of COVID-19 lock down measures. The common theme we hear from clients is that this is temporary and once things open up again or the weather changes, the demand and their need for experienced HVAC/R Service Technicians, Installers, Fitters, and Sheet Metal Workers will be even greater. One way companies are getting ready for the onslaught of work and re-opened projects, is by proactive recruiting and hiring with delayed start dates. By interviewing now through some of the options mentioned above, they can make faster hiring decisions when the time is ready. A contingency recruitment firm that specializes in the your industry, like Rockstar HVAC, can partner with you to actively and proactively recruit for any of your hiring needs.
This is a difficult time for everyone, with companies and individuals going through financial or health stress. Contact us today to learn how our expertise can help support and build your team.
“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.”― Phil Jackson, former NBA player, coach, and executive