Believe it or not, summer is right around the corner. I know in some parts of the world, especially where I am in Canada, where it was snowing last week that may seem unbelievable, but it’s true. The start of summer also means the start of air conditioning season, is your team prepared for what is going to be one of the busiest seasons of the year?
Many companies wait way too long before they start assessing if they have the right staff on hand, this can leave them way behind once their customers start calling in. This often forces companies to delay work, turn down jobs, and ultimately lose customers. Don’t get caught flatfooted this air conditioning season.
4 Steps to ensure you are ready
- Evaluate Your Current Staff
- Overtime Calculation
Evaluate Your Current Staff
First step, you need to assess your current team and ensure that you are adequately staffed. A couple of questions that you may need to ask yourself:
- Are The Technicians, Installers and Support Staff You Have Good Enough For Your Busy Season?
- Do You Have The Right Mix of Staff
The first question can be difficult to answer because the staff that are good enough when you are slow are not necessarily going to be good enough when you are busy. Some are able to kick into another gear and go harder and faster when needed. Others are who they are always and while they are good enough when you are in the slower months will let you down during a busier season.
The second question is equally important. If your team is all HVAC Installers and you are expecting a lot of service work you will be let down. Make sure you have the right mix of Installers and Service Technicians and don’t forget you will also need dispatchers, helpers and other support roles.
The second step is forecasting, you should be able to get a good idea of how many jobs you are likely going to be doing this year by looking at previous years. After you do this you will need to determine how many technicians, installers, and other staff you will need to complete these jobs.
When forecasting, don’t forget to take into account any changes your business has made and account for them. Have you hired more salespeople, or invested in more advertising? If so plan for an increase on previous years.
Step three, make a calculation of how much overtime you’re comfortable with. Overtime is going to be inevitable. Requiring some overtime during your busy season is ok and most technicians bank on having some overtime during the busy season. Some is OK, but keep in mind that Overtime is expensive. It costs in extra wages but more importantly it can cost in burnout. Having a technician do an extra 10 -20 hours of work for a few weeks is usually fine but requiring an additional 20+ hours/week for months on end will lead to burnout. You will end up getting sloppy work, slower work, and staff turnover.
If you assess your current staff, forecast appropriately and come up with a plan for overtime you should now know how many HVAC Technicians, Installers and support staff you are going to need. If you do not have the right people or enough it is time for step four.
Step Four is recruiting. If you have finished all of the above, you should now have a good idea of how many technicians you may need to add to your staff for this season. Ideally, you’re able to add them for long-term permanent positions and not just one season, but every business is a little bit different and some will require just seasonal help.
When it comes to recruiting, there are a lot of things that you can do, using a recruiting service like Rockstar Recruiting is usually the fastest and most effective way. Our team at Rockstar HVAC are well versed in helping companies find and hire their HVAC service technicians, installers, Dispatchers and support staff, if you are not familliar with using a recruiter here are ways they can help. That being said, a using a Recruiter is not typically your first step. First you may want to ask your existing staff if they have any referrals, contact previous employees that left on good terms to see if they want to come back. Also look if there are any internal employees that are ready for a promotion. Maybe you have an Installer ready to move into a Technician role or a helper ready to move up to Installer etc. For more tips on how to recruit for HVAC click here.
If you have tried this and still find yourself short staffed, it is time to call a Recruiter, our HVAC team is happy to helo, give us a call at 1-833-937-3546 or e-mail [email protected]. When we take on a search we leave no stone unturned. We do get job ads posted, but we absolutely do not rely on that. Most of our work is going after passive candidates including networking, referrals and headhunting to ensure that we get to the largest pool of candidates available. The problem with just posting job ads, which is what most companies are able to do on their own is that the best technicians are usually working and are not actively looking for a change.
This spring, don’t wait, start forecasting your needs and start your recruiting process. You are never too early to start recruiting. Starting too late can be very costly.