Weather the Weather

By Dave Nichols

Seasons come and seasons go, but that doesn't mean your staff has to follow suit. In the HVAC industry, or any service industry for that matter, hiring seasonal employees is a risky business. Every employee acts as an extension of your company, and even just one less-than-positive interaction with an employee who doesn't share your corporate culture could cost your company in reputation and revenue.

Avoid over-hiring

Over-hiring can lead to too many employees in the off months and slow-season layoffs, so dealers should instead focus their time on hiring the people for their business based on the volume they are generating throughout the year as a whole. As the business grows, then it's time to hire and cultivate new employees on a full-time basis as opposed to on a seasonal one.

Implement a maintenance agreement program

The key here is for dealers to hold on to the people they've already got and implement a maintenance agreement program for the slower season. These programs can help dealers flatten out their service demand so that when things start to slow down, they can simply start pulling maintenance agreements to schedule tune-ups with customers and have techs perform those tune-ups. If there's a problem, the tech will find it while he or she is there doing the tune-up, and if the equipment is old and needs to be replaced, it's a time when the tech can recommend a new unit or bring in a salesperson to discuss replacement options.

Look to technical and trade schools

So what do you do when things heat up during the busy season? Consider looking to your local technical or trade high school for a little help. In my business, we always had two-man install crews, where one was the lead and one was the helper. Both men had experience, so during the busy season, I would hire one or two high school students in a technical program and split the team into two where the high schoolers were now the helpers. If the students worked out after they graduated, we'd put them through some extra training like the BuildATech® program so they can learn the culture of the company and possibly come on as a full-time employee if and when the business grows.

To learn more about the various technical training programs HVAC Learning Solutions has to offer, visit today!

Blogger Dave Nichols is the Sales Trainer Manager for HVAC Learning Solutions.

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