Rex Bothwell of Organizational Concepts International LLC, spoke with attendees at the Nexstar fall meeting.

PITTSBURGH - The best way to ensure an employee is happy and productive is to set them up in the right role. Employees need to know what their role is in a company when they are hired - but that doesn’t always happen. Rex Bothwell of Organizational Concepts International offered some suggestions on how to find the right people for the right job at the recent Nexstar fall meeting in Pittsburgh. Attendees at his seminar learned how to make better hiring decisions, factors to avoid in the hiring process, and when to act on a good hunch.

“How do you identify the skill sets and the right people to fit those skills sets in your organization?” Bothwell asked.

The first thing Bothwell discussed was the challenges of getting the right people for the right job. He asked the audience for a list of challenges, which included:

• Marketing (attraction strategy);

• Matching people to company culture;

• Getting people to show up for work;

• Getting people to be truthful about skill level;

• Having a clean driving record/drug test.


Bothwell noted that by defining roles within an organization, it is easier to bring people in who can help management/ownership meet its goals. “Align the roles with who your company is,” he said. “Identifying the job is very critical on the front end because everything else falls into line after that.”

He also raised the topic of identifying who has the potential to eventually take over the company and building up those people through establishment of a career path. For example, do companies hire a service tech just to fill a position or do they start the technician on a career path that flows into management?

Bothwell said one of the first things to do with a new hire is to identify his or her competencies, including their knowledge, skill level, and abilities. But he cautioned that jobs should not be designed around any particular employee. “If you are developing a job, don’t go into it designing the job around the person,” he said. “Design the job first.

“Figure out how to identify a new job you are creating. Describe the job and the requirements and skill sets needed for it.”

Bothwell handed out a stack of cards to each attendee that listed various attributes and skills, including technical skills, management capabilities, and customer service. He asked each person to divide the stacks into skills that are absolutely critical, important, or not important at all.

Bothwell said, “This exercise makes you think of the many skill sets that are necessary for any job. This is a powerful exercise for your organization.”

He then asked attendees to trim the critical pile by one-third, adding, “I recommend that people have six to seven competencies for a job.”

Bothwell continued this competency exercise including two more steps in the hiring process: assessing each new potential hire and creating a plan to fit them into the business.

Visit for information on Organizational Concepts International. For a complete list of the information on the cards, e-mail

Sidebar: Industry Trends

Greg Niemi, Nexstar president and CEO, met with the trade media during his group’s fall meeting in Pittsburgh. He discussed the theme of the meeting - getting connected - and used the backdrop of Pittsburgh, where there are hundreds of bridges connecting various parts of the city.

The Super Meeting hosted a record attendance of 600 people and was staged at the David Lawrence Convention Center, which Niemi described as “a totally green convention center.”

He pointed out that 450 Nexstar members, who specialize in the residential HVAC replacement market, represent $1.25 billion in aggregate revenues and employ 8,000 people. Nexstar established its Legacy Foundation in 2005, a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to educate and give back to the industry.

Niemi identified some HVAC industry trends, including:

• PRODUCT- The focus will continue to be on a combination of efficiency and environment.

GREEN MOVEMENT- Three out of four consumers are aware of the move to green the environment.

INDUSTRY-LABOR TRENDS- There is a major shift to value the trades, making them more attractive and dropping the average age of technicians (now at 45).

DEMOGRAPHIC TRENDS- What Niemi describes as the “mega trend of them all” where birth rate will displace death rate and immigration will become a huge factor.

ECONOMIC TRENDS- The list includes 2007 as a soft year, consumer spending habits, consumer confidence, United States versus global economy, and a greater focus on productivity.

COMPETITIVE TRENDS- Fewer contractors and more demand means the competitive landscape is not for customers, it is for skilled technicians.

“I believe the tide is turning for the industry,” Niemi said. “We will be able to find and nurture our employees.”

For more information on Nexstar, visit

Publication Date:11/26/2007