John Hall (left), business editor of The NEWS, presents a brief introduction of the Best Contractor winners. (Click on the image for an enlarged view.)

NEW YORK - At the AHR Expo, the “Best Contractor To Work For” seminar on the subject of “Hiring and Retaining Good Employees” was moderated by John Hall, business editor ofThe NEWS. The panel was made up of representatives ofThe News’2007 Best Contractor To Work For winners, including: Flame Heating Cooling Electrical, Warren, Mich.; Classic Air’s One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning, Virginia Beach, Va.; LPAC, Bradenton, Fla.; A.O. Reed & Co., San Diego, Calif.; and Combined Air Mechanical Services, Brampton, Ontario.

Hall started with a review of the Best Contractor contest, its history since 2000, and introduced each of the 2007 winners.

Regarding interviewing potential employees, Vicken Aharonian of Combined Air noted that there’s no set script to follow. “I rely on gut feel.”

Todd Kletz of Classic Air said that once you land a new employee, “you have to create a career path” for your new hires.

All of the contractor winners belong to one of more associations and find them very helpful. Gary Marowske of Flame said that his Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) MIX Group has been essential in helping him identify programs he can use with employees to improve the business.

Cross-training is one example of a good way to keep all your people busy, the panelists agreed.