Terry Nicholson

Right now, there are two powerful forces set to collide and if you’re ready, if you’re alert, and if you’re willing, you can make the most of this unique opportunity.

It’s no secret that tough times are here. Every day the news seems to get worse, and as soon as it gets better, there is another headline to get you worried again. The fear of tough times and the gloom of a recession are the first force.

The second force is the never-ending cry from contractors that good help is nowhere to be found in the industry. In fact, from the business owners that I speak to, finding good employees is challenge No. 1.

Well, hold on to your hiring hat because good help is about to hit the streets in droves.

These tough times will create an opportunity for you as people start to lose their jobs. Whether it’s a job here or there, or the full-scale closure of a large business, every community is going to be affected in some way. And layoffs mean that plenty of good people are going to be looking for jobs, and many of them will probably be willing to at least look at industries they would have never considered before.

That’s your opportunity. The superstar customer service person from the local bank probably never thought about being your next CCR. The top foreman at the local factory would have never dreamed about becoming a technician. The high-performing salesperson for the small printing company has never considered HVAC sales. These top-flight performers are going to be looking for their next job, and if you play it right, you could land your next superstar. How do you find that displaced overachiever and bring them to your team?

Advertising:It all starts with letting people know that you’re hiring, and that means advertising. Get your ads out there in the usual places, and you may even want to consider putting a small ad in places you hadn’t considered. Maybe a local business journal is a way to attract a salesman looking for a new career. Think of ways to get your job opportunity in front of those who might be interested.

Ask Around:If you belong to a local chamber of commerce or another group, ask around there. You may get the scoop on businesses that are closing their doors, or someone in the group may know someone that needs a job.

Also, you can mention it to your clients on every service call, and even make it a benefit to the local community by saying something like, “Mrs. Jones, we know that with the tough times that everyone is going through, that some people in our community are looking for work. We at ABC Heating have some openings for hard-working people with great attitudes, so if you know of anyone, be sure to send them our way.” Let people know that you’re looking to add to your staff, and they may have the person for you.

Watch the headlines:Normally I would suggest staying away from the doom and gloom of the headlines, but if you’re going to attract superstars that have just gotten laid off, you need to know who is cutting back.

Watch your local news and newspapers for those companies in your area that are going through layoffs or are closing. Then, contact those companies because their HR departments may even work with you to place their former employees.


Great! Now you’ve found that next superstar to fill into your team, but the problem is, they don’t know the first thing about a compressor or which coolant option is being phased out of systems. They’re green, and if you’re going to get them up to speed on what it takes to excel in the HVAC industry, it’s going to take some training.

The problem in the past has been that getting that kind of training took forever, and it was so expensive that most business owners never even bothered to transform someone from outside the industry into a technician.

If they did, it usually meant months and months of riding along with another tech to learn their way of doing it. The problem is, their way may not have been the right way, and plus, that new employee didn’t generate any revenue for those months and months either.

Times have changed, and there is a third force making this an even stronger opportunity to add a superstar technician to your team. Now, there is a new option called TechSmart that allows you to train this new technician while they work in your company performing other roles so you can evaluate their work ethic and see if they are the right fit.

With the TechSmart program, the training comes to the student. Your new hire works through the modules in the evenings or on their own time. You can evaluate their attitude and work ethic during the day as they work as a helper or parts runner, and at night, they learn classroom-training material on their time and on their own dime. After they pass the first module, they are sent the second, and so on until they complete the program.

After they learn the basics in the modules, they are invited to attend a hands-on training at the TechSmart HVAC lab, and this is the best part. The training only takes six days. In just six days, all of that book knowledge is turned into practical application that will get that new hire ready to return to your company and earn revenue the next day.

The payback is fast, and the program comes with the guarantee that you’ll have a technician graduate the program or the tuition you pay rolls over to your next student.

With TechSmart, you have a proven way to train a superstar from outside the industry on what it takes to become a great technician, and with the number of good people soon to be looking for jobs, this is a great time to find your next all-star. For more information on TechSmart, go to www.yourtechsmart.com.

Because a team full of all-star technicians is how you make lots of money every day.

For more information, Nicholson can be reached at tnicholson@yoursgi.com.

Publication Date:12/22/2008