According to the U.S. Department of Labor, by next year the HVAC industry will suffer from a shortage of over 80,000 qualified people to fill positions for service, maintenance, installation, sales, and other such positions.

Nordyne believes it is addressing this growing problem through an exclusive partnership with HVAC Agent. The hookup is designed to help the manufacturer's dealers find experienced employees.

HVAC Agent is a nationwide network of contractors and service companies that pool their re-sources to consolidate recruiting efforts. It said it represents over 1,300 available jobs from nearly 1,000 companies, "making it the largest employment resource in the world for the HVACR industry."

HVAC Agent helps dealers locate qualified candidates for employment.

How It Works

In this partnership, HVAC Agent said it is sending potential applicants' resumes to dealers by e-mail or fax within 48 hours from the time an employee position is posted.

"Finding qualified HVAC installers, technicians, and salespeople is one of the biggest challenges for dealers," said Drew Fitzgerald, vice president of marketing, Nordyne. "We are taking an active role in helping our dealers find the people they need to grow their business with the help of HVAC Agent."

HVAC Agent said it searches résumés posted on more than 60 Internet career sites every day and advertises on the majority of Internet search engines. It also has a network of other employment resources, such as Workforce Commission offices, the U.S. military, trade schools, EPA 608 testing centers, and wholesalers. HVAC Agent said it also advertises in 80 percent of the newspapers where Nordyne dealerships are located.

The network source "allows heating and cooling dealers to focus on running their businesses in-stead of trying to locate and screen quality, qualified employees," said Fitzgerald. "Most dealerships do not have the time or resources to find them on their own."

Nordyne said it plans to provide co-op programs to support dealers with HVAC Agent.

Success Stories

When Bob Auchinachie, owner of Auchinachie Plumbing, Heating, and AC in Binghamton, N.Y., re-evaluated his recruitment process this year, he considered some alternatives to local papers and word of mouth. He had made good use of local help-wanted ads, but said he just wasn't getting enough qualified candidates.

"We figured HVAC Agent was a better investment in getting quality people, without the enormous expense of other national search options," said the contractor.

Within a day of posting his extensive qualifications needed, Auchinachie said he began to receive backgrounds of qualified applicants. "I was pleasantly surprised," he said. "Here were highly qualified installers and HVAC salespeople, some right in our market area already, who we had totally missed by going through traditional job-posting methods. Within three days we had five or six candidates with the certifications, training, product knowledge, and computer background.

"We hired two seasoned professionals who we otherwise would have been unaware of."

Scott Rohrer, of Rohrers One Hour in Lancaster, Pa., said HVAC Agent was a financially wise choice.

The manufacturer's co-op program "made it an easy decision to try out HVAC Agent, but it was the high caliber of comfort advisor candidates that impressed me the most," said Rohrer. "The candidates were all exceptional."

Since the program began about two months ago, HVAC Agent said it has helped dealers across the country find qualified applicants for approximately 140 jobs. More than 11,300 potential applicants were reviewed; 5,800 were sent to the employers that met employment standards.

Catherine Wheeler of Blanco Heating and Cooling, about 50 miles west of Austin, Texas, had been looking for a service tech for a long time. Because of Blanco's location, recruiting local applicants wasn't an option. The cost of recruiting statewide or nationwide was too expensive for Wheeler to do on her own.

"We have received more qualified, prospective leads for our posted position with HVAC Agent than through all the classified ads we've ever placed in our 10 years in business," she said. "I've been through many leads that were provided by HVAC Agent, and we believe we've found a gem."

Publication date: 09/27/2004