For us, the old adage “Good help is hard to find” should be rewritten. In the industry, it is hard and expensive to find.

As an industry recruiting specialist whose clientele is comprised of manufacturers, design-build firms, and service companies, I am astonished at the willingness of some industry companies to spend exorbitant amounts of time and money doing their own recruiting.

Time and again, companies fail to learn from their hiring mistakes and are condemned to repeat them.

The intangible factors are often the downfall of a company’s direct hiring attempt; that is, identifying a candidate’s vulnerability to turning down an offer due to fear of change, being counter-offered by their present employer, and using that offer to leverage themselves upwards, relocation problems that arise late in the process, or a host of other issues.

A qualified third-party recruitment specialist will cover issues that many employers wouldn’t even think of addressing until they were already full-blown problems.

From the employee’s standpoint, fear of change is probably the single biggest pitfall. People are intrigued by the money, increased responsibilities, and possibilities of a new offer, but they fear making the change.

A big part of the recruiter’s job is to make the unknown familiar to the candidate early in the process. A tremendous problem in the industry occurs when a person gets an offer, gives notice to his present employer, then is hit hard and fast with a counter-offer.

A recruiter will make certain that a candidate has thoroughly considered the possibility of a counter-offer and is prepared to turn it down. A focused person who has made a commitment to a job change won’t renege.

The hvacr industry is extremely close-knit. The changing dynamics and interlocking specializations have made the search for quality candidates even tougher. A person you are working with now might be with the company you are interviewing with next week. Almost everyone knows each other and information spreads like wildfire.

Recently I heard of a large company that wanted to interview an employee of another company. Within 24 hrs, the employee’s boss found out and told her to cancel the interview or be fired. I don’t know whether this was due to malicious or inadvertent talk, but such mishaps can be avoided by the confidentiality of a recruiter.

The service

Anyone who’s placed a help-wanted ad will recall being inundated with either lots of wrong resumes or people who are “window shoppers.”

Although productive and happy employees don’t read the want ads, almost everyone welcomes the opportunity to advance their career.

Beyond collecting resumes, a good recruiter develops a network of industry candidates through conventions, associations, and direct recruiting calls. The recruiting process truly begins by developing a relationship with candidates to see what their “hot buttons” are, so when an opportunity comes along, they know who to approach.

This relationship also allows the recruiter to separate the serious job hunters from the window shoppers. Any qualified recruitment specialist thoroughly prescreens candidates way beyond their work history.

Why would a candidate leave a good job in the industry for one that the recruiter is representing? What kinds of incentives does the candidate stand to lose if s/he accepts this job? What types of benefits can a company use to attract the candidate?

A company’s reputation is a major factor in attracting a candidate. Other non-monetary issues include job responsibilities, potential for greater career growth, company stability, travel, and location.

There is a clear advantage for a company to retain an industry-specific recruitment specialist as a conduit to high-quality candidates. An industry specialist is usually a mover and shaker with direct contact to the top talent the company is trying to recruit.

A recruitment specialist who can demonstrate his/her industry knowledge is likely to generate the kind of confidence necessary to attract top-quality candidates.

Knowledge about the industry and about one’s clients prevents the recruiter from wasting time when there are no qualified candidates available. Presentations to candidates are targeted and very specific.

While there will usually be a significant price tag associated with locating and hiring the right professional, a recruitment specialist can minimize cost and risk to the company. A recruiter’s fees could range from $10,000 to $15,000 for a position ranging from $40,000 to $70,000.

However, comparing this to a company spending the same amount of money or more and using productive work hours to acquire that perfect candidate justifies such fees.

For more information on Dow-Tech, contact Chris Dowling at 973-696-8000.